Flip's Play Group
Very much like yourselves, I’ve surrounded myself in life, and most especially in the outdoors, with folks who see the natural world, and life, much as I do. These are the people who have guided, changed and enriched my life and who, at the thought of them, make my heart smile.
They are folks the likes of:
We all have mentor/idols who have been major factors or influences in our lives. When I need to check my bearing, it's "Lefty's" number that gets dialed.
Who I met when he arrived from Cuba in 1959 has been my friend since that day. Chico began fly fishing in Cuba. He fit right in with all of us in south Florida who were just beginning to fly fish salt water. Chico and I actually grew up with salt water fly fishing.
Captain Rob "Cozmania" Fordyce
A true friend to "ride the river" with !!!!!
In his 12th or 13th year I spent my first day on the water with Rob…since then, hundreds of days in the field and on the water have tempered one of the deepest friendships that I’ve ever had.
From the Dry Tortugas to Texas and beyond, Rob and I have laid footprints side by each along the most shining trails and wakes through mangrove islands that no other eyes have seen.
More Son than friend…more friend than Son…Rob is the person who would leap up onto the operating table if I needed a kidney…I really don’t know if he would want my kidney.
Captain Matt "Commander" Fleming
If it has to do with the Gulf of Mexico, boats, airboats, trucks, oysters, redfish, grouper, tarpon or Halloween (you'll have to get him to tell you about that one) you'll need to be in touch with the "Commander".......a great friend from whom I've learned so much.
"Uncle" Stu Apte
“Uncle Stu Apte”: who’s family pioneered Dade County along with my own, was the man I always wanted to be when I grew up (to the very limited extent to which I have, actually, grown up). Stu had set the light tackle/fly fishing bar long before I ever got to shake his hand. When I finally did get to meet Stu, it was all about duck hunting and bass fishing in the sawgrass Everglades…’tarpon, permit and bonefish not at all on his mind. As time passed I began fishing with Stu and eventually we became friends, as our forbearers had been. He has graciously taught me much about fishing and paved the way for my career in outdoor television…’always there and willing to offer help and guidance. I would, no doubt, still be poling into the wind were it not for “Uncle Stu”…
Largemourh BASS dont wake up in the morning until they hear Glens jon boat pass overhead! Glen is the undisputed "Father of the Florida Strain " of largemouth and the man who has completely chroniced Floriedas bass. His epic film, "Largemouth" stands as the quiticential bass film...rivaled only by its sequal, "Largemouth Forever".
A number of yardsticks woud have to be gulued together in order to make measure of what Glen has taught us all about outdoor television...and it aint over yet!!!!!!!
Brian "Carpenstein" Flechsig
The modern "Kingpin" of fly fishing retail. Women love him....carp fear him! Brian owns and operates Mad River Outfitters in Columbus, Ohio. One of the largest fly fishing outfitters in the U.S.
The "Kingpin" and I began fishing and filming in the 90's and along the way formed a cherished friendship that steers us through project after project (stay tuned)!!!!!!
John "Dozer" Donnell
You really should meet John "Dozer" Donnell...one of my oldest, closest friends with whom I''ve had some of my finest campfires!
Lloyd "Jaw Boy" Wruble
In his slow, quiet, unassuming way...Lloyd has become one of the most accomplished, all round light tackle anglers on the block!
I have watched as he mastered spin, plug and fly tackle to levels that the rest of us only aspire to and all the while finding time to share tactics and fishing locations and steer the largest shallow water fishing tournament ever (The Herman Lucerne Backcountry Tournament, benefitting the Everglades National Park)....Oh, and ask any Oral Surgeon in the Southeastern United States who they would like to have perform surgery on themselves...and it will be Lloyds name that gets mentioned!!!
My Pal Phil Woodham…Knot a guy to mess with!!!!! When it comes to marlin spike seamanship, Phil is a MASTER! There’s not a knot in the book that Phil can’t tie better than the book!
My constant companion since moving to Central Florida, Phil and I have stuck our noses into every corner of the St. Johns River Marsh searching out fishing spots and terrorizing hogs along the way.
From turkeys to turks heads, Phil is a man to ride the river with!!!!!
As a kid, Ryan Seiders reminded me of me! A scary thought perhaps, but I had a feeling that he would become a part of my life…and so he did…and so did his family and friends!
As a man, Ryan never ceases to impress me with his wisdom, kindness, business sense, friendship and his remarkable ability to shoot whitetails in the neck at 400 yards!!!!!!!!!!!!
This entrepreneurial Devil has more going on, at any given time, than any other six folks I’ve ever known!!! In spite of that, he finds time to be the best of friends, confidant, fly fisher and budding stick bow hunter!!!
Owning and operating a couple of successful bonefishing lodges doesn’t seem capable of slowing Olivers’ globetrotting and quest for adventure.
Johnny Lucier…Knows every twist and turn of the St. Johns River and has hidden behind every bush and tree along the river marsh hunting whitetail deer, wild hogs and turkeys. It’s also rumored that he can find a bass or two in some of those river bends.
Over the past 20 years he’s been beyond generous in his willingness to share his knowledge of the natural world along with his encyclopedic storehouse of stories about the history of the area and its pioneers.
Ever in the company of his bulldog, Titan, Johnny is ALWAYS ready to head for the woods (or a restaurant)!
Scott Pallot: The very best Brother a Brother could have…That title…”Brother”, whether it refers to a Sibling or another loved one, should never be lightly bestowed. I’m proud to be Scott’s Brother and that he’s mine. I never cease to be amazed by his ability to find the best in people and situations. Through the length of our Brotherhood we’ve picked many guitars, rode many motorcycles, travelled the high seas and enjoyed preparing many a meal in many a kitchen. If he ever offers to make French toast for you………GO FOR IT!!!!!
40 years ago, while poling into a stiff breeze, following a school of tailing bonefish in Biscayne Bay, I got to watch Rick Pope surgically remove a fish from that school by perfectly placing a fly in their area of awareness and driving the fly in perfect imitation of some faux crustacean.
Later in the day the subject of whitetail hunting surfaced and shortly, an invitation to join him, on his Texas ranch, for a bow hunt. In the ensuing 40 years, I’ve missed very few deer seasons at the Pope Ranch and in between those many deer seasons the chance to join Rick in bird hunting, fishing, frogging, deer and hog hunting and in many business dealings! All this time together became the fertile soil in which our friendship has grown , branched , survived hurricanes, falls into cactus patches, rattle snake bites and heart surgery…and he still answers my phone calls!!!