Posted on October 26 2010
When people ask me how I got started in saltwater guiding, the answer is pretty complicated: there was family history, youthful optimism, professional disillusionment. But when people ask me how I became a good fishing guide, my response is simple: I had a role model. His name was Steve Huff.
Steve’s humility in regards to setting an example for other guides is legendary. He began guiding long before guiding was hip, but Steve didn’t let the sudden arrival of a new generation of twenty-somethings with dreams of daisy chains and tailing permit sour him on the profession. In fact Steve extended a helping hand to dozens, if not hundreds, of young anglers who wanted to learn the how to guide. Steve did this from day one in 1968, and he continues to do it today. His only requirement: that you work hard, fish hard, and try to be a good friend to your clients.
Steve Huff has been personally responsible not just for helping to turn flats guiding into a highly respected profession, but also for many of the innovations, from flies, to skiffs, to rigging techniques – without mentioning his incredible contribution to strategies – that made the sport more enjoyable and available to thousands of new anglers. Without Steve’s presence, saltwater fishing would be a very different endeavor than it is today.
More remarkably “The Master,” as he’s known among saltwater experts, is without any of the affectation that seems to go along with being a fishing great, as Bill Sargent noted in yesterday’s Florida Today. “I’m just a fisherman,” Huff told him. “If I wrote my resume I’d say ‘I fish.’”
Steve will be inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame tonight along with along with Forrest Wood, John Wilson, George Mathews and Yoshiro Hattori. He’ll be introduced at the sold-out event by long-time friend Paul Bruun.
Congratulations to an extraordinary person who also happens to be one of the greatest guides of all time.