The life of Jose Wejebe, who died April 6 when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff from Everglades City, Fla., will be celebrated Sunday, April 15, at 1:30 p.m. at the International Game Fish Association (IFGA) Museum in Dania Beach, Fla.
Wejebe, 54, of Summerland Key, Fla., was the well-known host of the Spanish Fly fishing show, which first aired in 1995.
Wejebe began his fishing career as a kid, wanting to learn everything he could about the sport. His family had fled Castro's Cuba for the United States, and at a very young age — 12 — he began studying the many facets of fishing, and also writing to his fishing heroes.
Often he would send flies he had tied to fishing legends Flip Pallot, Lefty Kreh and Stu Apt.
His biography can be read here, on the Spanish Fly web site.
The Outdoor Wire carried a story Thursday, April 12, about his upcoming memorial. The entire story can be read here. Below are quotes from some of Jose's admirers included in the Outdoor Wire story.
• Chico Fernandez, author, fly expert and frequent TV guest: "Jose was a fine guitarist, a top fishing guide and a great angler on all facets of the sport. Yet he was humble about his accomplishments. His gentle ways will be missed by so many of us."
• Andy Mill, Olympian, TV host, tarpon fishing champion, author: "Words can't describe the enormity of the fishing world's loss with the passing of Jose. He impacted anyone who admired adventure, laughter and love. He lived large, and brought us all along for the ride, like Peter Pan."
• Flip Pallot - fly expert, host and producer of the Walker's Cay Chronicles: "The unspeakable tragedy of Jose's death has left a great hole in the hearts of family, friends and fans alike. The adventures he has left us on film will forever define him in our combined memory. So long 'Grasshopper.'"
• C.A. Richardson, Flats Class TV host, Tampa Bay guide and educator: "Jose has always been an inspiration throughout my career, teaching through example by staying humble and willingly sharing his vast fishing knowledge with others at industry events and workshops. He's been the most significant face and personality associated with saltwater fishing for nearly 20 years and our entire industry will sorely miss Jose as our most affable and loved ambassador of the sport. So long bro. You'll always be in our thoughts and prayers."
• Chris Peterson, President of Hell's Bay - "I admired Jose's energy, love for life, and dedication to his friends. Jose inspired me with his ability to make everyone around him feel as if they were his personal best friend, or Bro. He had charismatic energy to light a room with just his mere presence. Jose was always willing to give to the children's charities, where he gave of himself and his personal time, a rare quality today. Jose brought his love of the ocean and the salty flats to all of us, like only a few have on film. He entered our homes on television and presented these adventures in such an artful and personal way. Jose, my friend, I wish you Godspeed for the next great adventure. Someday I'll meet you there, but until then you will be missed here."
• Will Benson, Key West guide, writer and film maker - "Watching Jose's show was kind of a journey I'd take on weekends at school, transported back to my home in the Keys or to some exotic location. Through him I knew I wanted to be not only a guide but with a camera and as a writer be a voice and messenger to my generation about fly fishing, nature and the people. He was always cool and relevant by being independent; always presenting an intriguing, compelling and beautiful story about the people through the life, the heart and soul of a guide. He encouraged me as a film maker to look through the eyes of the ocean to see the people."