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Captain John O’Hearn

Captain John O'Hearn holds a healthy redfishWith only a couple of hundred dollars in his pocket and the desire to catch a bonefish on fly, John, along with three college friends, moved to the island city of Key West. At the time he figured it would be a good place to spend a year or two and catch some fish in the process. With no job prospects or career aspirations, Key West was the perfect fit. A job at the local flyshop and a fat 8lb bonefish (in hindsight it was likely 4 or 5lbs) from the roadside flat on Ohio Key helped cement his future. A decade later, now married to college sweetheart Erika and enjoying his beautiful daughter Maeve, he claims he will never leave.

John was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and came late to fly fishing. Before you ask, he is one of the River Runs Through It generation, but maintains that he read the book before he ever saw the movie. The wild brown trout of the Gunpowder River and a library copy of Ernest Schwiebert’s Trout were his introduction to the sport. Later, while attending Washington College on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, John’s less than rigorous course load provided ample opportunity to further hone his skills with a fly rod. While offering no cold water fishing, the Eastern Shore provided ample fishing opportunities. Rockfish (stripers to the rest of the world) in the Chesapeake and largemouth, sunfish, and carp (before carp fishing was cool) in the numerous ponds and tidal rivers provided plenty of action. His two crowning achievements during these years were a carp close to twenty pounds and, after a particularly wild weekend, being placed on "double secret probation" by the school’s dean.

Today, three boats, a couple thousand days on the water and enough fossil fuels to heat a small country later, John is an active member of the Keys’ guide community. Fishing well over 200 days a year, he is comfortable fishing from the Marquesas to Cape Sable and yet readily admits, "I know enough only to know how much I don’t know." Often heard expounding upon the negatives of fly fishing tournaments, he nonetheless participates in them regularly and last May guided client and friend David Seetapun to first place in the Golden Fly Invitational Tarpon Tournament. His only defense is "they’re good for business.” John is also Saltwater Editor at Large for Fish & Fly Magazine.

Captain Drew holds a huge Islamorada bonefishCaptain Drew Delashmit

Drew was born and raised in East Tennessee. There he spent his available time hiking in the mountains and fishing the numerous lakes and mountain trout streams of Tennessee and western North Carolina. His passion for fishing was developed at an early age by his Dad and Granddad. As early as age three, Drew had the opportunity to fish the bayous of the Louisiana coast and the lakes of East Tennessee. At the age of ten, Drew was given his first fly rod as a gift and he spent every afternoon casting in the backyard attempting to refine his technique. He soon saved his money and upgraded the cheap 5 wt to a decent 8 wt and the fly fishing addiction was firmly in place.

Drew began fishing the Keys with his family in the mid ‘80’s and by the time he graduated from college he was spending several weeks a year chasing fish in South Florida. A month after completing his studies at the University of Tennessee in the spring of 1999, Drew moved to the Keys to follow his passion of saltwater fly fishing. In March 2001, Drew began guiding full time. Since that time he has expanded his fishing knowledge and the range of the waters that he fishes by spending more than 250 days a year on the water.

Drew’s reputation as a hard-working, patient guide helped him become a member of Scott Fly Rods pro-staff. He enjoys guiding for numerous reasons including the opportunity to develop friendships with diverse people from around the world and share the wonderful fish and environment of the Keys with others. When not guiding, Drew can be found fishing and exploring new water with John, Jacob and Alex or sitting at the vise busily tying flies. While a high-pressure tournament neophyte, Drew recently guided his client to a victory in the 2006 Islamorada Invitational Fall Fly Bonefish Tournament in his first attempt.

Captain Alex Boehm

Captain Alex Boehm holds a huge snookAlex’s passion for fly fishing began after moving from Tennessee to Wyoming in 1989. A master’s degree in rangeland ecology brought him into the ranching world and provided him access to the exclusive spring creeks that wind through the high mountain pastures of Northwestern Wyoming. Alex has pitched hay and guided on the 4 Lazy F, Red Rock, and Hansen/Mead Ranches. He has also guided for Bressler Outfitters and was an integral part in the formation of Out Cast Anglers, the predecessor of World Cast Outfitters.

While the pursuit of trout still runs strong with Alex, the allure of saltwater angling drew him to Key West, where he pursues all of the flats species with the fly. Since 2000, he has spent his time in the Keys honing his skills and expanding his knowledge of the fishery. His experience and enthusiasm has not gone unnoticed as he is currently in his third year as Jack Nicklaus’ private guide. He and Jack fish the Keys, Bahamas, Argentina, South Africa, Iceland, Wyoming, and other spots that many anglers only dream about. Due to Alex’s commitments to Mr. Nicklaus, he will often have prime days available during tarpon season. Unlike many guides of his abilities, Alex is unable to book days a year in advance.

Captain Jacob ShemperCaptain Jacob Shemper: by John O'Hearn

" If Shaun White can be nicknamed 'the flying tomato,' then surely Jacob may be known as 'the fly fishing tomato.' The oldest of five boys, he grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi bass fishing, noodling for mudcats, and trapping opossum. Naturally, with such an upbringing, he was attracted to the clear skies and fresh air of the outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman since he was knee high to his grandpappy, Jacob fell in love with fly fishing while attending school at the University of Montana in Missoula. His text books and pencils were gladly traded for oars and a fly rod. Years of guiding on the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Smith and Clark Fork Rivers helped him hone his latent natural abilities and fuel his passion for the sport. Still, he knew he was destined for greater things and what could be greater than the Florida Keys.

During the late winter of 2000, Jacob made the move to Key West and the Lower Florida Keys. In mere months, he acquired a skiff and his captain's license and began making a reputation for himself. His upbeat personality, Southern charm and good humor made him a welcome addition to the guiding community. Spending hundreds of days on the water each year have helped Jacob unlock many of the mysteries of this fishery, and opened his eyes to the limitless angling opportunities that the Keys offer. Whether targeting tailing bones and permit, hunting corners for huge laid-up poons, poling mangrove edges for snook and baby tarpon, hosting trips to the remote atolls of Africa, or racing to hidden wrecks beyond the horizon for cobia, Jacob not only excels at finding fish, he CATCHES them. Thanks to his fun loving personality and natural fish sense, a day on the water with Capt Jacob is always fun. Big smiles and big fish, you can'' beat that."

Capt John
tongue planted firmly in cheek

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