Name: Ben Paull
Location: Seattle, WA
Target Species: Trout, steelhead, salmon, saltwater flats fish, smallmouth bass and pretty much anything that pulls really hard! Sight fishing is probably my favorite thing of all.
When did you start fly fishing and who taught you?
My older brother taught me to fly fish when I was about 9 years old. I learned on a bass pond in Massachusetts where you could catch an infinity of largemouth to about 15 inches. It was a good place to learn. I also had some more interesting early experiences with my brothers fishing for sea run cutthroat on Vancouver Island.
Why do you fly fish?
As Carl Safina wrote, “Fishing provides time to think, and reason not to”. That really sums it up for me. Fishing is medicine. The ability/necessity to completely focus on something that doesn’t actually matter clears the mind and is so healthy. Plus the places fishing takes you are literally the most beautiful in the world!
If you were only allowed to fish with one fly for the rest of your life (regardless of species), what would it be?
Man, that’s pretty hard for someone who fishes both salt and fresh water. I guess I have to say my all time fish catching fly, the Hale Bopp Leech, tied with black/red Arizona Simi Seal dubbing and a small red glass bead head. This fly absolutely crushes trout in freshwater, lakes primarily, but also in rivers. In a tan color I’m sure many bonefish would eat it too.
What is your most memorable fishing experience that didn’t involve the fish?
I guess my best memory that didn’t exclusively involve fishing was when a few friends and I went on sailing trip to the South Pacific in 2009, while trying to make the sickest fly fishing film ever. We failed at that, but we did film a great story that’s coming out this winter. In New Caledonia we met a guy named Marc, and when all other options had been exhausted, he took us up north to the best bonefish country, hosted us, fed us, introduced us to his family, and just generally saved the day big time. He spoke just enough English to be charming and funny and just a really great friend. He was really excited just to meet and fish with other fly fishermen, because he hardly knows anyone in New Caledonia who fly fishes- it’s such a small country, just over a quarter million people.
What is your favorite Red Truck Rod and Reel, and why?
I gotta say the 890 Diesel is a killer rod! I used to go to the Golden Gate ponds and just huck that thing as far as I could, over and over and the line just sailed. I got much better at casting with that Diesel in my hand. Now I fish it with Commando Heads and it is even better. I have the 590 and the 7110 too and love them as well. As for reels, the Diesel reels hands down. I really like click pawls and the reels are just beautiful.