Over the course of the 17 years that I fished tarpon tournaments in the Florida Keys the man to beat was always Rob Fordyce and who ever was on his bow… Tarpon tournament fly fishing is a team event with an angler and guide. The teams with a strong guide and a strong angler were always tough, but some guides have the ability to just find more fish than other guides and inspire, teach, and calm an angler to be better than he is. Rob Fordyce is that Guide. I always feared great guides more that great anglers and we all knew Fordyce was going to be there at the buzzer. And he was!
If you look deeper into his DNA you’ll understand his genius. First, this man is an athlete. He played baseball and was drafted by the Mariners before an injury forced him onto the water full time. His mentors were hall of famers Al Pflueger Jr. and Flip Pallot. Self guided, he won The Met Master Angler award when he was just 17. The youngest ever.
Over the last four decades he has finished in the top three 58 times in tarpon tournaments. That number was 57 when we interviewed Rob, but he recently won the prestigious Don Hawley tournament for the seventh time. His preeminent success has found him as the most decorated tarpon guide to ever poll a skiff.
He also hosts the popular television show “The Seahunter.”
When he’s not on the water, he’s in the woods somewhere hunting or in the gym benching 400lbs. The man is an animal….
Personally, I can relate very closely to all this, and we’ve been close because of it. We spoke of one day fishing an event together for years and it finally happened in 2015. I am honored to say that my last tournament victory was with Rob by my side calling the shots…