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Zane Grey, the father of the sports fishing industry

Sporting Classics Daily (SCD) is a print magazine with a similar audience appeal, I would think, as those who are in the Garden & Gun “fan club,” although subscribers would never be so undignified as to call it that.

Both publications are sticklers for writing, graphic design, photography… not always great writing, but good writing. The photography and subject matter are the drawing cards. It’s great in both. Again, the graphic design is stunning – even the paper stock distinguishes them.

The editors of both publications always able to capture a lifestyle unknown but to the one percent of the one percenters. You know, the folks that can smile themselves through all the heartbreaks and mysteries in life that mortals share. The only difference might be their education at institutions that tell them what to think and the grandest cushioning of life’s blows; money.

Last week, the SCD, the digital version, published an excerpt from Zane Grey’s Tales of Fishes (1919). The excerpt was a portion of Zane’s tribute to a fish that he and his brother, Roemer, bestowed on the once lowly nuisance catch, bonefish.

At the time Tales of Fishes was published, Zane Grey had been the president of the Long Key Fishing Club (LKFC) in the Florida Keys for several years and would continue being so into the mid-1920s.

The LKFC has its own interesting story, but its living bones were born around 1910 and died after the monster Labor Day hurricane of 1935. The hurricane obliterated the LKFC, most of the Upper and Middle Keys, and Henry Flagler’s ill-fated Over-the-Sea railroad adventure. It also took lives of hundreds of souls – many of whom were RR workers.

The bonefish story that took place in the Florida Keys at the LKFC, in addition to the SCD version, has to do with how Spookus Easyus (Bonefish – Albula vulpes) became what it means to anglers today.

Read the complete story in Sporting Classics Daily . . .

Featured Image . . .

The following is published with permission from the authors of Fly Fishing the Florida Keys [Skip Clement and Andrew Derr (Amato Publications 2005)]. Images are from Jerry Wilkinson’s Florida Keys History collection and Seth Bramson’s Flagler Over-The-Sea Railroad personal collection.

From the book Fly Fishing the Florida Keys. Above, a page of the chapter covering the history of the LKFC, which had been called the Long Key Fishing Camp when the Greys’ first encountered it in 1910.

 

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