top of page

Hemingway's Love of Bamboo Fly Fishing

Bending bamboo fly rod

If you were to ask PJ the one bamboo fly fishing goal he has yet to achieve, it would indisputably be to land a Marlin on a bamboo fly rod that he built. PJ has long been enamored by the tails of Earnest Hemingway, who landed a Marlin off the coast of Cuba on a bamboo fly rod. An achievement accomplished by few other anglers since the 1930s.

Ernest Hemingway, an avid bamboo fly fisherman, was one of the greatest American writers. He spent most of his free time in nature and traveling to different parts of the world for fishing trips. One of his favorite pastimes was fly fishing with bamboo rods.

Catching a Marlin on a bamboo fly rod was a feat that was considered impossible in his time. It is said that Hemingway's love for bamboo rods started in Paris, where he would frequent fly shops and learn about different techniques and tackles. Bamboo fly rods had been on the rise since their introduction in Europe around the turn of the century.

Hemingway's incredible feat of catching a Marlin on a bamboo fly rod marked a splendid chapter in his adventurous life. Hemingway, known for pushing boundaries, took up the formidable challenge of landing a Marlin, a large, powerful saltwater fish typically pursued with much heavier fishing tackle, using only a bamboo fly rod. The light and flexible bamboo fly rod was perceived as inadequate for such a task before Hemingway.

His pursuit transpired off the coast of Cuba, a place that Hemingway held dear to his heart. After several hours of struggle, never giving up on his dream, Hemingway managed to reel in the colossal fish. An achievement that astounded the fishing community and added a new feather to his cap. Additionally, it brought a new spotlight on the strength and durability of high-quality bamboo fly rods.

News of Hemingway's accomplishment spread, inspiring both admiration and disbelief. His triumph was not merely a personal victory but altered the perceptions of what bamboo fly rods were capable of. Hemingway continued to champion bamboo rods, demonstrating their versatility and strength in the face of formidable Marine adversaries.

The exact date of Hemingway’s accomplishment of landing a Marlin is not clear, but it happened during one of Hemingway's many fishing trips in the 1930s. Hemingway's time in Cuba, which spanned two decades, was marked by his deep engagement with saltwater fishing on bamboo and themes that prominently feature in some of his most celebrated works. Hemingway's achievement is still remembered as a testament to his indomitable spirit and love for adventure and fishing bamboo.

bottom of page