Elite Pro Profile: Ben Zander

By Sage Fly Fish

Captain Ben Zander grew up just blocks from Puget Sound and is a third generation fly fisherman. Starting his fly fishing career at Pacific Fly Fishers in 2004 and then his guide service, Sound Fly Fishing in 2007. Ben is still as passionate about his angling cliental as he was the first day he received his guide license. In addition to Puget Sound, Ben hosts trips to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean for tarpon, bonefish, and permit. However, his passion cannot be contained for the cutthroat of Puget Sound. South sound, to Seattle, to north of Bellingham, Ben has fished it all. He has developed innovative flies for imitating baitfish, shrimp and other aquatic insects.

Ben has also pioneered the use of a push pole in Puget Sound. This opens up not only the skinniest of waters that others are standing on it allows for perfect shot at the fish with a turn of the boat. It is the most effective way to fish for salty cutthroat.

Ben is licensed by the USCG as an OUPV operator, a member of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, CPR and first aid certified, and is fully licensed by Washington State. He has been interviewed by numerous fishing magazines on the topic of Puget Sound Fly Fishing and has appeared in fly fishing movies, radio shows and television programs.

A Sage enthusiast since 1998, Ben also is a Simms fishing products ambassador.

home town

Seattle, WA

home waters

Puget Sound

local fly shop

Pacific Fly Fishers

target species

Sea Run Cutthroat

perfect setup

Sage SALT HD 690-4, Sage Spectrum MAX 5/6, RIO Coastal QuickShooter

career highlights

Brainchild behind the RIO Coastal Quickshooter, Coast Guard OUPV

conservation work

Sponsor of the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition

philosophy on fly fishing

I think each person has their own perspective on what fly fishing means to them. Since I was a kid learning the sport, it always had a salty appeal to me. Long casts on pearl white boat decks, no matter the species, is where I feel at home. Fishing has always been a means of telling stories and overall, something that I identify with. We all learn something from clients, friends, or family while on the water. Capturing a fly fishing story or moment is the most appealing virtue a guide can aspire to have. Whether knocking out 80 foot casts on a beach with me or standing on the bow of a Boston Whaler Montauk I hope to educate, inspire and promote the sport in a fun and humble way.

one tip to improve one's fishing

Fish more! The only way to improve is to be immersed in your fishery.

perfect day

Calm winds, attentive clients and good jokes.

contact info