I live in Clearwater, Florida, adjacent to some of my favorite fishing spots like Sand Key, St. Joseph Sound, and Belleair Causeway. I was born in Columbus, Ohio and lived there for a good part of my childhood. My parents were quite the travelers, so we moved a lot. One notable place we lived was Upstate NY, where there are a lot of different fishing seasons. My "real" job is with The City of Clearwater Utilities Department. Fishing was always a part of our family’s activities. Some of my earliest memories are of family camping and fishing trips. In the early 90's I was very heavily into bass fishing. Did a few Pro-Am Tournaments and such. Had a buddy who saltwater fished but never bass fished, so we took turns taking each other out. I found quite a few similarities in bass fishing and saltwater fishing. After I caught my first 20 lb snook, I pretty much retired the bass fishing gear. I used to primarily wade fish, but kept spotting fish across the channel or somewhere I couldn’t reach. Being a minimalist, I've never really been into boats. Had a canoe, but it wasn't practical for fishing. A kayak gives me the ability to get where the fish are and helps me cover more water faster.
You're very active on your blog, YakAngler.com and twitter what’s the attraction that keeps you so active? Is it social, is it competitive, or is a little bit of both.
I feel that if I can help someone by posting information on my blog, then I've helped make the world a better place. My overall goal and desire is to become a bit more prominent in the field of magazine writing. If I had several staff writing gigs, I could reach more people. Also, Twitter and Yakangler are great ways to meet new people and get invitations to go fishing all over the world. I enjoy communicating with like minded folks. As you know, my style is a bit different for a fly fishing kayaking writer. I prefer sleeveless skull shirts and crushed up cowboy hat over the same vented sun shirts and Columbia hats that everyone else wears....
I've been an avid reader of your Blog http://rob-abadbackcastandotherinanemusings.blogspot.com tell me a little about how you got started writing and what your blog is all about.
I started my blog in March of 2009 with no prior writing experience. My reasons for starting it were two-fold - I had a girlfriend who is a very gifted writer yet she has a hard time believing in her skills. My school of thought is that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. So I started the blog to show her that if I could do it, she wouldn't have a problem. The other reason was I was really getting into fly fishing. I had bought a 6 weight starter fly fishing outfit at Sports Authority and I was looking all over the Internet trying to find information about gear, techniques, etc. The only place I could find anything was on fly fishing blogs, so I figured that there might be other folks like me out there who were having the same problem, so I wrote a lot of "how to's" and posted information about where to find good deals on gear and that it was possible to get into fly fishing without having to part with a grand just to get started. My girlfriend and I were going on camping and fishing trips on a constant basis, so I figured the blog would also be a good place to document our trips. I didn't have any idea how to promote my blog or who would want to read it, so I started leaving comments on other fly fishing related blogs, which drove traffic to mine and helped me grow a following. Some big name fly fishing folks were always nice and took the time to answer my questions. Folks like Pete McDonald at Fishing Jones, Ken Morrow at Upstream, and Marshall Cutchin at Midcurrent were instrumental. The blog, and me as a fisherman were strictly fly fishing only. It's evolving into a kayak fishing blog as well, just as I evolve as a writer and a fisherman. To me, fly casting and fly tying is an art form. I love tying flies just as much as I love fishing.
Tell us a little about your "ride" and some of the positives and negatives associated with your kayak. Also what changes would you make for it to be the perfect fishing machine in your eyes?
My kayak is a Malibu Stealth-12 in lime green. It's named "Bad Rebecca" after fly fishing writer and friend Rebecca Garlok from Boise, ID. She writes a blog called The Outdooress and is a great person, writer and fly fisher. I first saw a Malibu Mini-X when I was looking at kayaks on Craig’s List. I LOVED the way it was compact, yet stable and had storage options. After checking out other models in the Malibu line, I decided on the Stealth 12 because I really don't have a need or the place to put a 14 foot kayak. I love the center live well hatch for storing everything I need. I can also fit all of my camping gear in it with the gator hatch at the front. It's a great combination of stability and storage. I've been toying with the idea of putting a Scotty three way holder to be able to mount my GPS, camera and fly rod, but I don't like to have any obstructions for the fly line to wrap up on, so I keep putting it off....I really would like to have those things mounted right there in front of me though. I really need a seat upgrade too. Been looking at a few options. The only thing I DON'T like about my kayak is the weight. It's a chore dragging it up and down 2 flights of stairs.
What does Rob usually bring with him gear wise when fishing?
I'm fairly minimalist - I have a water tight box for my phone, keys, camera and cell phone. I bring a medium fly box, a multi-tool, scissors, a few soft plastics and terminal tackle like hooks and weights.
Depending on the target, I'll bring either an 8 weight Pflueger Purist rod with Pflueger 1978 Trion Reel outfit for the flats fish or a Wild Waters 12 weight rod with a Pflueger Trion 1912 for big fish like tarpon. I usually have 2 spinning rigs with me too. Usually Ugly Sticks with Penn Silverado reels and 20 lb Power Pro line.
Finally in closing I know I have a bucket list, anything kayak fishing related on yours?
I've done a lot of fishing all over the place, but I'd LOVE to one day take a trip to the Seychelles Islands to go fishing for big bonefish and huge jacks....or, since the Florida Keys are a favorite of mine, maybe Cuba one day.
To check out more of Rob's Other Inane Musings go to www.rob-abadbackcastandotherinanemusings.blogspot.com/