Ben began teaching after graduating from college with an art major and an education degree. Throughout his career, he developed his art - hand-brushed, oil-on-canvas painting of trout darting through the river. He also began to change his conception of an artist, saying, “If you had all your art in one shed that was burnt to the ground, it would be a travesty. Maybe that art was good, or maybe it wasn't. It doesn't matter. It’s only important that the artist had something to say. And now that it's lost the world, that voice will never be heard.” Realizing that he needed to share his unique perspective on rivers with the world, he came up with fly cast painting - a new art form that retained his subject while executing through a new method.
Quickly discovering that store-bought flys deteriorate after only a couple of casts, Ben began crafting his own. His first experiments began by dabbing paint onto a sock before diversifying into more varied materials: knotted hemp, feather, nylon strips, and looped gobs of yarn. The reel becomes the brush with fly cast painting, where paint-soaked custom-made flys strike the image. At once highly innovative while also falling into the tradition of renaissance artists who crafted their tools, these flys allow Ben to capture the essence of the river. Ben states, “Making these flys, the first thing that comes to mind is aerodynamics. I want people to see movement
and depth in the painting - side to side and vertical motion - like you’re standing there.” Each fly is named: Worm, Major Tom, Anarchy Beetle, and Bolderag, among others. Ben chronicled detailed depictions of these flys and their purpose in an illustrated compendium as a companion piece to the fly cast paintings.