Capt. Tom Rowland grew up in Chattanooga, TN where he developed a love for fishing while spending time with his father. The hours they spent together established a firm foundation for the passion that Tom now has for all types of fishing. While working in Yellowstone National Park, Tom was able to backpack every area of the vast Park and fish the wild backcountry streams. This adventure lead him to a career in guiding originating in Jackson Hole, WY. Second generation outfitter, Joe Bressler helped Tom learn the guiding business giving Tom a huge head start in achieving the level of success that accompanies him today. After 7 seasons as a drift boat guide on the greatest Western Rivers, Tom was ready to begin his saltwater career. Beginning in Key West, Tom spent a year learning the water before he ever took a paying customer. Among many, many others, he had two very important mentors that got him on the right track. Capt. Simon Becker and Capt. Michael Pollack were both very influential in his first years.
Artist Peter Corbin was Tom’s first paying customer and they enjoyed unbelievable success from the get go. On that fateful day, Peter landed 2 Permit on fly in a half day of fishing. Finding that accomplishment difficult to top, Tom worked hard on every charter and quickly developed a reputation of being a patient, extremely hard working and enthusiastic guide. This reputation spread like wildfire and soon Tom was booked constantly. After marrying the love of his life, Tom and Cynthia delivered two wonderful boys and a perfect little girl. Tom’s free time is devotedly spent with his family…sometimes fishing.
Flyfishing has always been important to Tom and he has spent hours daily, perfecting his fly casting and teaching techniques. In Los Angeles, Tom recorded a 131 foot fly cast with a standard 5 weight fly line and 9 foot graphite fly rod. In 2000, Tom competed in the inaugural ESPN Great Outdoor Games in Lake Placid, NY and won two medals, a silver in the Fly Casting division and a Gold in the Overall. Since 1997, Tom Rowland’s tournament record includes more than 65 championships, divisional wins or top 5 finishes in international, national, regional and local tournaments for a wide variety of species. These wins come from fly fishing tournaments as well as conventional tackle tournaments in fresh and saltwater against an international field.
The local tournament success lead Tom to try the national tournaments. The Redfish Tournaments were designed for a two man team. Tom had fished against Rich Tudor in numerous tournaments and respected his abilities. Together they formed a great team and a great friendship. Success followed and they gathered sponsors as quickly as they gathered tournament wins. The tournaments were a stepping stone to the television success they now have.
Tom is a family man. His top priority is to his family and the tournaments were taking too much time away. After a hurricane passed over Key West while Tom and Rich were fishing a tournament in Venice, LA, Tom decided that he had had enough and would no longer sacrifice the safety of his family for the pursuit of tournament wins. This decision led to the creation of Saltwater Experience, something they could do in their home waters that would not take nearly as much time away from the families.
If his name or face is familiar, it may be because he has demonstrated at fishing shows around the country, published articles and photography in books and magazines and filmed more than 30 nationally televised fishing shows before creating Saltwater Experience. Saltwater Experience is enjoying its 17th year in production. It has been seen on ESPN, Discovery Channel, NBC Sports, Fox, Sportsman Channel, and other networks over the years as television delivery has changed. Today, the show is on Discovery Channel, Fox, Sportsman but receives the highest numbers on Waypoint TV , a digital network for the outdoorsman.
Education has always been a big part of the mission that has driven Tom Rowland. TV shows are limited to 22 minutes and 30 seconds and there is just not enough time to go deep into many subjects that Tom finds interesting. In 2018 Tom started his podcast, the Tom Rowland Podcast with a single episode a week. Since then, Tom has expanded the podcast to 5 episodes a week including 2 full length interviews with icons and up and coming talented outdoor professionals, 1 How To episode and 2 episodes dedicated to physical and mental preparedness. The show is listened to in almost every country in the World and has grown every day since starting.
Saltwater Experience is the culmination of Tom Rowland’s fishing goals by allowing others to see what captivates Tom to obsession.