I was on the day's 99th cast when I realized how much I missed doing this. As I fired off another hopeful presentation with my 10-weight, I looked up the
- By: Joe Healy
I was on the day's 99th cast when I realized how much I missed doing this. As I fired off another hopeful presentation with my 10-weight, I looked up the shoreline to see dolphins surfing through the rolling waves of the Caribbean Sea. Ten minutes earlier, my wife, Robin, had jumped a 150-or-so-pound tarpon; she was casting a heavy jig on a spinning rod. We were prospecting for cruising tarpon in Panama, just south of the Costa Rican border town of Manzanillo. It was the first time in about six months I had held a fly rod.
After stints as editor of Saltwater Fly Fishing and Fly Tyer, I took a hiatus from fly-fishing publishing in 2002-well, a break from a full-time gig in the industry, as I've continued writing for several fly-fishing magazines; my day job for the past five years has been editing regional magazines in New York and New England. Still, I never strayed too far from fly-fishing and fly-tying. I fished on Cape Cod and in Florida every year, and often poked around the streams of the Adirondacks in New York and my home waters in Northern Vermont. But I felt something was missing.
As I stood in the bow of the panga in Panama, I said to myself, "Maybe it's time to get back into the fishing game." A few months later, I was speaking with the folks at Fly Rod& Reel's parent company, Down East Enterprise-and they invited me back into the fly-fishing family, as this magazine's associate publisher.
As I settle in here at the magazine and in Maine (our home base), I have to thank Managing Editor Jim Reilly for all his good work, particularly over the past four issues. Jim is heading on to other challenges away from the day-to-day at FR&R, but he'll keep on writing for us as a field editor. His first assignment? Fishing in Central America. I'll send him off with a few of my Panamanian tarpon flies.