Stu Apte was a fighter pilot in the Navy during the Korean conflict. He then spent the next 34 years flying for Pan Am, while pursuing his ‘Reel Passion of Fishing.’ He began fly fishing in the mid-1940s and began guiding anglers in the mid-1950s, in the Florida Keys after being laid off from Pan Am. Through the years, Apte has held more than 44 saltwater light tackle and fly rod World Records, including the two longest standing saltwater fly rod records. A 58-pound dolphin caught in 1964 and a 136-pound Pacific Sailfish caught in 1965, both on 12-pound tippet. The Stu Apte Tarpon Fly and Stu Apte Improved Blood Knot are standard items. The Stu Apte Tarpon Fly has also had the distinction of being featured on a United States postage stamp in 1991.
In 1969 Apte was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame. In 2003 he was the recipient of the prestigious Ted Williams Award, and in 2004 for the fifth-year in a row, was the Pro Celebrity Grand Champion of the Backbone Tournament. He had the distinction of joining Ted Williams, Curt Gowdy, Ernest Hemingway, Izaak Walton and Zane Grey to name just a few, when he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association [IGFA] Hall of Fame on December 11, 2005. As a natural extension of his passion for fly fishing, he has written many articles for Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Sports Afield, as well as his own book, Stu Apte s Fishing In The Florida Keys. Apte has also been Angling Editor of Sea & Rudder, a national boating magazine. He was a contributing editor to Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine, and penned the back-page column, ‘Down and Dirty with Stu Apte.’ Currently he is field editor for Shallow Water Angler and writes its back-page column, ‘Stu Apte on Fishing.’ In addition to his writing, Apte has appeared on numerous television programs as an expert fisher.
Whenever he is not traveling and leading seminars, Apte resides in the Florida Keys with his wife, Jeannine, where he writes, photographs, and fishes.