Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet formed Trout Fishing in America in 1979 as a means of survival. They traveled to California as a part of the Texas-based five-piece band St. Elmo’s Fire with hopes of being discovered and signed by a major record label. When no such opportunity arose, and the promising tour dissolved, Keith and Ezra peeled off from their bandmates to fend for themselves. Busking on the streets of Santa Cruz with an acoustic guitar, and an upright bass, the pair quickly learned that engaging listeners instantly was the only path towards dollars and coins in the open guitar case. When entry in a music contest required them to have a name for their act, they chose Trout Fishing in America as an homage to Keith’s love of writer Richard Brautigan and Ezra’s love of fishing.