The Art of Adventure

It’s not everyday that one of your friends, who happens to be one of the best sports writers around, gets the opportunity to write a magazine article for Fly Rod and Reel about your career. Many thanks to Mike Conner for doing such a great job. This story came about from a fishing trip to Black Fly Bonefish Club last year where my wife Jean and I hosted Stu Apte and his wife Jeanine to a bonefishing excursion to Abaco. I called Mike to see if he was interested in documenting this event as I thought someone should be recording this meeting. I also wanted to start the painting of Stu, an idea that I had been working on for several months. My goal is to paint portraits all of the famous fishing celebrities and this was the perfect time to get this project going. As mike described in the article, I had the features drawn out so that it was easy to paint and I assigned everyone gathered around the table a color and a brush.
Vaughn at work
Everyone picked a part of the drawing and started painting. We didn’t finish the painting in Abaco so I finished it off back in my studio in St. Augustine. Everyone signed it and the signatures are part of the painting and the posters that will be produced this month.
So thanks again Mike, you did a great job and the fishing was incredible…
To read Mike’s entire article, click on this link

Black Fly is now in Bimini!

I want to share with you a little more information regarding the press release we posted a few days ago.
The association with the great group of people working with the Guy Harvey Bimini Big Game Club Outpost Resort & Marina is going very well and the Resort is open for business and word is spreading quickly through the boating and fishing community.
My part of the operation in addition to my friendship with Guy Harvey and the overall promotion of the project will be to represent the inshore and fly fishing opportunities that the shallows surrounding Bimini continue to provide. Bimini has a long tradition of being known as the big bonefish capital of the Caribbean. At one point in time, not all that long ago, Bimini held four of the six existing world records for bonefish. In the time that the original Big Game Club was in decline and the bonefishing shifted to other areas, the fish had nothing to do but to continue to grow and with less fishing pressure their numbers increased dramatically.
Some of the legendary bonefish guides are still in Bimini and are still poling the flats in search of new records. Names like Ansel Saunders, Tommy Saunders, Eagle Eye Fred and Bonefish Ebbie are well known to the many devotees of the Grey Ghost of the Flats.
My direct involvement will be to provide an on site tackle store and outfitter operation to support the inshore fishing program. If you come to Bimini and want to take advantage of the tremendous shallow water fishery, we can take care of all of your needs through the Black Fly Bimini Tackle Shop. In addition to the physical store in the resort, you can also access it online here.

What follows is an excerpt from our Bimini Tackle Shop website that kinda sums it all up.

Thanks for stopping by,

Click to visit Black Fly Bimini Tackle Shop

Fly Fishing Bimini

If flyfishing Bimini is not in your plans for this next year, you might want to do some re-scheduling. With the recent restoration this past year of the classic Bimini Big Game Club by Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, first class fishing in one of Hemingway’s favorite fishing holes is a reality again. In addition, artist Guy Harvey has teamed up with fellow artist and fly fisherman Vaughn Cochran to offer the complete the fishing package for anyone interested in pursuing big game fishing.

The Team

Guy Harvery & Vaughn CochranGuy’s passion for offshore fishing and his dedication to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is matched with Vaughn’s enthusiasm for inshore fly fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon and the conservation and education of anglers worldwide. “We’ll make a great team,” says Vaughn, “I’m really looking forward to the positive influence we can bring to preservation of the inshore and offshore species and still enjoy our passion for intelligent fishing practices.”

World Records

Bimini BonefishFishing legends and extreme angling feats in Bimini have filled the IGFA record books over the years and bonefishing in Bimini is just as impressive. At one point in time, not all that long ago, Bimini held four of the six existing world records. Everyone who’s ever been there agrees… “There’s something about this place, you can feel it the minute you hit the island, somehow, you know it’s special!”

Black Fly Promise

Black Fly BiminiBlack Fly Bimini is a new concept where Black Fly will be a strategic partner in every aspect of Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and will support the inshore fishing program plus Black Fly will market all of the great shirts, hats, wading gear, bonefish tackle and fishing clothes in the Guy Harvey Outpost outfitter store on the resort property.

Vaughn Cochran’s Black Fly Bimini brings you the same quality and enthusiasm you have always experienced with our Black Fly Outfitter store, Black Fly products and Black Fly destinations no matter where you go. We are honored to represent the incredible guides that have been fishing the waters of Bimini for years and years and we’re sure you will be as impressed as we are.

“Hooked on the Fly” filming at Black Fly Bonefish Club this week

Capt. Vaughn and partners Capt. Clint Kemp and Capt. Paul Pinder are hosting Chris Travis of  the TV show “Hooked on the Fly” and his film crew this week for episodes that will air on the Sportsman Channel. We will post the air dates as soon as they are scheduled.
They began filming on Sunday, April 4th and have had excellent fishing so far with Chris Travis catching several nice fish on Sunday and Monday. Susan Cocking, sports writer for the Miami Herald is also along on the trip and is having good luck as well.
I’m getting scattered reports from Vaughn as he gets time between casting at bonefish and permit to send me an update. The weather is cooperating and so are the fish. Vaughn had shots at some Mutton Snapper up on the flats last Saturday but couldn’t close the deal with a hook up.
Mutton Snapper along with Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon all in the same area, boy for a saltwater flats fisherman with a fly rod it doesn’t get any better than that!

Last week before the film crew arrived on Saturday, noted Key West flats guide, author and good friend Capt. Jeffrey Cardenas spent a few days at the lodge and had a great time. On Wednesday of last week he had one of those days we all envision when we think of the Bahamas, a day of flat calm seas and clear blue sky and he and Clint took full advantage of it.
That day, as Clint pulled away from the dock he pointed the bow of the skiff not in the usual direction leading to the nearby flats, but toward the deep blue water instead. Not long underway, they came upon a rare sighting of a whale enjoying the day by lolling at the surface. After a brief time of whale watching they moved on to find a promising weed line and in short order had two nice mahi mahi in the fish box tagged for the evening meal. Making the run back to the flats they were rewarded with a hour of tailing bonefish before calling it a day.
These are the kind of days that make the fishing at the Black Fly Bonefish Club in Abaco so memorable.

I wish I had some photos of all this activity but these guys are too busy catching fish and enjoying the wonderful spring weather to send me any. As soon as I get some, I’ll add them to this post.

Savannah Redbone

I’ve fished Redbone tournaments over many years so getting the opportunity to fish the Red Trout in Savannah was one that I wasn’t going to pass up. My friends Bruce and Tom were going to be my guides but both were called before the event to other duties. I was really looking forward to fishing with them but that’s the way it goes in tournaments….you go with what is handed to you.  
Cold Savannah Morning
Cold Savannah Morning
Vaughn and Stu Apte

Vaughn and Stu Apte

As many Redbone tournaments as I have fished, I’ve noticed that if you merely mention the word Redbone, you will have the worst weather you could have ever thought of for at least one day of the tournament. I’m not kidding, ask any one. This year wasn’t as bad as last year when the blessing of the fleet took place in 20 degree weather and stayed that way for two days. This event was “blessed” with 40 degree weather but lots of wind. Lots and lots of wind. Every cast had the wind blowing over my right shoulder ( I’m right handed) and we were fishing in my last-minute guides bay boat. Captain Alan Collins did a great job for never having taken out a flyfisherman before, so we were at a disadvantage for sure. A beautiful “sight-fishing-low-tide” right in the middle of the day and we couldn’t get there. That did not stop us…..we still caught fish and were in the lead for a while.
Nice Red Vaughn

Nice Red Vaughn

Well, I didn’t win but had a “hellofagoodtime”. This was a beaurtiful venue for a tournament and the tournament staff did an unbelievable job in organizing the activities….the food was beyond the normal tournament to say the least.  Savannah is an incredible city and the fishing is good almost the year round. There are wonderful restaurants, shops, galleries and things to do in the riverfront section of Savannah. If you’re in this area of the country next fall and you want to support Redbone and their quest to put an end to Cystic Fibrosis, sign up to fish, you won’t be sorry. Enjoy the photos from the tournament and see you next year.