A student of Joe Brooks and a pioneer in saltwater fly-fishing, Stu Apte has held 44 saltwater records, some of which still stand. He has fished every corner of the world from Islamorada to Iceland and everywhere in between.
Over the years, Stu developed many new fly patterns and was honored by having his iconic orange and red tarpon fly selected for a U.S. postage stamp. He improved knots and leaders, wrote books, was an early pioneer in filming fly fishing adventures, appeared in many fishing shows on television and is a regular contributor to various fishing magazines.
Stu spent his time guiding anglers in the Lower Keys for tarpon and bonefish, as well as exploring the “Back Country” of Florida Bay and the Everglades for snook and redfish. It wasn’t long before he also headed offshore to chase and catch dolphin, wahoo, tuna and kingfish on light tackle and a fly rod.
Given his experience guiding and fishing in Florida and routine frustration with the strength and durability of fishing gear, boats and engines in the harsh salt and sun environment, Stu started working closely with manufacturers to improve their saltwater performance. He brought his own real life experience to rod & reel design and was instrumental in creating better drags, finding more corrosion-resistant metals, various reel parts, rod guides and reel seats.
An ardent conservationist, Stu is one of the founding members and is on the executive board of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. He is an advisory board member to the IGFA and an officer and trustee of the Everglades Protection Association.
Stu was elected to the Fishing Hall of Fame in 1969 and the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2005. His CFFCM Hall of Fame selection recognizes all of his contributions to the sport of fly fishing.