"The Legend Series" highlights some of the pioneers of the fishing world, and the Backcountry Fly Fishing Association along with Hell's Bay Boatworks is bringing a true industry trailblazer, and Florida Keys expert to Orlando to teach us a few things that will make our time on the water more productive and maybe a little more enjoyable. Flip Pallot was set to be the original speaker for this event but will not be making an appearance due to unplanned circumstances.
Captain Steve Huff is one of those guys that seems to have seen and done it all when it comes to fishing and exploring the Florida Keys and the Everglades, which is saying a lot considering how many square miles of land and water we're talking about. He's professionally guided for over 47 years (almost more years than I've been alive) and surely has forgotten more about saltwater angling than most of us will ever pick up by fishing only on weekends and holidays. He along with Del Brown developed the Merkin Crab which is undoubtedly the quintessential permit fly that also produces well on species they hadn't even planned on, ultimately proving the versatility of the pattern and the ingenuity of the designers. Steve has led numerous anglers to tournament wins in the Gold Cup, the Islamorada Invitational Bonefish Tournament, and the Islamorada Invitational Fly Bonefish Tournament, as well as many world record tarpon, bonefish, and permit including a 41 1/2 specimen on 8 lb tippet.
Captain Huff's inventiveness and constant search for perfection has proven invaluable time and again when the industry has asked for his expert guidance in developing more advanced flats skiffs, bow platforms, knots, and a myriad of other flats-fishing essentials. He developed the Huffnagle Knot (I just got the connection) for joining light class tippet to a heavier bite or shock tippet, which is absolutely necessary when pursuing large tarpon such as the ones he chased in the Homosassa region on Florida's Gulf coast. Steve's 186 pounder back in 1977 would have eclipsed the standing record by more than ten pounds but he never submitted for recognition because he felt that records should be left to anglers. That's just the kind of guy he is.
Captain Steve Huff was inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2010, for his many contributions to the sport, but you'd never see this gentleman, whom many would consider to be "The Guy," hold himself in higher regard than others that enjoy the sport. Humility, commitment, and enthusiasm are evident every time he welcomes an angler onto his boat, and he's surely converted more than one conventional-tackle angler to the fly rods as a patient and adept instructor for the Florida Keys Fly Fishing School.
I'd highly recommend taking a little time out of your busy schedules to attend the presentation.
Spending the night of September 10th with the Backcountry Fly Fishing Association at "The Legend Series" sponsored by Hell's Bay Boatworks is your chance to hear the stories first hand while possibly learning a few things that'll make you a better angler. Becoming involved in a club made up of a bunch of guys who share your love of fly fishing, fly tying, or just spending time on the water can't be a bad thing in itself. The club helped me to develop as a fly angler, ultimately leading me to writing about and sharing my love of the sport. I'm no John Gierach, or Norman Maclean when it comes to storytelling but we all share something in common with Flip and his friends, and that's passion.
Make plans to spend the evening with Steve and some new friends (and possibly some new fishing partners) on Thursday, September 10th. It's sure to be a gathering you won't soon forget.
Brian "Beastman" Eastman