Monday, June 16, 2014

In The News: Ernest Hemingway, the Angler


This story hit several weeks but I wanted to wait for my friend Dr. Tim O'Brien to confirm a few facts.

Back in 1959, a famed angler visited Fort Walton Beach. His name was Ernest Hemingway, and to only was he the most famous writer in America, but the previous year his legendary novella The Old Man and the Sea had made the big screen, further pushing his status as the most famous angler alive.

Apparently, Hemingway and his wife Mary were on their way to Key West, where they planned to travel to his beloved Cuba. They stopped off at Fort Walton Beach, where they made the acquaintance of a local restaurant proprietor.

That would be that, as they say, except that Destin, Florida grew to be the home of the Destin Histry and Fishing Museum, where they have a fishing rod used by Hemingway in a marlin tournament in Havana.

What kind of rod is it? Well, according to Dr. O'Brien -- president of Tycoon Tackle, Inc. -- it was a rod built by his father, Frank O'Brien. Frank often fished with Hemingway (and a slough of other stars) and has a number of candid photos of him.

The rod pictured above from the museum is definitely a Tycoon rod, which is a cool thing, as Tycoon is still in business today making rods (check them out at Tycoon Outfitters).

I'm a sucker for anything dealing with Hemingway, so this is a fun story that reminds us just how iconic he was in the fishing world.

-- Dr. Todd

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