Ben Paschal

Years Fishing?

Years Guiding?
Since 2007

Who introduced you to fly fishing?
I received a fly rod for a Christmas gift when I was 11 and taught myself 
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
I guide full time on the Lower Laguna Madre in deep South Texas and I also spend a couple months each winter in the Louisiana Marsh. On the Lower Laguna Madre we sight cast redfish and very large speckled trout on the flats. I also like to spend as many days as possible targeting tarpon, jacks, kingfish, cobia, and anything else we can find on the fly offshore when the weather is flat. In Louisiana, we sight cast oversized bull reds.

What’s the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal
I fish early April through early March each year. I take a few weeks off in mid march to host trips and relax. March can also be very windy on the Gulf coast. I personally enjoy late summer to early winter on the Texas coast.

What are your favorite travel destinations? What’s on the bucket list?
I host a trip to Espiritu Santo Bay in Mexico each year and love the diversity of that fishery. As far as the bucket list, anywhere new, warm, and salty…

What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
I have Thomas and Thomas rods in every weight between a custom 6 weight solar with a fighting butt, to a 13 weight Bluewater rod. That should answer your question! I’ve been keeping a Zone and Sextant on the boat lately.

What’s your current go-to fly?
I tie a fly called the Texas Twinky which takes all of 90 seconds to tie, is super
weedless, and fishes very well in our thick Texas seagrass and will last through 30 fish or so.

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
Apart from skiff, polarized sunglasses, push pole, and other normal fishing gear, etc, I enjoy have image stabilizing binoculars in the boat.

My favorite thing about guiding is:
Being able to learn and experience the nuances of a fishery that few people have the chance to see and be able to share it with my customers. Seeing the stoke of new anglers is also super cool!

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
Speeding up the learning curve of saltwater fly fishing. It’s a hard game with lots to learn. Plus, with a full time guide you will typically go straight to the fish!

What can new fishermen expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is:
Learn the game much faster than they would without the help of a professional guide. Favorite thing to teach clients once they get the basics down is how to feeeeeed them!

What’s your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
Hopefully whatever my sports bring, otherwise, maybe an apple or whatever I could find in the fridge.

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?
Tail, Drake, and Catch

When I’m not fishing you’ll find me....
Hunting the beautiful South Texas brush country, smoking BBQ, working on our giant garden, and hanging out with my beautiful wife and 3 dogs