Flip Ballot learning over a boat and releasing a fish back into the water

Q&A with Flip Pallot

 1. What was your First Fly Fishing Experience?

There was a canal in South Florida, leading inland from Biscayne Bay. It was 1954 and my Uncle had given me an inexpensive, bamboo cane rod and click-drag reel. A 12-pound Jack Cravelle came racing down the canal bank, chasing a finger mullet. I flopped a streamer in front of the jack, who inhaled it immediately! I set the hook, but the jack continued chasing the finger mullet, who jumped up onto the canal bank… the jack followed the mullet…and they both wound up flopping on land four feet from the water!

2. What is your Favorite Fly to Tie?

The “Spartina Turner”

3. Favorite Fly Rod Size?

Four weight

4. Most Admired Person in the Outdoor Industry?

Blane Chocklett. Tremendous innovator, dedicated conservationist, excellent angler, kind person!

5. If you didn't live in Florida, where would you live?

I would live in Idaho…owing to public land access, great hunting and fishing, Rocky Mountains!

6. What are your favorite fisheries?

Saltwater Everglades, and Rocky Mountain meadow streams.

7. Top three, game-changing products in fly fishing?

1. Reliable outboard motors
2. Floating fly lines
3. Monofilament.

Flip preparing his fly line
8. Go to boat snack?

2 1/2” rib eye steak!!!

9. Go to cocktail?

Frigate Reserve 21-year rum… No doubt at all!!!

10. If you could fish with anyone in the world, who would it be? 

I’d give ANYTHING to fish, just one more time, with Lefty Kreh!

Flip Pallot and Lefty Kreh standing on a boat, while Flip is holding onto a large tarpon
11. What do you feel is your greatest contribution to the angling world?

The time and effort spent creating awareness of water issues in Florida.

12. What is one piece of advice you have for beginner anglers?

Make the effort to bring “Casting Skills” to the fishing situation!!! Everything else will follow.

13. Favorite Walkers Cay Chronicles episode?

‘Trick question, right?🤣

14. Being a big hunter, do you find any similarities between hunting with a bow and fly fishing?

Whenever we create deeper challenges for ourselves, we broaden our horizons in countless ways, and our accomplishments become more meaningful.

Flip smiling with a fly fishing rod over his shoulder

 About Flip Pallot

Flip was born and raised in the middle of a triangle smack between Biscayne Bay, The Florida Everglades and the Florida Keys. His folks were born there as well and were early pioneers of Dade County. It was a wonderful place for a young man to grow up (to whatever extent Flip has grown up). It was the perfect crucible in which to form a total outdoorsman…and form that man it did! Flip’s life indeed took shape in the swirling tides of those mysterious estuaries as he studied the patterns of migratory waterfowl, deer, hogs, turkeys and all manner of fish (this all accomplished while he might have been studying his school lessons).

In the middle 1950’s his constant companions were John Emery (who he’d been in first grade with), Norman Duncan (the Duncan Loop), and Chico Fernandez (Everyone knows Chico). These four inseperables could be found along the shores of the Bay and down through the Keys or stalking the banks of the Tamiami Trail Canal most days after work. All four finished school during the evenings at the University of Miami (a whole other story!!!!).

From 1963-1967 (tel:1963-1967) Flip was in the jungles of Panama as a linguist with the U.S. Army. Fishing there and throughout Central America was wonderful, offering a preview of fishing life in exotic destinations to come.

After returning from service, Flips’ career as a banker began…and lasted “Way too long” according to him. As he says it best, “Every day I’d put on a coat and tie, go to the bank and lend folks money to go chase their dream, and at the end of the day I was still there, in my coat and tie, with my dream unfulfilled.” He finally got up the courage to leave the bank…which led to his second career as a fishing and hunting guide; a career that lasted 12 wonderful years and morphed into his third career…Television!

Perhaps “Morphed” is not the right word. His career as a guide was ended by Hurricane Andrew. Flip and his wife Diane (he calls her D.B.) lived in Homestead, Florida when Andrew whirled in one evening destroying their home and scattering their property. Pretty much everything was lost. Friends like John “Dozer” Donnell, “Lefty” Kreh, Ted Jurascik, Joe Lunsford, Randy Miller, Glenn Lau, Mike Ehlers and Ron Hinman showed up immediately and pulled Flip and Diane’s spirits out of the wreckage. But with his skiff, airboat, truck and tackle all gone, Flip was out of the guide business.

Diane and Flip left South Florida and relocated in Mims…in Central Florida…between the St. Johns River and the Mosquito Lagoon. Yet more fertile ground for the total outdoorsman! The production of outdoor television became his third career.

Episodes of the ABC American Sportsman and the Outdoor Life series are where it all began (with the help of Stu Apte and Glenn Lau). His first series, on his own, was the Saltwater Angler, which aired for two years on TBS. Following that the Walkers Cay Chronicles was born and aired original programming for 16 seasons on ESPN. Along the way a couple of seasons with Mr. Glenn Lau filming Quest for Adventure which aired on OLN. Finally, 2007-2008 (tel:2007-2008) found him hosting Fishing the Keys on the VERSUS network. He is currently working on several projects including bringing the Walkers Cay Chronicles back as an online "e-zine".

Flip has written a book called Mangroves, Memories and Magic and has just completed a two DVD set entitled All the Best: A Conversation with Flip and Lefty Kreh. A few years back, his latest book, a biography of Lefty Kreh hit the stands. Flip still lives in Mims with his best fishing buddy D.B. His daughter Brooke and granddaughter Sora are keeping an eye on his native Dade County.

Rest assured, that along every step of the way, Flip’s good humor, great insight and unparalleled passion for fishing and the outdoors have defined his success.

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