Photos: Mousing for Gators?

Orvis chairman Leigh H. Perkins demonstrates proper grip-n-grin technique with a Florida alligator.
Photos by Annie Perkins

Last month, Orvis Chairman Leigh H. Perkins–father of our current CEO, Perk, and Vice Chairman, Dave–landed the largest redfish of his life. Over the weekend, he landed a monster of a different kind. LHP, as he’s known ’round these parts, was testing a new fly-rod prototype at Mays Pond in Florida. While casting a mouse pattern for largemouth bass, he hooked a small alligator. Now, most anglers would probably laugh and then break off the beast. But LHP really liked this particular mouse pattern, so he proceeded to fight and land this particular Alligator mississippiensis so he could get his fly back.

LHP’s wife, Annie, writes:

When you catch a gator on a fly, they fight hard! And they flip over and over–then there’s a break while the gator swims away or is getting reeled in–and then those jerky rolls/flips again! . . . This was a pretty good-sized gator to grab and hold while it tried to jerk free! You have to be decisive, fearless, fast, and strong enough to hold on no matter what! Leigh was laughing the entire the time. Gator swam calmly away, unharmed, when released.

And, yes, LHP got his fly back.

Disclaimer: Landing gators is for seasoned professionals only. Do not try this at home. 

Mouse fly safely removed, this gator could swim away in perfect health.

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