Meeting Location and Time
Monday, June 4th at 7PM
Black Creek Outfitters
10051 Skinner Lake Dr
Jacksonville FL 32246
B. E. Rutherford
Fly Tying with B. E. Rutherford
B.E. Rutherford has been fishing for as long as he can remember. His father was an avid fisherman all of his life and would take B.E. on trips with his friends whenever he would go. When B.E. was three years old he moved to Osteen in Central Florida. He remembers driving down dirt roads in their old Plymouth station wagon with an old plywood boat to drag the boat through trees to a lake his dad had found. Here they fished the “gin clear water” for bass, pickerel, blue gill and shell cracker.
Whenever they fished they had a bamboo fly rod and automatic fly reel, which is the reel B.E. still has today. The bamboo fly rods that belonged to his father were destroyed in Hurricane Donna in 1960, but B.E. was able to recover an old Orvis 50 spinning reel similar to the one used back then.
B.E.’s love for fly fishing has always been present as well as his want to have his own fly rod one day. The first one he owned was a Berkeley, Heartland, 9’ fiberglass 8 weight. The reel was a Pflueger Medalist, 1594-1/2 RC, which he still owns. Unfortunately he is unable to use it, as he closed the car door on it while on vacation with his family fishing the Rodman Reservoir.
About 30 years ago in Titusville, FL at the Flyfisherman, B.E. met Frank Steele and his wife, Liz, where they taught him the mechanics of the fly rod, including how it worked, and also worked on helping him perfect his cast. Work moved B.E. to North Florida, yet he still made trips back to the “Lagoon” and Titusville to see the Steele family at the Flyfisherman.
About this time, B.E. began to get more interested in tying his own flies, and found a small tackle box at a pawn shop that had a clamp on vice as well as a few materials. Along with teaching himself to tie flies, he traveled around Florida to every fly-fishing shop and show in order to learn techniques of tying and materials. When a fly shop opened in Flagler Beach, FL, B.E. purchased his Renzetti Traveler. To date, B.E. has been typing for about 25 years. One of B.E.’s first good pattern was a spawning shrimp pattern and as he went out and about with a fly rod he would continually tweak it.
In the early 2000’s, B.E. went to the doctor wearing his “Black Fly Outfitters” hat, and it turned out the Physician’s Assistant that was treating him happened to be Don Reed, then owner of Saltwater Flytiers, and current owner of Oyster Creek Outfitters in St. Augustine, FL. They were able to chat about fly fishing and fly tying and Don asked B.E. to bring him a few, so about two months later B.E. brought Don a few dozen. Don reached out asking if he could get more of the flies, because a local guide in Jacksonville FL had asked for some more. The fly got more and more popular even traveling all the way down to the Keys, and Don asked when if B.E. would be willing to start tying flies for him. At the time, he was working 50 to 60 hours a week, so B.E. said when he retired he would feel more comfortable doing that as he would have a bit more time. Last year, B.E. retired on March 14, 2017 and began tying flies.
B.E. opened an Instagram account where he posts photos of the flies he ties and remembers to learn from everyone he meets whether it is other fly tiers, fisherman, old or young, and most of all his mentors like Don. And of course the FISH!