Vintage Video: Bonefishing In the Florida Keys

May 13, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

From pronouncing “Miami” like a true Florida cracker to showing how guides towed their underpowered skiffs into the backcountry and positioned themselves on the flats, the narrator of this old film segment — revived by the IGFA — gives as genuine a picture of 1950s Florida Keys bonefishing as you’ll find anywhere. The clip features the legendary Captain Jimmie Albright and shows the “GAF Ashaway experimental nylon” fly line (“Jimmie examines this line with interest”) and Albright’s bucktail fly. The camera even captures the angler casting to and hooking a big tarpon in 2 feet of water.
Also interesting is that the leader Albright used would in today’s terms might be considered a “stealth rig,” tapering down to 6-pound tippet (tied to the fly with a clinch knot). Of course a 6-pound tippet in 1959 would have had a considerably larger diameter than today’s materials — a reminder of how technology has changed the sport.