Podcast: The Quest for the World-Record Tarpon, with Monte Burke


(The interview starts at 44:46)

This week, I interview Monte Burke, author of the recently released book Lords of the Fly. It’s a chronicle of the history of tarpon fishing with a fly rod, and especially the magical period in the late 20th century where huge tarpon and the best fly anglers in the world converged on a little town on the Florida coast.  This is one of the most interesting fly-fishing books I have ever read. Even if you have no interest in tarpon fishing, the story of the personalities, conflicts, and obsession involved in trying to catch a world-record tarpon on a fly is one of the most compelling stories in fly-fishing history. Monte talks about his research and the process involved in writing the book. It’s a tale of egos and gangsters and heartbreak.

In the Fly Box, we have lots of interesting questions and tips, including:

  • How does a new beaver dam affect a trout stream?
  • What is the difference between a 2-weight and a 3-weight Euro-nymphing rod?
  • How should one approach a larger river with heavy fishing pressure?
  • How do you suggest handling a fish that has been foul-hooked?
  • If you were to spend two weeks in quarantine in a hotel room, what six fly patterns would you tie?
  • An example of great fishing close to home.
  • What do you know about fly fishing for ladyfish?
  • I am taking my father fishing, and he does not have much experience.  Should I hire a guide or just get him an outfit and take him wade fishing?
  • What are the main differences between Eastern and Western fly fishing?
  • What effect will the wildfires have on trout streams?
  • Can I use UV epoxy to finish the wraps on a rod I am making?
  • Can I dye my own fly tying materials?

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Monte Burke fights a big fish after taking a bit of a swim.

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