Blackfly Outfitter Weekly Fishing Report and Forecast by Captain James Dumas

This weeks Blackfly Outfitter Weekly Fishing Report is from Capt. Dumas fishing primarily out of the St. Augustine area. After a week of high winds, NE winds and a ton of rain Capt. James is looking forward to a break in the weather over the next couple of days. Plenty of fish around even with the less than ideal conditions. Listen to Capt. James’s report for the details.

Here’s a couple of photos he sent with his report. The shot of James with the snook is from a couple of weeks ago.

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Blackfly Outfitter Weekly Fishing Report and Forecast by Captain John Bottko

As many of you know we have been providing local fishing reports on a weekly basis for a while now. Starting today we will be posting their audio reports here on our Blog. We are featuring Captain John Bottko, a backcountry guide chartering out of Jacksonville and Captain James Dumas, a backcountry guide chartering out of St. Augustine. Both captains are highly regarded as being in the top echelon of charter captains in Northeast Florida. Both are avid fly fishermen and tailor their reports to the fly fishermen in our area. Although they emphasize the fly fishing opportunities, the information that they share is just as valuable to the spin fishermen.
Capt. John’s outlook for the coming week is a very positive. Excellent tides for the flood tide fishermen coupled with low pressure and fairly strong northeast winds promises plenty of water to get the redfish up tailing in the grass.
If the weather allows you to get out to the St. Augustine inlet there are good reports of tarpon still being active and a good flounder bite as well.
Capt. John will be away for a few days on what sounds like quite an adventure, a first for him. Listen to his report for the details.

A very nice red on fly from last years flood tide season, caught by Andrew of Blackfly Outfitter.

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Blackfly Outfitter Weekly Fishing Report and Forecast

As many of you know we have been providing local fishing reports on a weekly basis for a while now. Starting today we will be posting their audio reports here on our Blog. We are featuring Captain John Bottko, a backcountry guide chartering out of Jacksonville and Captain James Dumas, a backcountry guide chartering out of St. Augustine. Both captains are highly regarded as being in the top echelon of charter captains in Northeast Florida. Both are avid fly fishermen and tailor their reports to the fly fishermen in our area. Although they emphasize the fly fishing opportunities, the information that they share is just as valuable to the spin fishermen.
Today’s report is from Capt. Dumas giving us a recap of the fishing over the past couple of weeks, what’s going on right now and what his years of experience tell him about the upcoming fall season.
Here’s his report that he sent to me this morning.


Here are a few photos that Capt. James sent in of some of the activity his clients have enjoyed.

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If you’re interested in shopping for some of the flies that Capt. James mentioned in his report follow this link to our Redfish, Trout and Snook flies that we have in the store.

Over $2K raised to donate to GTMR at the Blackfly Outfitter 2nd Annual Floodtide Festival

THANK YOU!

All of us at Blackfly Outfitter extend a heartfelt thanks to all for making the 2nd Annual Floodtide Festival a resounding success. Your support and contributions made all the difference and we hope everyone had just as good a time attending as we did putting on the event.
As all of you know the main goal of the festival was to raise money for the GTMR, which is a state preserve dedicated to the conservation of almost 74,000 acres of marsh wetlands in NE Florida. With your support and the generous donations from our vendors, we were able to generate over $2,000 for donation to the Oyster Reef Rehabilitation Project and Spartina Marsh Management Program. These projects are crucial to the sustainability of our local marshes for generations to come, so we sincerely thank you.

We are already looking forward to next year; hopefully we will see you all again next August for the 3rd annual festival!

Floodtide Poster

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A BRUSH WITH ANGLING:
The Aquatic Art of Vaughn Cochran

Below is a reprint of an article from EU Jacksonville, a widely read publication of all things happening in the Jacksonvelle, Fl area.

July 10, 2015
The moon may guide the tides, but the ocean has a powerful pull all of it’s own. As an artist and angler, Vaughn Cochran surrendered himself to the sea long ago, finding inspiration above and below the waves. “I would say the sea embraced me,” Cochran says. “Living on or near the ocean has been an inescapable fact for me. I grew up in [it], so it has always been a part of who I am.”

Regarded as one of the most innovative artists in the world of fishing art, Vaughn’s collection of pencil drawings, watercolors, mixed media, acrylic and oil paintings represents the last 40 years of his work. A multifaceted artist, Vaughn began his career as a potter and is skilled in many mediums including ceramic sculpture, art pottery, printmaking, intaglio, silkscreen, wood carving, batik, metal working and casting.

His contemporary sporting art reflects the world of professional fishing where Vaughn was a fly fishing guide for many years. “In my travels I always had my camera and sketchbook,” he says. “I’ve filled at least three journals with ideas and notes for paintings and sculptures that revolve around fish and life on the water.” Cochran enjoys painting fish below the surface as well as using them in designs above the water. He has also moved into “seascapes” and the tropical landscapes. “I’ve always considered myself a contemporary painter who happens to paint fish. Painting in the tropics has always been my first love. I think it’s the colors, they just speak to me,” Cochran says. “Plus, I hate cold weather.”

St. Augustine Slam

St. Augustine Slam


Cochran’s favorite species to paint are the three fish that he pursues every chance he gets: bonefish, permit and tarpon. “These are the tropical game fish that make up the Grand Slam. I’m part owner in a fishing lodge in the Bahamas called Blackfly Lodge in Abaco, and these are the fish we fish for every day,” he says. “They are all difficult to catch on a fly rod, but that’s the fun of it.”
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“All of those venues feature our brand colors, and each venue is decorated with my art. I’m blessed to have ended up where I’m at today, and I never forget to be thankful because lots of my artist friends never made it and had to give up,” says Cochran. “I think it was Gary Player who said, ‘the harder I practice, the luckier I get.’ I practice every day!”

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Following a stint in the military, Cochran entered college where he began to concentrate on a career in art from an academic standpoint. “I was thinking I could get a masters degree and teach somewhere. After college I was slated to be the first art instructor at Flagler College, but that didn’t work out, so I moved to Key West,” he says. “I’m not sure if I ever thought that I would have a successful career as an artist. All I knew was that this was what I was going to do.”

As one of St. Augustine’s original surfers in the 60s, Cochran and his friends spent every waking moment in the ocean. After leaving Key West, he took a job managing a sport fishing marina in Mexico. When one of the crew members asked if Cochran could paint a sailfish, he agreed and went to work.

“When it was finished he paid me for it, and his buddy asked if I could paint one for him. I said, ‘I’m stuck in Mexico, so I’ll start painting fish.’ I’ve never been a stickler for tradition because that’s not the training I got as an artist. At school I was taught how to think about what I wanted to do, not, ‘this is how you paint a tree.’ We were more about ‘see that tree? Paint it 50 different ways!’ What counts is what you have at the end. Did you do something that was significant? Did you move somebody? Will anybody care about what you just did? Did you say something new?”

No matter where he is or what he is doing, Cochran is always thinking in terms of color, shadows and composition, and the ocean is never far from his heart. “Someone asked me the other day, ‘Do you have to paint?’ The creative process is not something you turn on or off. If art is what you truly do, you’re stuck with it. It’s what you live and breath each day all day long. It’s what you are.”

In a portion of Cochran’s blog dated January, 2015, the Captain sums up the salt life in an eloquent post about his former brother-in-law and fishing partner who vanished in the Keys. “This is what the ocean does to you. You live on it everyday or on the weekends, and it’s magnificent, powerful, beautiful, stormy, peaceful and consuming all at the same time.”