Thursday, October 13, 2011

20 Questions: Michael Agneta

Michael Agneta is a life-long resident of Philadelphia and a relative newcomer to fly fishing, but throughout the blogosphere, he's well-known as the author of the popular Troutrageous! blog. The blog, now four years old, is a mix of fishing and pop culture peppered with frequent references to Lilly, Michael's 5-year-old daughter (poor Lilly... the world will know her too well!).
Michael and the famous Lilly.
Michael's married to K.C., his wife of 11 years, and he's the treasurer of the Stony Creek Anglers fishing club in Montgomery, Penn. He started fly fishing in 2008, as has "been hemorrhaging money ever since."

He's a small-stream junkie, and he's fond of the Tenkara rod, but no so fond that he's jettisoned his complicated life in the 'burbs to live a simple Buddhist existence on the banks of some Appalachian brook trout stream. In his words, he "evidently forgot to drink the Kool-Aide."

As an aside ... Michael's responses to the EMBT 20 Questions Challenge were exactly what I had in mind when I started this little weekly feature a couple months back. The bar's been set pretty high. Good luck, future participants... you're going to need it. On with the questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I'm probably supposed to say fishing a cool mountain stream in search of wild brook trout. Unfortunately, I've never done that, so a more practical idea of happiness is having my daughter Lilly give me a unsolicited hug, kiss, and an "I love you Daddy." Likely while I'm consuming a big, Costco-sized tub of Party Mix.

What is your greatest fear? 
 Time for a the moment, my home state of Pennsylvania's willingness to bend over and "take it," (in addition to handouts) from natural gas developers and their lobbyists. Just handing over rights to huge swaths of state forests left and right. With such lax regulations on, and minimal penalties for, environmental contamination violations, something serious is certain go wrong in the not too distant future. Can't say I look forward to drinking only bottled water for the rest of my life.

Because of the fastball? Nope.
Which living person do you most admire? 
Rollie Fingers. Growing an enviable moustache remains a dream unfulfilled.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 
 I'm a nervous fingernail biter with a potty mouth. So go f*ck yourself.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 
Dishonesty. Disrespect. Greed. I know that's three, but they all kind of go hand in hand. I'm not a religious person, but I do strongly believe in karma and paying things forward.

What is your favorite journey? 
My wife and I drove from Kansas back to Pennsylvania after her senior year of college. We were young and poor, the car didn't fare too well driving over 50 mph, and we kinda got turned around while looking for some after-hours food in rural West Virginia. That was fun.

On what occasion do you lie?
When I fill out 20 Question thingies for other blogs.

Which living person do you most despise?
The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Is it okay if I count them as one person? If not, Andy Reid is getting pretty darn close...

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 
"Awesome," "Dude," "Nice," stuff like that. Sometimes I wonder if I learned how to talk from watching Bill & Ted... I'm also quite fond of using ellipses... aka three periods in a row... when writing... like this...

What is your greatest regret? 
That I don't have a better relationship with my Dad. It's complex.

Which talent would you most like to have? 
I've often thought being able to sing well would be a nice talent to have. However, enough beers in close proximity to a karaoke machine and I turn into a beardless Kenny Rogers. "You got to know when to hold em..."

Is it worth it to go all trivial on a cruise ship?
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Winning at "Jeopardy" on a Carnival Cruise. I wrecked those other two schmucks. Yeah, you know like THIS trophy, Trebek. I think one of my victims got me back later in the cruise on BINGO night...

In another life...
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? 

What is your most treasured possession?
 I don't really get sentimental about objects. I'm much more fond of memories. Other than my fly tying materials, I'm an anti-hoarder. I do kinda like my Steve Irwin Bobblehead.

Where would you like to live? 
Hmmm...I work in merchandise management by places like Springfield, MO, Freeport, ME, or Sunderland, VT might be nice...not sure if I could do Kearney, NE though.

Who are your favorite writers? 
I used to read a lot more than I do now. My favorite writers used to be Dr. Seuss and whoever wrote the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Today's reading tends to come in the form of blogs, so I'd have to say my favorites are Erin Block, Owl Jones, Kirk Mantay, Mike Sepelak, Ben Smith, and Clif (last name redacted). When they post something new, it definitely gets read (even though I'm bad at commenting).

Who are your heroes? Since I'm known as a fishing blogger, would it be odd to say I don't really have any fishing heroes? That said, I wish Mel Moore was my cool uncle. A true class act that guy. All cards on the table, my real hero has got to be my Mom. It's impossible to give single moms enough credit and respect for what they sacrifice for their kids.

How would you like to die?
Shot down in a blaze of glory...soundtrack by Jon Bon Jovi.

Meet Troutrageous!
What’s on your iPod?
 I don't have an iPod. There have been some wildly popular things I've simply never done. Like watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" for example. It was like the number one show on TV for years. Never watched it once. Maybe I should buy an iPod, download old episodes of Ray, and kill two birds with one stone. That said, if I had an iPod, it would probably have Earth, Wind, & Fire on it...I've seen them in concert at least 4 times... and damn if that Maroon 5 "Moves Like Jagger" song ain't catchy.

In three words, how would your closest friends describe you?
How about one word? Wookie.

BONUS QUESTION: If there is a Heaven, and you go to Heaven, what would God say to you upon your arrival?
Get your sticker here...
"Can I have a sticker for my Godmobile?"


  1. Nice job to you and Mike, who used to be my hero...!

  2. I think we can do without a Hasselhogg II ! Ha. My hero is now T!...he has gone to more EW&F concerts than I have!

  3. name redacted! hahaha. what an honor to be named in that group - especially after all the worthless drivel I've been spewing forth lately. i'm speechless.

  4. I may have learned almost enough about the man to lose whatever respect I was gradually developing for him. Almost, but not quite. Great Q&A, and interestingly the secret access word code required for leaving this comment was "pretboar" which somehow seems fitting, although I am not sure how.

  5. T! is my hero. Rollie Fingers sealed it. Who else is cool enough to mention the bubble gum and tobacco chewing, inventor of the brostache, fast ball wizard?

  6. I was in stitches editing these answers... like I said, the bar is a little higher after today...

  7. This one will be tough to top...well done T!

  8. Great, now I'm going to have Hasselhoff nightmares. T!oo much info!

  9. For the record, while I made the suggestion, Mr. EMBT found that "unique" Hasselhoff picture embedded to this article. Also for the record, I'm mad I didn't find it first.

    This was fun. Thanks Chris.

  10. Oh, I have a whole sordid library of Hoff photos... don't ask...

    And thanks, Mike. You made it fun.

  11. i like anybody who appreciates a good mustache. mike is alright by me.

  12. That Rollie Fingers mustache is quite epic, good call there.