Grassy Key, Florida
How did you become a part of the Skinny Water Culture Collective?
My name is Captain Derek Rust. I was born in the small town of Whitman, Massachusetts located on the south shore of the state. I grew up there fishing the local ponds for bass, and the near coastal waters for stripers, bluefish, and false albies. Fishing was always a passion of mine, and it started at a very early age. My mother and my uncle were responsible for getting me into the sport of fishing. They always made time to bring me out fishing when I was young, and I will never forget that.
In my early 20’s, I moved from Massachusetts to Lake Tahoe,California to pursue another passion of mine, skiing. After a short time, skiing fell quickly to second place in the pecking order after I fell in love with fly fishing. The challenge fly fishing is what draws me to it. It is always humbling, but can be extremely rewarding when everything lines up right. Once I started fly fishing, it became a quest to catch everything that swims on a fly, and, I spend all of my free time and money doing it. This quest has taken me to some pretty amazing places around the planet in search of new challenges. This is what ultimately drove me to move to the Keys full time. The challenge of sight fishing here became addicting, and I was completely consumed by it.
I have been visiting the middle Keys since I graduated high school. I always loved the island lifestyle, and knew that I wanted to end up here one day, and, somehow it worked out. I now live in Marathon, FL, right in the middle of the Keys full time. I guide here in the Keys year round, and I specialize in fly fishing and light tackle shallow water sight fishing. Sight fishing is highly exciting, and, can be addicting. The thrill of hearing your own heart beat while a monster permit tails in front of you is something you will never forget. Fishing is my life. I love to share my passion down here with everyone, and I am fortunate to get to do it on a daily basis.