Like many I came to Thomas McGuane’s brilliant writing through 1972’s “92 in the shade”.  Actually, a deep passion for fly fishing in all of its forms brought me to McGuane’s novel of fishing guide Thomas Skelton and a life lived on the fringes of the continent.  Key West, Cayo Hueso, Mile Marker 0 has always drawn a band of misfits and dreamers.  McGuane’s group included giant of words Jim Harrison, the poet Richard Brautigan, and singer Jimmy Buffet (Mcguane would later marry Buffet’s sister in another life).






A love of  tarpon, booze, pharmaceuticals, and the outdoors, brought the group together in the sticky heat and blue greens of the water around the keys, filming the cult film “Tarpon” about their angling exploits.


Guy de la Valdene (left) McGuane (right) and Brautigan (bottom)

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McGuane in Key West


A young Jimmy Buffet




The film was lost for years and  found in a barn in France.  Perhaps the first fishing film of all time and one that captures that brief period when all was carefree and would mark the beginnings of some stellar careers..