Tarponguide....Capt Ben Taylor

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
    Moderator Got TA Go's Avatar
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    Tarponguide....Capt Ben Taylor

    Ben has been gone from us for a while now.

    Some of you may recall that Ben and "Yappy" (Steff) were our first FSFF Marriage.

    Ben was not only a longtime supporter of the FSFF, and a wealth of information, but he was also a writer for FS. In addition to being an accomplished Angler/Guide, he was so much more....mostly, he was my friend that I could call upon to answer questions about issues on the water and off.

    I wish that I could access the old threads to bring back his memory and advice. I did find this piece written by Capt
    Len Roberts:

    Captain Ben Taylor

    Benjamin Isaac Taylor, formerly of Tavernier, passed away in Lakeland, FL on September 9, 2008. Ben and his wife Steffi had retired to the Green Swamp Preserve outside of Lakeland, where he continued his wildlife photography. He was born may 6, 1949, in Worchester, MA, and later moved to the Kansas City area, where he resided for may years, moved to Colorado and then to the Florida Keys. He was preceded in death by his sisters Susan Taylor and Debbie Elliot. He is survived by his wife Steffi Taylor, daughter Mrs.. Heather Medley, infant twin granddaughters Carolyn Grace and Brooklyn Elizabeth, his parents, Benjamin and Grace Taylor, sister Joyce Burton, brothers Keith and Logan Taylor, and stepsons Kurt and Erik Durnberg.

    He was a Vietnam Veteran who proudly served his country as a Marine. After working in finance and banking in Kansas City, he moved to Colorado, and became a successful Bank President. He then followed his lifelong dream to the Florida Keys , beginning a professional guiding career in 1985. He guided many winners in a variety of fly-bonefish and fly-tarpon tournaments, becoming the first Keys guide to lead an angler to a third victory. He was also instrumental in securing sponsors for many of the areas charity tournaments. He served on the State Board of the Coastal Conservation Association during the fund-raising period for Florida's highly successful inshore net ban campaign. He wrote for the Free Press on many issues, and served as an information Officer for the City of Homestead after Hurricane Andrew. He was the Keys Editor for the Florida Sportsman, and an internationally published author and photographer. His book, Fly fisher's Guide to the Florida Keys is scheduled for a second printing.

    A private memorial services with full Marine honors was held in Lake Winnebago, Missouri, on October 30, 2008. A burial at sea and private memorial services will be held in Florida Bay on May 6, 2009.

    Ben was laid to rest in the Florida Bay in the Arsnicker Key area aboard the "Tails Up Too" Capt. Len Roberts. A favorite Tarpon spot of Ben's. May he rest in peace.
    Largest Private Charter Vessel in the Lower Keys
    www.easyridercharterskeywest.com

    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.

  2. #2
    Moderator Gary S. Colecchio's Avatar
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    Ben was a great guy of immense integrity and not afraid to call bull**** on bull****. What I recall most was his being upset with his editors for disregarding his copy in the action spotter which reflected his observations in favor of that which didn't .

    His book is essential reading for fly fishing in the keys.



    They don't make Ben Taylors any more. And that's a sad thing.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

  3. #3
    Moderator Got TA Go's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary S. Colecchio View Post
    They don't make Ben Taylors any more. And that's a sad thing.
    X2
    Largest Private Charter Vessel in the Lower Keys
    www.easyridercharterskeywest.com

    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTREPID377's Avatar
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    I had the absolute privilege of taking Ben fishing a few different times. He planned on publishing an offshore book but sadly failing health prevented it from happening. Along with being a great "Keys Guy", guide and angler he was an extraordinary photographer. He gave me a couple bird prints that hang in my office to this day.

    If you visit the photo site in my signature, you'll see several photo credits for Ben including one of the most beautiful shots of a juvenile Yellowfin Tuna I've ever seen. Below are a few photos of him that seem appropriate to share:

    Ben Taking Pictures




    Steff's Son - Photo by Ben


    This photo taken by Ben of some rafters being intercepted by the Coast Guard was published in the Miami Hereald


    I miss chatting with Ben and cherish the time we spent together.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gruntking's Avatar
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    When I first joined this forum in 2002, I would religiously look to the Keys section for his reports. Living in the frigid north his writing provided some warmth and excitement for our annual trips the the Keys.

  6. #6
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    I would come read them too, too bad we lost all that history in this day of computer back-up. That in IMHO was a crime, so much history from the beginning of this place, somebody should have made sure it was saved somewhere anywhere.
    1976 SeaCraft master Angler - Merc 200 XRi

  7. #7
    Senior Member keewestgrl's Avatar
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    My first post on FSFF was in response to Capt. Ben. And boy did he and I duke it out! I accused him of being a Keys snob because he hated the repetitive visitor/tourist questions. I think that eventually spawned the guide to the Keys created by Dr. Matt. Capt Ben and I went on to have a wonderful friendship and I enjoyed him very much. I really wish the archives were still around - that was some magical stuff back then.

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