Tim Mahaffey’s long wand has escalated him to heights in this sport other fly fisherman can only dream of. He has logged dozens of Metropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament’s best fish, and was the Grand Champion Inshore Angler of 2000. Victories in the “majors” have decorated his home with impressive artwork, including the prestigious Gold Cup Tournament (he holds the all time scoring record), the Don Hawley and the Fall Fly Bonefish. Mahaffey has essentially owned the Spring Fly Bonefish, winning the event a record four times, three of them consecutive. Add to this list of accomplishments titles in the Redbone Celebrity Series, three tourneys spread throughout the Keys, and the Superfly Series twice, a unique one pattern only competition.
What makes Tim the dominant flats fly angler on the planet today? The answer is quite simple. Some terrific tutelage in the beginning of his shallow water career came from tarpon and redfish master Rick Murphy and bonefish ace Duane Baker. Since catching his first bone in 1990, Mahaffey has continued to improve because unlike most fly fishermen over 35 years old, he is smart enough to continue to LEARN. More than most, Tim is in a position to become complacent and arrogant. Instead, he has chosen only to improve. His priorities are not to have the best equipment, the newest technology or the current “secret” fly. Of course all of these things can be found in his Maverick Mirage, but primary focus remains on performance.
Precise delivery and an intimate understanding of each opportunity from tidal and weather conditions, to depth and water flow, set him far apart from the rest. This game, perceived as difficult by most, is not about the physical. Consider the sport’s all time greats like Joe Brooks, Stu Apte and Billy Pate. No power lifters in this group, only dedication beyond the average and an iron will to capitalize on every shot. It is Tim’s tight, analytical focus that has set the standard in our industry.
Captain Mark Krowka, March, 2007