Vaughn Cochran is an artist, fly fisherman and conservationist. Regarded as one of the best and more innovative artists in the world of saltwater flyfishing art, Vaughn’s current work would be classified as contemporary sporting art and represents the last 20 years of his work. A native Floridian, Vaughn grew up in the historic city of St Augustine Florida where he was exposed to many kinds of artists and to a vibrant group of musicians.
After serving in the military during the Vietnam era, Vaughn pursued his art career at the University of South Florida, the best unknown art school in the United States. Graduating in 1972 with degrees in ceramics and painting and a short stint as an instructor, the winds of creativity blew Vaughn to the southernmost city of Key West. Shortly thereafter, Vaughn started his professional fishing career and also became an original member of Jimmy Buffetts Coral Reefer Band. “It was a great time to be in Key West”, says Vaughn, “I’m not sure how I survived”
Now retired from guiding, Vaughn became one of the most respected fly fishing guides in the Florida Keys and found plenty of artistic inspiration observing nature while guiding his clients to meet the challenges of saltwater fly fishing. For several years Vaughn fished and painted in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and later managed Costa Rica’s most famous fishing lodge, Parismina Tarpon Rancho. In 2000/2001 Vaughn spent a year as fishing manager at Belize’s classic Turneffe Island Lodge. Currently, Vaughn is a co-owner in Blackfly Lodge on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.
Vaughn’s artwork has been shown in numerous galleries and outdoor shows in the United States and has received many awards. His paintings and sculptures are held in private and corporate collections. In 2002, Vaughn’s eclectic paintings and sculptures were featured in a one-man show at the International Gamefish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. “Although I enjoy painting the traditional fishing and seascape scenes that I’m known for, I also still enjoy the pop style that I pursued from earlier in my painting career. Recently, Vaughn was selected as a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artist.
Over the years, Vaughn’s love of fishing has also given him the opportunity to be the featured co-host and guide for several episodes of ESPN’s morning line up of fishing shows, including “Fly Fishing America”, “Fly Fishing the World”, “North American Fisherman”, “Back Roads” with Ron Shara and several episodes of “Spanish Fly” with Jose Wejebe in Belize. Blackfly Lodge through it’s many social media outlets has produced several videos and a YouTube channel.
Vaughn’s nationally recognized Blackfly Brand has expanded over the years to include the Blackfly Outfitter fly fishing store in Jacksonville that services traveling anglers seeking fishing destinations all over the world. The outfitter store also features it’s own Blackfly Cafe and Tarpon Tap Room….shop while you enjoy your favorite brew! Blackfly Lodge in Abaco Bahamas is regarded as one of the top lodges in the world and Blackfly The Restaurant in St Augustine Florida is well know in Northeast Florida and recognized for it’s innovative cuisine.