Islamorada’s Bob Rich is known as one of the wealthiest men in the country through his family’s wholesale food company Rich Products Inc., for which he is chairman, but increasingly he’s getting better known for his angling.
Now, after producing four books — “Fish Fights,” “The Fishing Club,” “The Right Angle” and “Brothers and Sisters of the Angle” — and co-authoring a fifth, “Secrets of the Delphi Cafe,” Rich’s first novel aims to portray the incredible transformations that can take place on the water while waiting for a fish.
In “Looking Through Water,” the narrative centers on William McKay, who finds himself reliving his past to help his troubled grandson, Kyle, deal with the present. The old man wants desperately to discover what is troubling the brooding boy and hopes against hope that sharing his own tortuous journey to self-discovery will lift Kyle from his dark place.
“It’s an adventure and love story filled with conflict, emotion and healing,” Rich said. “It has guns, shooting, dying set against backdrops I’ve always loved — an Adirondacks lake, Manhattan and the Florida Keys, with fishing, too.”
Rich has long been a supporter of nonprofits, among them the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His Buffalo, N.Y., BassEye tournaments support the foundation. He also helps the Keys’ Redbone series of tournaments, which also benefit the foundation.
Proceeds from sales of “Looking Through Water” — it retails for $24.99 — go to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing based in LaPlata, Md., which helps injured military veterans and active-duty military heal from physical and emotional wounds through fishing.
Project Healing Waters began in 2005 serving wounded military members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, it has expanded nationwide to other hospitals and veterans clinics.
The program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod-building classes, along with clinics for participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day and multi-day, are also provided free to participants.