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Original Issue


A tarpon fisherman finds a wild world all his own on the lonely and pellucid sea west of Florida's Keys

It is a rare man who does not sometimes ache to go forth alone and be lost and solitary under the enormous sky—to savor his own uniqueness and make all nature his private vision. So moved, Fishing Guide Jimmie Albright (right) stands in silhouetted battle with a tarpon somewhere between the cloud-veiled afternoon sun and the Florida Keys. His fish did not strike at once. Hours passed after he shut off his motor, staked out his boat, stood carefully in the silence and made his first intent and rhythmic cast.

The sea's color was lost in glare. Clouds darkened above the horizon. Then, without warning, he found himself in combat with something—a leaping, glittering, savage form—which bespoke all the mysteries, the dangers, the riches of the deep. For 15 straining minutes Jimmie Albright lived in a wild world of his own. Then he gaffed the tarpon, lifted it high (next page), released it. He mopped his brow, laid down his rod, started his motor and steered for his palm-shaded Islamorada cottage and the world of other men.

Straining mightily, Captain Albright hoists his catch out of the water for a last admiring look before releasing it to battle another day