Thanks for the feedback and insight. I love this forum and have been lurking and checking stuff out for several years. I figured this idea was good enough to post for some input from people with some knowledge.
Capt'n Bob - yes sir, completely concur on the type of flies/smart selection. Anything bigger than a 4/0 has a tendency to get too close to my ear, esp on a windy day. The guy holding the snook caught that one with another EP sardine pattern fly I tied up with a 3/0 hook. His fish had the bird in the gullet in the other photo, so this slab of foam rubber is his request! All his to fish, at least, unless he is able to tickle up a big fish, and then I expect the other 2 flies I tied up that look like this will get slapped on by the other guys real quick!
In addition to snook, we also hit the flats on some of the cays nearby and lay down for big permit and bigger bonefish, as well as the ever-present jacks, macks, and cuda. its a great 7-10 day trip, and usually half the cost as Mexico.
The real targets for this trip are the tarpon. The last 2 times I have gone down there, I was completely unprepared (physically, mentally, emotionally!) for the size and power of the tarpon we ran into both in the rivers and the salt. I have never been so abused and owned by a fish. Smallest one we have hooked was in the 150# range, and we had several leviathans that our guides estimated at over 200#. Note, we have yet to land one of these tarpon on a fly rod. I felt like a complete newbie to the sport, regardless of having caught a few tarpon in Florida before. Lots of lost battles and recurring nightmares about those fish, and that is what is drawing us back! Stronger hooks, bigger flies, everything. Months of prep/planning. 12 wts with these fish feel like battling a wild steelhead on a 4wt... Everyone is losing. After this trip, I will post some sort of review/links of the outfit and locations in the right part of the forum for others consideration.
Thanks again for the comments/advice.