RAMBLING ANGLER OUTDOORS
Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed Ken many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after serving as an aviation technician in Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live, work and experience the last frontier.
Climbing mountains to hunt the Sitka Blacktail deer and Black bears. Trolling the ocean for the mighty Chinook Salmon and Coho. Fly fishing the many streams, rivers and estuaries throughout Alaska for the many species that swims there. And catching deep water Halibut are just a few of the things that Ken enjoyed as a young man. Ken spent 10 years fishing bass tournaments and in 2015 finished 12th overall in the BFL Hoosier Division in Indiana. Married now with two beautiful children Garrett and Kayla, Ken calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American traditions. Hunting, Fishing, Camping and Cooking is Ken’s passion and he loves to share wildgame recipes with the title Enjoy the Harvest.
Hi my name is Ken McBroom. I left my career as an aircraft mechanic to be home with my family. Aviation allowed me to quench the wanderlust within. After Desert Storm I vowed to only work 6 months a year for the rest of my life. This gravitated me to a seasonal career that took me literally all over Alaska. First I would spend 2 years in Denver Colorado to add to my military aviation experience as an avionics bench tech with an A&P license from Colorado Aero Tech. It was in Denver that I was introduced to fly fishing on Boulder Creek. I was photographing in the mountains for a couple days and was returning to my car. I saw a man preparing to wade the small creek in Colorado. I asked him if I might tag along. He said sure. I had no fly rod and knew very little about it. After that trip I was convinced that I was going to take up fly fishing, and I did.
That trip up Boulder creek changed my direction completely and my life. It would propel me to head to Alaska for $500 per month before taxes. That is not a misprint. I sold everything I owned and flew to my first job in Juneau Alaska. With nothing but a duffle bag. I wasn’t worried about the pay to start, I just had to get to Alaska. I knew there were plenty of aircraft in Alaska and I would eventually get a better paying job. Didn’t realize that it would happen so quickly. Within 3 weeks of my arrival to Alaska I had changed jobs 3 times and the third only paid $12 an hour but allowed me to work all the hours I wanted. We were building a Sikorsky Skycrane and it was fun so the 16 hours a day 7 days a week was just fine with me.
Eventually I was picked to be on the crew and take the helicopter to the field to work. We worked long hours every day and often several days straight. But, we got 2 weeks off every month to return home and recover. With pay. During those 2 weeks I fished and hunted. I lived on a boat so I would go out alone for days or a week at a time and fish for halibut and salmon. I also had a dinghy that I used to get to many streams, creeks and rivers to fly fish for Cutthroat Trout, Dolly Varden and my favorite on a fly rod, the Coho salmon.
It was a couple years before I could afford to get a fly rod and I actually built it in my bedroom. I even turned the cork handle using a drill motor clamped to a board and the elastic from my fruit of the looms to hold it in place. It was a G-Loomis 3 wt. I actually built two fly rods before this one. I had won three fly rod blanks in the auction. Each one of those rods to include the 3 wt was spoken for even before I started them. People wanted custom fly rods.
Those first two more than paid for the 3 wt that I kept. Two people wanted the 3 wt but I decided to keep it when I was told I was heading to Chicken Alaska to maintain a helicopter. This is when my rod building began and I sold many fly rods as well as spinning rods while in the bush in Alaska. The custom fly rods were the reason I began creating this website more than 20 years ago and ultimately started my path to writing.
The Writing Began In A Tent In Chicken Alaska
The writing journey began in a tent in Chicken Alaska where I penned a ballad called The Legend of Chicken. I was working there as a helicopter mechanic. While it was out flying all day, about 14 hours, I was able to fly fish and pan for gold in the many streams and lakes around camp. I also read many books and wrote. The 8’ G-Loomis 3wt built in a crew house in Southeast Alaska is tucked away now along with the many memories it provided. It was my third custom built fly rods in as many months. Two of them I had sold before even completing them and the thought crossed my mind. Wow! There might be a market for this and the company Rambling Angler Outfitters was born. The name later became Rambling Angler Outdoors.
Determined to work in the outdoor industry my journey began and this is where it would start. I started a charter business with the boat I was living on in Southeast Alaska, but that was short lived. This website was built many years ago to promote my rod building and the flies I tied. The flies were sold in small mom and pop businesses in Alaska. That 3 wt landed many species in remote locations and in streams without names. Many hours was spent building the site between 100-hour inspections, fishing, tying flies and building rods. The ever-changing world wide web proved to be frustrating from the start.
Whoever said “build it and they will come” was not referring to websites, I promise you that.
It only got harder to get traffic as the Googles and Yahoos continuously changed and tweaked their algorithms. These changes seemed to happen just as I felt I had a grasp of it all. Then they would change again leaving me high and dry and learning something new.
I love a challenge so here I am figuring out the next “thing” to get more traffic. Over time, countless hours have been logged working on this website. Lucky for me it seems the remaining search engines have tweaked out the bugs. One of the big changes that helped is when they started rewarding content over tricksters. The buying of backlinks and slapping random words on a page was history and the website creators that posted relevant content with value for their visitors was rewarded with traffic.
This is when my website ranking began to improve. I never knew those other methods and didn’t care to. I posted my stories and relevant content and was finally rewarded. Because of my efforts my website, while maybe not so fruitful in the beginning, began to get traction. Great content is exactly what people wanted, not the tricks that so many played.
Now enter video. I am not an actor, but I plan to start doing video because video content is king. The work continues on SEO and applying it to each page of my site, but now the competition is tough as more companies are figuring out the power of the web. As you may have noticed there isn’t a lot of salesmanship going on here and while there is much more to this journey this is the jest of the website without mention of my freelance writing business. The goal is to share the outdoors and any frustrations encountered is trumped by that desire. Rambling Angler Outdoors marches on for you and anyone interested in this important lifestyle and the traditions it holds. Help keep it alive by joining Rambling Angler Outdoors in that important quest.
I hope to build a following with this site and the content I provide as a place for like-minded outdoors people to gather and hang out with us all. I have a lot of plans for the brand Rambling Angler Outdoors to include adding more guest writers and videos. This new website will allow us all to contribute and create one giant outdoor magazine like atmosphere you can search, interact and contribute. I am excited about the new site and hope you will be too. SIGN UP here and enjoy the information inside.