Friends and clients of Mission Lodge may wonder how we ended up with our marketing Office in the Florida Keys and that my wife and I now spend our winter months on Long Key? Several years ago (about 20) I met a very serious and famous salt water fly fisherman while participating in sportsman’s show on the east coast. His name, Stu Apte.

He was giving seminars and showing photo’s of giant Tarpon leaping out of the ocean at the end of his fly line. Stu invited me to come down to Islamarda, attend the Florida Keys Fly-fishing school for a couple of days, and he would take me fishing for my first Tarpon. An offer I could not refuse. I did catch my first Tarpon (about 120 lbs) on the fly and have been hooked on this fishery ever since. The best part is that that trip was the beginning of a very wonderful friendship. Stu has been a mentor in sharing his wealth of knowledge about the keys fishing and has introduced me to fly-fishing for billfish offshore.

For the last two years Stu has invited me to be his partner in his annual Sailfish Tourney in Guatemala.

Maybe he should have picked another partner, since we finished 2nd last year and 3rd this year? However, he told me that he has yet to win his own tournament yet? Stu is a master and is a very serious fisherman. I have learned a lot from him. Can you imagine, last year on our last day of fishing, Stu landed his 200th sailfish on a fly! He has now started on his next hundred, hope he gets there.

For a great read, pick up his book “Of Wind and Tides”, available here on

Stu at his recent tourney in Guatamula

Stu at his recent tourney in Guatamula

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