Captain B.J. CHARD
When it comes to careers most have one and maybe two by the time they retire. BJ Chard at the young age of 18 is already starting his second career. Since BJ was 3 years old his love for the sport of ice hockey showed as he learned to “get out of it what you put into it”. With this outlook the sky became the limit as he created a journey for himself that seems near impossible to most. Born in Key West located in the Florida Keys, ice hockey is unheard of. Growing up being home schooled, BJ had extra time to work hard to hone his skills for years while traveling nearly 3-4 hours each way back and forth from the nearest ice rink. His hard work paid off big time as BJ walked on to the 8th top ranked AAA Elite hockey team in the nation in Detroit Michigan by the time he was 10. By the time he turned 15, BJ’s continued hard work helped him to make it all the way to the #1 ranked amateur hockey team in the nation two years in a row winning over 18 tournaments that included every one of the most prestigious amateur hockey tournaments in the world. One of which tournaments was called the Silver Sticks Tournament in Toronto where the winners get their name engraved on a Silver Stick Trophy that gets displayed in the NHL Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto.
At the young ripe age of 17 BJ then took a big early step by moving to up Subury Ontario Canada to play Canadian Jr-A hockey as an under aged, under sized rookie defenseman in a league of 21 year olds. After playing a full season as the top minute man on the team BJ felt it was time to take a break from the ice and follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a salt water fly fishing guide landing himself back in the Florida Keys. Now the second journey in his life begins.
Within the first full tarpon season in the Keys, BJ has guided many fly fishing industry pros, Guided Louis Cahill of Gink and Gasoline to a day he will never forget, guided 2 major successful fly fishing industry photo shoots along with filming a successful tarpon fly fishing show for Ford Outdoors “The Outfitters” that can be seen on the Sportsman Channel on Sunday October 15th at 10am EST and Tuesday October 17th at 3pm EST. On the books is another Fly Fishing TV Show in Late Nov for “Seasons on the Fly” that airs on NBC Sports. Look for BJ in many different fly fishing articles and instructional videos soon to come.
Even though hockey was BJ’s main focus while growing up that didn’t mean he wasn’t fly fishing every chance he could get. BJ has gained experience in the fly fishing world by traveling and fly fishing in Alaska for giant trout and Salmon, trout fishing throughout Colorado, Michigan and the Smokey Mountains, Northern Canada for HUGE Pike, bone and permit fishing trips though out the Bahamas, snook and redfishing trips throughout Florida and of course extensive experience fly fishing for tarpon, permit and bonefish throughout the Florida Keys.
Currently training for his International Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructors Certification BJs goal is to become the only other flats guide in the Florida Keys that is a Master Certified Casting Instructor other than his father Bruce.
As an avid outdoorsman as well, BJ enjoys upland bird hunting with his new lab puppy “Echo”. You can meet BJ personally at many of the Fly Fishing Shows this upcoming season in Denver, New Jersey and Atlanta.