Name: Rob Fightmaster
Spouse: Christi Fightmaster
Children: None (Unless our German Shepherd, Zoey counts)
Occupation: Owner of Fightmaster Fly Fishing - a business that provides hospitality and fly fishing related consulting services for lodges and resorts around the country.
What was your first paying job?
“I started mowing yards when I was 12. I had a real, live, government-taxed job at 15 - washing dishes.”
If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?
“My wife. I figure everything else would be there, so I would take my best friend.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“Travel across the country fishing.”
What task or activity have you still not gotten around to doing?
“Building a boat. I completely restored a wooden drift boat but have always intended to build one from start to finish.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
‘”I am haunted by waters.”’ - “A River Runs Through It.”
What are you guilty of?
“Eating unhealthy food and way too much of it.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to sail.”
Do you think there is life on other planets?
“I absolutely do, but not necessarily in this solar system. It just seems impossible to me that we’re the only forms of life in a massive universe of which we have little comprehension.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My wooden drift boat. I fish out of it, guide out of it and sometimes just go down into the garage and stare at it.”
What are you reading currently?
“I tend to have a few books going at once. I just finished ‘Audacity of Hope,’ am still working on ‘Lone Survivor’ and just beginning ‘The Orchard Keeper.’”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Adolph Hitler. His deplorable actions and the reactions that they spawned changed the 20th century in more ways than we probably realize.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“When arriving at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, I was told by a staff member that Steven Seagal was currently staying there. After checking in, I was unable to get to the elevators because they were blocked by a large crowd surrounding a red carpet leading to the elevator. I asked an older couple if this was for Steven Seagal. Staring at me like lobsters were dangling from my ears, they informed me it was for the March of the Ducks - a daily tradition of which everyone but me is apparently aware.”
Why did you pursue the career you chose?
“Happiness. I’ve always believed that if you do something because you love it, you’ll do it well, the money will come, and you’ll be happy. So far, so good.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“I’ve taught hundreds of people how to fly fish and have been described by almost all of them as unbelievably patient. However, if those individuals drove with me in Knoxville traffic, they might change their minds.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be a police officer.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Sometimes I wish I was more spontaneous. I have a tendency to be too much of a planner.”
What is your passion?
“In addition to fly fishing, I am passionate about the preservation and protection of wild places.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“It’s hard to beat a long lunch at Bread of Heaven with Bill Eanes, assistant dean of the Blount County programs for Pellissippi State Technical Community College.”
What do you hate?
“Litter. I just don’t like looking at it and what it does physically or aesthetically to places I go.”
What’s your favorite quote?
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is your dream vacation?
“A fly fishing vacation to New Zealand.”
Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?
“Not even close: Tornadoes. I’ve been converted. I’m a Lexington native and didn’t have a dog in the fight until I met Christi, who is an Alcoa graduate, and I’ve gotten to where I’m going to most of their home games.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“ ‘A River Runs Through It.’ I hate to be so predictable, but it’s such a beautiful film.”
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“I’ve read too many great books to single out just one. A few favorites include: ‘Walden,’ ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and ‘The Pearl.’ ”
Would you travel in space?
“If it was free. Otherwise, there’s plenty here on Earth that I’d like to see first.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I’d go back to the mid 1930s and spend a week fishing with my granddad, Paul Langford, but all his grandchildren knew him as Do-Dad.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Indiana Jones. I think it was probably the combination of the intellectual side of him solving mysteries and discovering artifacts, and he was also a tough good guy. Everything worked out for him.”
What is your favorite sport and favorite sport’s team?
“College basketball and college football and the University of Kentucky Wildcats!”
What is the best present you ever received?
“My granddad gave me my first fly rod. It only cost about $30, but it changed my life.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“She taught me that no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else has it worse. If you want to feel better about your own life, help someone less fortunate.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“No, but not because I didn’t deserve it. I was just pretty good at not getting caught.”