Nathaniel fell in love with fly fishing early on when his mother, a passionate angler herself, taught him to fly cast on the Long Island Sound at the age of six. His formative years were spent, rod in hand, trying to figure out ways to find and catch more fish. By the time he moved to Key West at the age of 21, most of his heroes were the guides and anglers he grew up reading about in saltwater fly fishing magazines. Years later he opened the Angling Company, a fly shop that he owns and operates with his wife Kathryn.
The challenging Florida Keys fishery and the community of skilled fishermen that attend it fueled Nathaniel’s drive to become a better angler. He is an avid world record and tournament fisherman. He has won the March Merkin Permit Tournament three times, the Del Brown Permit Tournament once, the Cuda Bowl Fly Division four times, and placed first in the SLAM Superfly tournament three times. He holds the men’s 2 lb tippet world record for permit with a 16-pound fish caught with Captains John O’Hearn and Chad Huff in August of 2018.
Nathaniel’s dedication to becoming a more effective angler led him to develop the Cobranagle, a knot for tarpon leaders adapted from the Huffnagle to marry strength and stealth when fishing for leader-shy tarpon in clear waters of the Florida Keys. He also aided in the development of Dave Skok’s Strong Arm Merkin through years of tweaks and improvements while fishing for permit in the Lower Keys.
A keen writer, Nathaniel has documented almost every day of his fishing since 2012. These fishing reports are available to read at the Angling Company’s website along with knot-tying tutorials, leader recipes, and other resources for fly anglers.
As a member of the Lower Keys Guides Association, Nathaniel has worked to promote “conservation through stewardship” in the organization’s efforts to protect Similar Sound from dredging plans that would destroy benthic habitat in a historic Keys tarpon spot. He also serves on the board of Bullsugar, an organization that fights for better water management in Florida through Everglades restoration and clean water initiatives.