Portraits Of Cuban Fly Fishing Guides

I took the images below aboard the Avalon II in Jardines De La Reina, Cuba. While I was only guided by two of the 6 guides pictured, I was able to spend some time talking with all of them. As the trip progressed we all warmed up to each other a bit more and by the last day I was able to, using my aging Spanish, get to know them more.

Each and every one of them was a genuine and friendly person. Three of them are brothers and were all raised in Júcaro, the closest town to Jardines. Their father was a fisherman and taught them the ropes including the Jardines De La Reina Marine Archipelago.

Of the six pictured guides two of them had never been to Havana before and all but one had only been to the capital a few times. Travel, including domestic trips, is considered very expensive. Not one of the guides owns his own fly rod. All of their personalities make up for their lack of possessions.

Bemba, Keko & Titi. Brothers with 18, 19 and 14 years respectively of guiding this area under their belts.

Keko. The oldest of the three brothers at 42 was one of my two guides. I would fish with Keko anytime as he's a great person and guide. He knocked on my door one morning at 4:30 saying, "Tarpon?" None of us could say no and we began a fishing day under starlight.

Keko may have been surprised after I caught a bonefish when I asked him if he could hold the fish for a pic.

Titi. The youngest of the three brothers and another one of my two guides.

Bemba. Calm and what appeared to be the most respected guide on this trip by the other guides including his two brothers.




Juan Carlo. The Cuban casting National Champion. He also holds the current Cuban record for casting distance which is 36 meters using an 8 weight and floating line.