Florida based artist and store keeper
I bumped into Vaughn Cochran's art while searching the web for some fly patterns carried by his shop Black Fly Outfitters, which is located in Jacksonville and St. Augustine in Florida. When you click Home on the store's web page you are brought to a page with two entries: one to the store and one to The Gallery. That of course immediately stirred my interest, and when I clicked the link I was met with a nice page dealing with store owner Cochran's beautiful art.
That again set me off on one of my usual ventures and soon after my first email to Cochran I had more than enough material coming in for yet another Fishy Art article.
Cochran tells about his start in art:
"I grew up in the art community of St. Augustine Florida and discovered my love for drawing and painting early. My first memories as a child are those fishing with my dad. I guess the two passions were meant to be intertwined since the beginning."
Having been trained at a university all the way through a Masters Degree Program and teaching at the university level for a while, Vaughn Cochran got out of school and explored the real world of making a living as a leading edge contemporary artist.
He remembers his development towards his current expression:
"As my passion for fishing grew into becoming a fly fishing guide in the Florida Keys in the late 70's I don't think there was any way out of the direction my art was going. I discovered I could apply my contemporary thinking about painting to include the influences of pop art, abstract and photo realism to fish art and a life on the water."
Cochran makes his living from his art:
"My art has been my main source of income nearly all my life. I discovered early on that not only could I sell my art but I could sell other products with my artwork on them. From that concept I created the artwork that became 'The Black Fly'."
Vaughn Cochran developed the concept further, and it grew product by product and became two fly shops and retail stores and an online fly shop known as Black Fly Outfitter.
His art is now available online as well as in the two Black Fly Outfitter stores, one in St. Augustine and the newest store in Jacksonville, Florida. He lives with his wife Jean, an accomplished fly caster and partner in Black Fly Outfitter, in St. Augustine. As he describes it:
"It's a great base of operations for traveling to the various fly fishing shows that we attend throughout the year and we also have easy access to all of the foreign fly fishing destinations that we go to on Black Fly Outfitter hosted trips."
The hosted trips are yet another extension of The Black Fly's activities, and a schedule can be found on the website.
Cochran's history circles around the history of life in The Keys and fly fishing in Florida. He moved to Key West Florida in 1972 and became an original member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band. He remembers:
"It was a great time to be in Key West sharing adventures with all of the great writers and artists of the time. I'm not sure how I survived!"
He has managed fishing lodges and operations in Isla Mujeres Mexico, Costa Rica at the Parismina Tarpon Rancho (the first tarpon lodge in Costa Rica) and Turneffe Island Lodge in Belize. He also works closely with the Cystic Fibrosis Charity known as "The Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series" and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation Tournament Series.
Cochran displays his art in his shops, but has also appeared in exhibitions such as his one man show at the IGFA museum in Ft. Lauderdale. In spite being busy with art and running two shops, Vaugh Cochran is still an avid angler as it clearly shows in the images below.
Vaughn Cochran's art can be seen and purchased on his webpage Vaughn Cochran Fine Art Gallery.
The Black Fly Outfitter fly shops are online here and found in real life here:
St. Augustine Store
11A Aviles Street,
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
11702 Beach Blvd.,
Jacksonville, Florida 32246