Captain B.J. CHARD
When it comes to careers, most have one and maybe two by the time they retire. Before the age of 20, B.J. Chard is already starting his second career. From the age of 3, B.J.’s love for the sport of ice hockey was obvious and he began learning to “get out of it what you put into it.” With this outlook, the sky became the limit as he embarked on an incredible journey. Born in Key West, located in the Florida Keys, ice hockey is unheard of. Growing up being home schooled, B.J. had extra time to work hard and hone his hockey skills for years, all whilst traveling 3-4 hours each way to the nearest ice rink. His hard work paid off in a big way as he joined the nation’s 8th top ranked AAA Elite hockey team in Detroit by the time he was 10. By the time he turned 15, B.J.’s continued hard work helped him to make it all the way to the #1 ranked amateur hockey team in the nation. For two years in a row, they won over 18 tournaments that included all of the most prestigious amateur hockey tournaments in the world. The Silver Sticks Tournament in Toronto concludes with the winners getting their name engraved on a Silver Stick Trophy which gets displayed in the NHL Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto.
At the young age of 17, B.J. then took a big, early step by moving to Greater 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, B.J. felt it was time to take a break from the ice and follow in his dad’s footsteps to become a saltwater 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, B.J. has guided many fly fishing industry pros. He guided Louis Cahill of Gink and Gasoline to a day he will never forget, and guided 2 major successful fly fishing industry photo shoots along with filming a successful tarpon fly fishing show for Ford Outdoors “The Outfitters.” The show aired on The Sportsman Channel in October 2017. B.J. just got back from Following that, B.J. headed to Christmas Island where he and his dad hosted and filmed 2 shows for another Fly Fishing TV Show called “Seasons on the Fly,” which airs on NBC Sports. Look for B.J. in many different fly fishing articles and instructional videos soon to come.
Even though hockey was B.J.’s main focus while growing up, that didn’t stop him from fly fishing every chance he got. B.J. 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, fishing Northern Canada for huge pikes, bone and permit fishing trips throughout the Bahamas, snook and redfishing trips throughout Florida, and extensive experiences fly fishing for tarpon, permit, and bonefish throughout the Florida Keys.
Currently training for his International Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructors Certification, B.J.’s 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, B.J. enjoys upland bird hunting with his lab “Echo”. You can meet B.J. at many of the Fly Fishing Shows this upcoming season in Denver, New Jersey and Atlanta.