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Fly Fishing Fantasy Camp

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Did you ever hear about the Michael Jordan adult basketball camp in Las Vegas? For one week high-roller basketball junkies had the opportunity to hang with M.J., improve their basketball skills, and have pictures and stories to tell at cocktail parties and client lunches for a lifetime.

Beyond the pictures and stories, the reason you’d pay for something like this would be to have that opportunity to be next to greatness. The chance to observe, up close, how they prepare and execute their craft is invaluable. Now fly fishermen have this opportunity. Read about the fly fishing fantasy camp that happens each year in Islamorado, Florida.

Fly-Fishing-Greats-15It is a flawless late winter Saturday morning in Islamorada, Florida, about half an hour before the twenty-fifth-anniversary session of Sandy Moret’s Florida Keys Fly Fishing School is due to kick off. On the beach of the Islander Resort, Steve Rajeff, one of the eight fly fishing all-star instructors in that school, is already out of the gate, giving a fly casting lesson and demonstration to a group of five early-bird students.

This scenario might be comparable to Tiger Woods teaching a little group how to swing a golf club, except that Rajeff is far more preeminent at his sport than Woods is at his. In fact, it is very likely that, at fifty-seven, Rajeff has absolutely dominated a particular sport (tournament fly casting) longer than any athlete who ever lived. For over four decades he has been the unquestioned best fly caster on the planet, with forty National Casting Championships and fourteen World Championships to his credit, as well as the record for the longest single-handed fly cast ever made: 243 feet. Which is about 143 feet longer than casters who are the equivalent of scratch golfers can make on their best days, and 200 feet longer than the casts now being pushed out by Rajeff’s students.

Photos: Garden & Gun

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