“As a kid I grew up fishing all around Florida with my father. In 1954 we ended up in Coconut Grove, where my family and I currently live. I started working summers at The Tackle Box fishing store at SW 27 Ave. and US #1 building custom fishing rods and repairing reels for the proprietor Jack Primack. While working there I met many people who were influential in my early development as a light tackle sport fisherman. Some that I remember are: Eddie Miller, Joe Brooks, Lee Cuddy, Arthur Beryl, Buddy Hawkins, Capt. Bill Smith, Capt. Stu Apt, Capt. Gary Simmons, Capt. Bill Curtis, Chico Fernandez , Flip Pallot and John Emery.
Around 1959 I went in to the Army and upon my return I started surveying for the new Dade County Port of Miami, along with building custom bonefishing skiffs at the Glenncraft boat company. Eventually I built my own skiff and went fishing most of the time. During this period I developed many innovations in the technology of sportfishing, some of which are still being used today. The innovations include: the Inside/Outside Fly, Mutton/Cockroach Fly, Puff Permit Fly, Twenty-Times-Around Knot (Bimini twist), new line-leader connections, wire-leader connections, Duncan Loop Knot, deep jig glow worms, boat side curtains, and several new rod blank designs. Other innovations that I made significant contributions to are: arrow head jigs, inverted flies, loop-on fly tippets, the Redfish Fly, sinking-head fly lines, blue fly lines, red bandannas, and the first fiberglass push pole. I have written notes regarding background most of these developments.
I also became involved in several conservation issues, such as the creation of Biscayne National Park and the banning of commercial fishing in Everglades National Park. I returned to college part-time eventually obtaining an engineering degree from the University of Miami and several professional licenses. I have recently retired with thirty years of experience as a construction management Engineer.
I now look forward to fishing in a new era; even though there are less fish than there were back in the 50s and 60s we can turn the tide to some degree if sport fishermen keep pushing for reforms in the preservation and conservation of all of our resources.”
IN OCTOBER 2011 I walked into the Sistine Chapel for the second time in twenty years, and looking above the altar I was astounded to see a tarpon peering out from behind Jonah’s left leg. The tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) is one of my favorite light-tackle sport fish, because it readily takes flies and is a spectacular fighter. Many questions came to mind...