Meet Your Guide – Gavin Platz
I have lived and fished on the Sunshine Coast since I was a kid, Recreationally, Commercially and now for the last 25yrs as a Fly-Fishing Guide.
I started learning an appreciation of fly fishing in the 1980’s when I was fishing for a living. The person to blame for my addiction is Terry Parker who owned Fisherman’s World Tackle Shop, but I didn’t get serious about fly fishing until I quit Commercial fishing and took a job at Terry’s New Fisherman’s World at Kawana in about 1989. By the end of 1993 I was totally addicted to the fly rod and started not just fly fishing at home but in New Guinea, throughout the Pacific and the Americas. It mixed well with my beach lifestyle.
I opened Tie’n’Fly Outfitters in 1993. The Australian Tackle Industry at that time didn’t take us seriously as we had no Trout …. Of course we didn’t …. we had something much better Tuna and they ate flies with gusto! Darryl ‘Steely’ Steel really showed us the way here and we took it to the next level.
During 1994, I had the pleasure of meeting Billy and Jodi Pate and was privileged to fish with and be taught and mentored by them over the next 5 years on the finer points of Fly Fishing in Saltwater. In 1996 the opportunity to fish with Billy and Jodi at their home flat in Bucannon Bank Islamorada in the Florida Keys. At the time Billy held the world record for the biggest fish ever caught on a fly rod a 188lb Tarpon on 16lb tippet. Something I will remember until I die. I learnt so much and we became friends. This really spurred me on to the become a fly-fishing guide which I did in 1996. Since then I have had the privilege of having some of the best in the business in my boat. Cam Sigler snr, Cam Sigler jnr, Bryan Peterson, Kate Van Gutenbeck, Jack Samson. Through their encouragement and mentoring I became obsessed with learning more.
My learning curve intensified in 1995 when I had the opportunity to muck around with some fly rods up in the park with our own famous Rod ‘Harro’ Harrison. He had just come back from America fishing with Lefty Kreh. Harro gave me a casting lesson and improved my casting dramatically. I was so excited about what I had now learnt that I started teaching anglers what Harro had taught me. It just made sense to me there was a real benefit in being a trained Casting Instructor as well as a fully trained guide.
I had no idea how I was going to do this until I had a chance meeting with Gary and Wanda Taylor, both were Master Casting Instructors with the Federation of Flyfishers. They planted the seed in me to strive to become a Certified Casting Instructor with the Federation of Flyfishers, which I achieved in 2001 in New Zealand and my examiner was the famous Doug Swisher. Man, what a privilege that was. At that time the FFF Certification was unheard of in Australia. Now days it’s a totally different story with a lot of anglers aspiring to and achieving their own certification.
I came to the realisation the fly fishing industry really catered for the biggest part of the fly fishing industry, namely trout and so was my certification, which I am very proud of but it lacked something. The penny should have dropped knowing there is only one question in the exam aimed at Saltwater Fly Fishing and the correct answer to the question is incorrect in my fly fishery. So I went about designing a range of schools using the Basic Fly Casting Principals as taught by the FFF in their Certification (which cannot be changed) and added basic ideas to improve an anglers casting ability to suit our Fly Fishery which is not based around Trout Fly Fishing.
Come fly fish with me I’d love to showcase our amazing Saltwater Fly Fishery to you