Please join us!
February 22nd, 2024 at 6pm
At the shop for a tying demonstration by Ben Whalley.
This event is geared towards more advanced Skilled fly tyers Please bring your own tools and vises. Materials will be available to use or purchase. If you are a beginner, please feel free to attend and watch!
In the world of fly fishing, there are those whose passion transcends boundaries, connecting diverse landscapes through the art of angling. Capt. Ben Whalley's journey from the shores of Portland, Maine, to the Old City Fly Shop in St. Augustine, Florida, marks a unique convergence of experiences. This blog post unveils the story of Ben Whalley, a seasoned angler whose obsession with fly fishing began in South Florida and evolved into a full-time guiding venture, bringing him to the sunny flats of St. Augustine for a soon-to-be unforgettable fly tying demonstration and redfish fishing expedition with the Old City Guide Service.
A Journey from South Florida to Maine: Ben Whalley's love affair with fly fishing traces back to his youth in South Florida, where he discovered the magic of angling with his dad's old fiberglass rod and a box of cherished flies. However, it was in the wild terrains of Brasil, amidst horse-breaking and ranch work, that Ben honed his skills in exploring wilderness and waterways, learning to spin imitations of local berries and forage fish. His formative years in South America laid the foundation for a lifelong connection to diverse fishing environments.
Maine: A New Chapter Begins: In 2003, Ben made the move to Maine, where his obsession with wild salmonids and striped bass flourished. By 2015, he was offering guided wading trips, sharing his passion for trout and striped bass with others. The expansive flats of the Gulf of Maine became his playground, drawing inspiration from his South American roots and creating functional, realistic saltwater flies that paid homage to the brilliance of Bob Popovic's creations.
Bob Popovic's Influence: Ben's journey took a significant turn with the mentorship of Bob Popovic, a name synonymous with innovative fly patterns. As a mentor and friend, Bob's influence heightened Ben's ability to craft effective saltwater flies. Ben's creations, heavily influenced by Popovic's brilliance, became a testament to the enduring tradition of passing down knowledge in the fly fishing community.
A Bold Decision: From Engineer to Full-Time Guide: In 2022, Capt. Ben Whalley made a courageous decision to leave behind a successful career as a Senior Engineer and Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt. He embraced his true calling and passion, founding Ben Whalley Fishing LLC to guide full-time. This transition allowed him to immerse himself entirely in the world of fly fishing, dedicating his days to sharing his expertise and love for the sport.
The Upcoming Old City Fly Shop Experience: Capt. Ben Whalley's journey is bringing him to the Old City Fly Shop in St. Augustine, Florida, where anglers eagerly await his upcoming fly tying demonstration. Attendees are poised for a showcase of Ben's functional and realistic saltwater flies, influenced by years of angling and the guidance of Bob Popovic. The anticipation of this event is already fostering a sense of camaraderie among fly fishing enthusiasts, creating an environment where knowledge and passion will flow seamlessly.
The Future Redfish Adventure with Old City Guide Service: The excitement continues to build as Capt. Ben Whalley prepares to join forces with the Old City Guide Service and Capt. Matt Omlor for an upcoming redfish fishing expedition. The beautiful expanses of St. Augustine's waters are set to provide the backdrop for a soon-to-be memorable day of angling, where Ben's expertise and passion for the sport are sure to shine through. Whether sharing stories of his South American adventures or offering guidance on the flats, Capt. Ben Whalley is poised to leave an indelible mark on the fishing community in St. Augustine.
Capt. Ben Whalley's journey from South Florida to the Gulf of Maine, and the upcoming adventure to St. Augustine, exemplifies the interconnectedness of the fly fishing world. His unique blend of experiences, from ranch work in Brasil to guiding in Maine, has shaped him into a versatile angler and dedicated guide. As he continues to draw inspiration from the diverse environments that have influenced his journey, Capt. Ben Whalley stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and camaraderie that defines the world of fly fishing.