Tarpon – The Movie

| December 2, 2008

Early fly fishing movie about Florida tarpon in the Keys

Much has been made of the recently unearthed movie “Tarpon”, a true timepiece from the early days of fly fishing for Tarpon in the Florida Keys. If you have been passing Tarpon over for more modern productions, ones that are enjoying success through the modern Keoruac meets Kamchatka meets trust fund formula, this would be a good time to see a movie stripped of all the modern excesses. “Tarpon” is made more pure by showing how a group of guys worshiping, with bent fly rods, at the altar of the Silver King struggle to understand just exactly what they are doing. The guys aren’t just a bunch of jolly hooligans either. “Tarpon” contains footage of 60’s poet Richard Brautigan, guides Gil Drake, Woody Sexton, Steve Huff, Keys conservationist Page Brown. Not to be left out Tom McGuane (one of my favorite writers) and Jim Harrison.

“Tarpon” is a window into the infant soul of fly fishing for Tarpon, the personalities surrounding it, and is at once innocent and darkly foreshadowing of the excesses of harvest. If you have a soulful connection to fish, sharks, you will feel the pain as a party-boat deckhand joyfully bludgeons a small shark on the deck, and later hangs Permit and shark (among other species) on the dock displays for their “Kodak Moment”. All this subliminal information is delivered at face value with no underlying narration, except for the actual sounds and words of the events themselves. In the true sense of a classic, it shouts without saying a word.

Just to be clear, there is plenty of porn here as well; super slow motion images of Tarpon going airborne, gill plates flapping, tap dancing, and line rooster tailing toward the insanity that is a Tarpon. If you think you may be susceptible to Tarpon fever, this is no cure. It only serves to raise temperatures a few more degrees.

If Santa is looking for suggestions, put “Tarpon” on your list.

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Category: Life Observed, Movies DVD Video

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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