Ben Pickett first became aware of fly fishing around 5 years old, while camping at Davidson River Campground in the Pisgah National Forest. While at an event at the forest foundry, he saw two men demonstrating fly casting, laying delicate yellow loops out perfectly in the grass, he was mesmerized.
Around 15 years later Ben’s family owned a coffee shop here in Melbourne, Florida. One of his family’s favorite customers was Dennis “Walking Wolf” Simpson, A 72-year-old Indian Chief, who came in every morning for a cup of coffee and to regale us with the story of his life. He was a treasured a friend who grew to become family. Over the years, he spent lots of time at the Pickett’s home. When Dennis passed away, he left Ben a fly rod and his love for fly fishing was born.
At the time, Ben work for a tech company building training simulators for air traffic control towers. Ben would spend a good amount of the year living out of a suitcase installing and upgrading them all over the world. He enjoyed working with his hands and building tools for our nation’s finest to train and qualify on. As a World War 2 buff, some highlights from his work travel included going to Oahu and seeing Pearl Harbor, and a day trip to find fox holes used by Easy Company during the siege of Bastogne while in Germany
Ben had also been doing work overseas with a Non-Profit for the last ten years, mostly in the Philippines, but also several other countries in Southeast Asia. Last year that wound down and ended. At the same time, Ben was growing restless sitting at a desk all day. While on a break one night while recording an episode of T2F2, Carl mentioned he needed a guy at the shop he owns. Soon after, Ben changed course, by leaving the corporate world and joined him as a partner. He now pursues with passion the craft of restoring boats and is working hard on building a new skiff of his own.