Fishy business

Fishy business

Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Well another non-fishing weekend has come and gone. COVID concerns are escalating as here in Florida instead of things tapering off, or even plateauing, the number of infections is skyrocketing. But, as bad as that sounds, the real reason I did not head out solo was the combination of really unappealing tidal conditions and our summer heat. On top of that, add the strong possibility of getting completely washed out by thunderstorms and you have a very unappetizing mix.

I guess, on the upside, I have gotten in quite a bit of casting practice and have tied up enough flies to last for a while.

My need for a fishing fix got so bad I resorted to this internet of virtual things, and I actually found something of interest (besides Sexyloops, of course). I stumbled upon some podcasts by a South Florida angler of some fishing celebrity: Andy Mill.

 

I do not know if his name is familiar to many outside the rather small niche of tournament tarpon anglers, but within that realm he is quite famous. He is along the lines of the Steve Rajeff equivalent to that particular circle of competition. Otherwise, his name may be familiar as once being a downhill skier on the US Olympic teams, or as once being married to the US female tennis star Chris Everett. Despite all of that, he is actually a rather nice chap, and undeniably one hell of a tarpon fly angler.

 

In these podcasts he interviews a handful of other fishing celebrities within or around the culture of South Florida angling. Again, I do not know if names like Flip Pallot, Chico Fernandez, or Steve Huff translate outside of the South Florida angling culture, but I expect they might. All three of the above were more than just associates of Lefty Kreh, but personal friends. And, I personally hold all of them with the same esteem.

 

There are other anglers or guides of some notoriety interviewed also. Many who are likely not recognized, again, unless you are aware of the Florida Key’s culture of fishing guides, tournament anglers, or IGFA record holders. Although probably all fly anglers know the name Stu Apte?

 

The thing that stands out to me is, like Lefty, all of the first four names I mentioned above are all just really good folks. That cannot be said of a lot of other Keys guides, angling celebrities, or record holders.

 

And that makes me scratch my head. If you listen to their stories, and if you have the time I suggest you do, you will get the impression that all of them were just fishing bums who made out good. Maybe it was just being in the right place at the right time? But, they all seem to know how lucky they are, and are humble about it. I wonder if it is just a generational thing? All four of them are getting up there in age.

 

Now, I am not going to pretend that I am on a first name basis with any of them, but I have met all of them. Besides, if you grew up in South Florida and were a fishing nut you could not help but know them through their TV shows, magazine articles, demonstrations, talks, and award ceremonies. And, if you did meet them, they always recognized other fishing nuts as being the same as them, and vice versa. What set them apart from the rest of us was that, at some time, they were willing to throw the dice, dive in, and try to make a living doing something they loved to do.

 

You can find the podcasts by Mill House Productions on many internet channels. I listened on Spotify, but I heard them say it is available on places like, UTube, iTunes, and others.