Amazing natural beauty, excitement, and selective fish are not found only on trout streams. A good argument could be made that the ultimate challenge of sight casting to large, spooky fish is in the Florida Keys, and that’s where our February speaker is a premier guide. It’s likely you’ve seen Captain Bruce Chard in the fly fishing media, whether in Rise, the 2009 DVD from Confluence Films (there’s a reason it looks like a Warren Miller skiing movie), or from one of the 14 covers of a fly fishing magazine he’s been on. Bruce has been a guide in the Florida Keys for over 20 years, which is not a place where a guide can squeak by on a good line of patter and matching the hatch. Bonefish, permit, and tarpon don’t respond well to tackle rigged with a strike indicator and a dropper. Bruce sums it up well himself:
You need to be able to lock in with the customer when they step on the boat. You can’t get frustrated with anglers when they don’t put the fly where it needs to go. You want them to believe that the next cast will be the one, even if they’ve missed 32 shots in a row. There are some guides who will sometimes behave like jerks to clients—I love it, as they give me business. I try to look at my role as that of a teacher more than a guide. Even if a client doesn’t get into fish on a given day, they’ll leave the boat having learned something, and they value that.
Bruce is known for his contributions to developing new tackle, new fly patterns, and new techniques. He has conducted fly fishing and casting schools not only in the Keys, but the Bahamas, Mexico, and Belize as well. He is an FFF certified Master Casting Instructor, and on the pro staffs of Simms, Hatch Fly Reels, Airflo Fly Lines, Echo Fly Rods, Smith Action Optics, Gamakatsu Hooks, Whiting Farms, and Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. You can get a much better sense of his photography by visiting his website at www.brucechard.com
Even if you’re one of those remaining PCC members who claim to only be interested in trout, try something new, stick on a disguise, and join us at the San Marino Masonic Lodge, 3130 Huntington Drive, San Marino, 91108, on Thursday evening, February 11th, at 7:30 p.m.
Seymour R. Singer