The Florida Keys Fly Fishing School was founded in 1989 in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Chico Fernandez, Stu Apte, Flip Pallot, Steve Huff, Steve Rajeff, Sandy Moret and Rick Ruoff were among the school’s initial instructors. Many of the founding instructors continue to participate in the sessions and share the experience and skills they’ve developed over decades of salt water fly fishing, providing a unique opportunity to learn fly fishing from a truly remarkable instructor staff.
Masthead instructors will be on hand for you at each session and their charismatic enthusiasm for the sport and desire for you to learn is contagious. We know you will be thrilled to catch it too! To learn more about them, click their name and read their bio.
Sandy grew up bass and trout fishing in Georgia. “Fishing was available in my family from an early age and as I grew older I would fish at every opportunity. I always felt a passion for the outdoors, it was just the thing to do on weekends or after school (and often instead of school). I was very torn about leaving the familiar waters and woods of my youth to pursue a business opportunity in Miami in 1972.”
Ask any group of guides or anglers to name the finest skiff guide in South Florida and Steve Huff’s name rises to the top over and over. He is an innovator whose influence has impacted every phase of saltwater fly fishing, including tackle, techniques, and skiffs.
Chico Fernandez started saltwater fly fishing in Cuba in the mid 50's, a fly casting instructor and author, his innovations have produce the Seaducer, Bend-Back, Bonefish Special, and many other patterns, he is a true expert and saltwater fly fishing pioneer.
Craig Brewer is a native of Islamorada and second generation native guide having fished the Keys since childhood. He has successfully guided winning anglers in the major tarpon and bonefish tournaments and in 1999 guided for a world record bonefish for the 12lb. tippet line class on a fly, the fish weighed 15lbs. 5oz.
Rob Fordyce has been a professional guide for more than 25 years and is listed by Saltwater Sportsman as one of the top 50 captains in the world. He is a co-author of “Tarpon on Fly” with Donald Larmouth and was a frequent guest on the Walker’s Cay Chronicles with longtime friend Flip Pallot. He currently stars in “Silver Kings”, airing weekly on Discover Channel’s Destination America.
After growing up and spending as much time as possible fishing the waters of Biscayne Bay and Islamorada, Drew knew early on that a career as a professional guide was in his future. And it didn’t take him long to realize how successful and enjoyable a career it would be.
Jerry Siem is the chief rod designer and engineer for Sage Fly Rods. He has spent his life designing and refining the art of building fly fishing rods and gear. He is one of the finest fly casters we know and a true industry expert. Sandy Moret says, “Jerry not only designs great fly rods, but he is a deadly predator on the water!”
When it comes to long accurate casts, nobody in the world does it better than G.Loomis rod engineer and National Casting Champion Steve Rajeff. He has dominated competitive casting tournaments for over four decades and has set the single handed long distance casting record at 243 feet.
Raz Reid has held more than 20 fly rod World Records, including bluefin tuna, arctic char, golden dorado, and giant trevally. He has won the Islamorada Spring Bonefish Invitational and been a runner-up in the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament.
In 2004, Diana Rudolph was the first woman to win the Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Tournament. She is an IGFA world record holder for several of the most coveted fly division species.
Paul is the consummate Islamorada professional guide and says that the most rewarding part of his job is helping anglers reach the next level. He is heavily involved in tournament fishing with multiple wins in many of the Keys most prestigious events such as The Golden Fly and Don Hawley Tarpon Tournaments.