YETI has just released their first book called TARPON. The book consists of a collection of stories and photographs giving praise to the infamous big eye species the TARPON. We had a chance to sit down with David Mangum – the mastermind (and curator) behind the new book – to ask a few questions about how it all came together! Check out the interview below.

YETI_20191010_Product_Tarpon-Book_Spread_P12-13_Face-with-Bandana_ForwardFlylords: We just received our copy of the Tarpon book, and wow Dave, what an incredible job! What does it feel like to be finished with the project?

Dave: Lots of emotions, relief, nervousness, excitement, pride, and a lil disappointment that it’s over.


Flylords: What was the original conversation with YETI like when they approached you about the book?

Dave: Roy and I were Tarpon fishing, he was on the bow, and outta the blue, he turned around and said, “Have you ever thought about doing a book”? We spent the next few days hashing out how it would look.

Flylords: How do you begin laying out pieces to go into a book with so many creators involved?

Dave: Collect as many images as possible. Then define the criteria. Tried to select images that were timeless and told a story about the “culture” of tarpon fishing


Flylords: Where did you source the images from?

Dave: Over 30 different photographers and Austin Coit and I hit the road for the portrait shots, wish I could have had even more time for that.

diryt water poon

Flylords: How do you time-manage effectively for deadlines and due dates?

Dave: Stay ahead of the due dates, finish things ahead of time. It wasn’t a problem.


Flylords: What surprises did you encounter that added or changed the direction of the book?

Dave: Nothing really changed the direction. The only tough part was collaboration with other creatives on which images should be involved, we only had so many pages to work with. I wish it could have been 300pages…


Flylords: What are your creative aspirations for the book?

Dave: I just hope those within the Tarpon world feel it’s a true representation of the sport and fish.

brett and vern

Flylords: What do you hope to see it express or change in the fly fishing world?

Dave: Nothing, don’t want it to change a thing. I’m just so happy to have a chance to create something you can put your hands on.


Flylords: What is your opinion on YETI taking a pivot from lifestyle products to produce a print book like this?

Dave: I think it’s exactly in their storytelling  wheelhouse, we all know their films, this is simply a print version of that storytelling they are so good at, I’m just honored they trusted me with telling that story.


Flylords: Do you have a favorite page of the book? Anything else to add? 

Dave: The last 2 pages, the portraits!

David Mangum is owner and operator of Shallow Water Expeditions

In an interview with us, Dylan Schmitz (Contributing Photographer) explained why he was so excited to be apart of this project:


Dylan: I’ve been fishing all my life but I didnt get into the photography and videography side of things until I linked up with Marty Gallipeau each summer when we came back from college. In 2012 we actually submitted a photo to YETI’s monthly photo contest and won a cooler! We were stoked. Since then we’ve always been big fans of the brand and the people behind it. Its such an honor to be a part of this project, and David Mangum did such great job with it. I used to watch his films way back and they were super inspiring, he deserves a lot of credit for showing this awesome side of saltwater fly fishing.


In YETI’s words, “Take a visual journey into the world that surrounds this iconic fish with our first YETI Presents book, curated by David Mangum. Over 130 pages of stunning photography and short essays from some of the sport’s most influential writers, including Charles Gaines, Thomas McGuane, Randy Wayne White, and Diana Rudolph, in celebration of the culture of the Silver King.” When asked about a personal story with the Silver King Dylan Schmitz said;


One time some buddies and I went down to Key West and had tough fishing, but the trip was amazing overall. We spent lots of days looking for hungry fish up and down the key, just pushing in. Some days of good weather in the 80s. Was on the poling platform, the sun was going down, and a circle of fish formed, and I slapped my fly down in the middle of the circle and this big girl took it. We got the set, the girl ran, and the prototype rod my friend bought broke in like four pieces. I don’t fish to land tarpon; I fish for the jumps or the fish and the fight.”

Be sure to check YETI’s New Book online here.

Costa Behind the Guides: David Mangum

How to Tie: The Tarpon Bunny


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