Captain BRUCE CHARD
Captain Bruce Chard has guided anglers to bonefish, permit and tarpon out of the lower Florida Keys since 1992. In addition to logging upward of 220 days a year on the water, Bruce conducts international fly-fishing schools and has developed commercially available fly lines, flies and leaders.
Worst Part of My Job: “The difficulty of the fishery. It’s so challenging to battle the weather, to find the fish, to get the fish to eat. You can have many tough days in a row when you don’t get fish, and it can be tough mentally to deal with that. And there are times when you simply can’t get out on the water because the conditions don’t allow it, and that whacks you financially.”
Key Skills/Experience: “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.”
Occupational Hazard: “Falling off the platform, hand and forearm cramps from poling, the threat of a 3/0 hook screaming at you, and sharks. I once had a 15-foot tiger suck a tarpon out of my hands; it nearly flipped the boat over!”
Best Part of My Job: “The freedom of it. I can take a client fishing anywhere I want—whether it’s trying a new spot or going to a spot I’ve been to a hundred times. I don’t have to answer to anyone.”
Average Day: “Depending on time of year, I’ll leave the dock around 5:30 a.m and return by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. or take off around noon and fish until dark —9:00 or 10:00 p.m. I have an average of an hour of e-mails and other correspondence per day.”
How Many Days Can You Fish: “I get out 20 to 30 days a year. I’ll sneak out some evenings during the guiding season if the conditions are right, and I leave a few weeks to fish in the Bahamas.
After graduating by promptly starting his fly fishing guiding business in the Florida Keys. Bruce has since been a full time Florida Keys fly fishing flats guide gaining 23 years of experience and counting. Specializing in sight fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit, Bruce has become one of the most sought after fly fishing guides in all the Florida Keys.
The host of popular fly fishing schools and adventure trips for bonefish, tarpon, permit, GT’s and sailfish throughout the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Belize, Mexico, Christmas Island and Guatemala for over 20 years.
Captain Bruce’s love and commitment to the sport of fly fishing is shown in his accomplishments within the fly fishing industry. Since becoming addicted to fly fishing in his teens, Bruce knew what his career was going to be right out of high school and didn’t waste any time.
Captain Bruce is a full time Florida Keys Flats guide. For over 17 years now he has guided many anglers to their catch of a lifetime. Captain Bruce has conducted, taught, and hosted many of his own personal fly fishing schools internationally in the Bahamas, Guatemala, Belize, and all over the U.S. As a speaker at sportsman shows around the U.S., Bruce has had the opportunity to establish a working relationship with many of the largest companies in the fly fishing industry, leading to the development of the industry award winning best of show award at 2013 IFTD – Scientific Anglers Grand Slam Bruce Chard Salt Water Fly Line. The Chard line/taper was originally developed for the Jim Teeny Line Company over 10 years ago.
Bruce is currently a top saltwater prostaff member with Hatch Fly Reels, Airflo Fly Lines and Echo Fly Rods. He is an FFF Master Certified Fly Casting Instructor and a former American Fly Fishing Trade Association Board Member – AFFTA. Bruce is also on the Simms Pro Team where he helps extensivley in the design, promotion, and testing of future fly fishing products. Captain Chard is also a top pro staff member with a number of other well know fly fishing companies like Hoorag Bandannas, Smith Action Optics, Gamakatsu Hooks, Whiting Farms, and Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures.
Bruce has also been featured in many past major fly fishing catalogs with Ross Reels, G-Loomis Rods, Winston Fly Rods, Thomas and Thomas Rod Company, River-born Fly Company, Jim Teeny Fly Line Company, and Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. Ross Reels and Ross World Wide have used Bruce extensively in their advertising in multiple fly fishing magazines and online websites through out Bruce’s past working in the industry. You can find Capt. Bruce on the cover of numerous major fly fishing magazines and he has been featured in numerous fly fishing articles. Bruce has published many fly fishing articles, hosted televised fly fishing shows, and most recent of all Bruce stars in the unbelievable fly fishing movie called “RISE” – a Confluence Films Production.