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Good read... about tarpon fishing

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Mangrove Cuckoo
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:51 am

Good read... about tarpon fishing


Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sun Mar 13, 2022 9:46 pm

If you have any interest in big tarpon on fly, and especially about the history of chasing the very largest ones, "Lords of the Fly" by Monte Burke is a great read - and painfully honest.

But understand, it is not a "how to" book. It is a recap of the tarpon fishery and what happened here in Florida over the last 40 years or so. I can pretty much attest to its accuracy because I lived through it, although slightly just on the outside.

So, you won't find my name in it anywhere although I know a number of folks who are mentioned. But if you have ever heard the name of any of the "celebrity" fly anglers who came out of this time and place, of which there are many, you will likely find that they are in the book... for better or worse.

On the other hand, the information on the tarpon fishery, not just the stories of the guides and anglers, is also very accurate.
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

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Location: Homosassa, Florida, USA

Re: Good read... about tarpon fishing


Post by SevenWeight » Sat Apr 02, 2022 8:59 pm

I live in Homosassa and had read or heard snippets of the history of the migratory tarpon fishery and the various characters chasing them. When the book first appeared I jumped on it. I agree ... the author did a great job of wrapping up the story with the environmental discussion. I'm on the water two or three times a week mainly fishing for redfish and snook, with jacks and ladyfish in the mix. Every now and then I bump into a resident or migratory tarpon (or cobia, which show up around the same time). I've been out a few times seriously looking for the big fish that come in the spring. It's an annual ritual for some. There's a good number of people who still come every year looking for the really large fish, some no doubt dreaming of a world record on fly.

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Re: Good read... about tarpon fishing


Post by Morsie » Fri Apr 22, 2022 5:31 am

It's one of my favourite books. Dean Butler is a very old friend and a real wild man. He tells some great stories. He was an early protege of Lefty's, in this country anyway, and on his wall at home, mounted and framed he has a pair of Lefty's underpants that got mixed into Dean's laundry somehow. Away from the tarpon and on Tom Evans' marlin chasing boat Blue Dog, Steve Tedesco was the captain, he's also a good friend, and a great fly fisherman who grew up on the south coast of NSW and now lives in Lumsden New Zealand and just goes trout fishing. A lot of fly fishing history caught up in those lives and some fantastic stories of crossing oceans on a 54ft high end marlin fishing boat - Australia to New Zealand 3 times, Australia to Vanuatu several times, and then they put it on a ship and took it to Panama. Dean recently had a heart attack. I spoke to him just the other day - he's out of hospital but I suspect his wild days are over, although I'm also pretty sure he'll still have a crack when the opportunity arises.

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