Hey you guys!! Meet our newest employee Ben Bowen. Should you stop in the shop or call us, you may have the opportunity of this phenomenal human helping you! Enjoy our employee hotspot: Ben Bowen!
Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Other Interests: Skiing, Snowboarding, Hunting, Hiking, Rod Building, Fly Tying
Bio: While growing up in the East, I learned to ski in the mountains of North Carolina and West Virginia. I loved it from an early age, so it made sense for me to move West when I took a break from college. I chose Utah for its close proximity to all things outdoors. I worked up at Snowbird for many years in the mid to late 90s and decided to plant some roots. I fell in with a group of Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) boarders that introduced me to the lifelong pursuit of fly fishing. I quickly found myself discovering and exploring the Uintas, the Lower and Middle Provo, and many waters in Northern and Central Utah. I thought that hiking with a small stream fly rod was such an awesome way to spend the day.
My summer fishing seasons then took a backseat for many years, due to pursuing a 14-year career as a wildland firefighter with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). However, there were a few winters when I went to work for the Forest Service just north of Charleston, South Carolina, for their prescribed fire season. This was my first taste of saltwater fly fishing, and this forever changed the game. I was hooked on all things saltwater instantly. I went out and purchased my first 8wt rod, bought a kayak that you could stand up in, and spent all of my free time chasing after tailing redfish.
I made some friends on that Forest that still share the same saltwater itch, and I make at least one saltwater trip a year with them. My wife and I moved to Western Massachusetts for 6 years, after we both finished school. This allowed me to chase after Stripers from the Rhode Island coast to the Northern shore of Massachusetts. But, even with all the great things that New England offered us, we decided to move back near family in Utah. I often joke with my wife that I would move back to Massachusetts just for the Striper fishing. I am also proud to be the father of two beautiful girls that were born in Red Sox Nation. I, of course, tell my wife that the kiddos also miss the Striper fishing just as much!
Fly fishing has taken me to so many amazing places, and I have been fortunate to build some great friendships through this sport. I particularly enjoy the DIY approach to destination fly fishing. I also enjoy targeting different species from the platform of a paddleboard. Some of the places I have traveled to include Florida and Puerto Rico for tarpon, numerous trips to Southwest Virginia for musky, Abaco for bonefish, and a 14-day trip with a buddy to Christmas Island for my first GT and triggerfish.
I feel so very fortunate to have been introduced to fly fishing years ago. I am also extremely grateful to work at Fishwest where I can continue to learn each day on and off the water. I enjoy sharing stories of fishing and the outdoors with the great people that I work with and the good folks that frequent the store.
Take it easy,