Posted on July 23 2008
GUY DE LA VALDENE is a mystery to most fly fishers. If his name is known widely, it is because he hung out with Thomas McGuane, Jim Harrison, Richard Brautigan, Russell Chatham and Jimmy Buffet in Key West in the late sixties and early seventies. He is also, of course, an author of two books on game birds and a novel, and the co-producer of “Tarpon,” the cult classic that was finally released on DVD this summer. But de la Valdene is, by almost all accounts, a recluse. In fact, when we finished our four-hour interview with him, he said, “I don’t think I’ve ever talked this much.”
Our conversation transported us back to the post-war “boom” in destination fly fishing, the era of the pioneering Florida Keys guides, Parisian film studios, and to the days when de la Valdene and his friends enjoyed a heady mixture of talent, freedom and experimentation that blurred the lines between fishing and life.