Office Broker Writes the Book on Stories About the Great Outdoors

Office broker Ridr Knowlton always loved the stories that expedition guides and friends and family told while fly-fishing, hunting and sitting around campfires at night. Now it’s led to an unexpected side job as an author.

Once he got into commercial real estate and went on worldwide adventures with colleagues, clients and competitors, he heard scores of stories he found worthy of a larger audience. So in July 2021, he released a collection of stories from leaders of hunting and fishing expeditions called “The Guides: A Collection of Untamed Stories.”

“As I was hearing these stories, I started recording them and just handwriting notes as I heard them because I thought they were incredible stories and I wanted to save them and record them for friends and family,” Knowlton said in an interview. “So the book really just started out as a list of stories that I had heard around various camps from various guys and outfitters around the world.”

“The Guides” (Ridr Knowlton)

The book, from Warren Publishing in Rock Hill, South Carolina, includes stories from trip leaders and outfitters who faced blinding blizzards, angry bears, hungry crocodiles and other unusual challenges.

Knowlton is senior vice president of office leasing at Lincoln Harris in Charlotte, North Carolinawhere he represented the firm on several high-profile deals at its Legacy Union mixed-use development in uptown Charlotte. They include the Honeywell headquarters lease and Deloitte and Robin Hood office deals at the development.

But those work adventures paled in comparison to the outdoor tales he heard.

“The book has been well received by sportswomen and sportsmen, as well as readers who just enjoy a good story,” he said. “And that’s been the most rewarding to me because whether you’re into fly-fishing or bird hunting or any of those activities, everybody loves a good story.”

Knowlton grew up hunting and fishing on a farm in upstate New York before moving to Savannah, Georgia, when his father, Richard Knowltongot a job at the Port of Savannah.

Ridr Knowlton attended Emory University in Atlanta and started his real estate career in the Georgia capital with LaSalle Partners before later moving to JLL. As much as he enjoys his career, it’s fly-fishing that runs in Knowlton’s blood. His grandfather and great-grandfather were two of the early fly-fishing outfitters around Roscoe, New York, near the Catskills.

While living in greater Atlanta, Knowlton headed north toward the hills to fish, and in 2015 he left Atlanta for Charlotte with his family to work for Lincoln Harris, letting him explore fly-fishing in the eastern Carolinas.

Knowlton, who said he donates book sale proceeds to conservation organizations including Miami-based Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, plans a follow-up collection. But he acknowledged it might take some time.

“I don’t think that’ll be for several years because what it showed me is how long the last one took,” he said. “So the next one is maybe a few years out.”

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