The recently released movie “Tarpon” (UYA Films, DVD, 53 minutes) was made almost 35 years ago in Key West, Florida. Besides including some of the only footage of Richard Brautigan, the cult 60s poet and novelist, “Tarpon” also features commentary by legendary guides Woody Sexton, Steve Huff, and Gil Drake, as well as Page Brown, an ardent Keys conservationist. Thomas McGuane and Jim Harrison are also featured in the film, and Jimmy Buffet composed the music. Many consider this film to be the first of the modern fishing films.
Thomas McGuane recently said of the film: “‘Tarpon’ is a gem and, frankly, a window on better days. Without a profound respect for tarpon, this celebration of their majestic power and the enchantment of their pursuit, could never have been made. Tarpon fishing was and is a dream, and this may be the only time it’s been captured.” The film’s message about the importance of releasing fish was far ahead of its time and prescient in highlighting the increasing pressure on fish by sportsmen, tourists and boaters.