Elite Pro Profile: Capt. Brian Vaughn

By Sage Fly Fish

Brian is a United States Coast Guard licensed captain and owner and operator of Off The Hook Fishing Charters, located in Hilton Head Island, SC. He has over 25 years experience guiding light tackle and fly fishing charters. Vaughn is a true waterman who spends well over 300 days a year on the water guiding clients or fishing for fun with friends and family.


Hilton Head Island, SC

home waters

Inshore & Offshore waters surrounding Hilton Head, Beaufort & Savannah

local shop

Southern Drawl Outfitters

target species

Redfish, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle, Albacore, Cobia, Sharks, Tripletail, Trout, Mackerel, Bluefish

perfect setups

These are the perfect setups I use here in The Low country for my clients and personal use.

For Redfish, Trout & Bluefish: 7 & 8wt SALT HD and 7/8 SPECTRUM LT loaded with RIO Flats Pro Floating Line

For Mackerel, Albacore & Tripletail: 9 wt SALT HD and 9/10wt SPECTRUM LT loaded with RIO Flats Pro F/I StealthTip Line

For Big Jack Crevalle, Cobia, Sharks & Tarpon: 10-12wt SALT HD and 11/12 SPECTRUM MAX loaded with RIO Flats Pro F/I StealthTip 11-12wt; loaded with RIO Leviathan Line for Bull Redfish

career highlights

July 2010 Catching a World Record Tripletail on 20lb tippet. I am very proud of the successful business that I have built and most of all sharing my passion and love for fly fishing to my clients and friends that have never touched a fly rod.

conservation work

Practicing & promoting strictly catch & release to all of my clients when fly fishing. Demonstrating the safest and best techniques for handling, photographing and releasing fish quickly unharmed.

philosophy on fly fishing

Fly Fishing can take you to the most amazing places on earth both physically and spiritually, and opens up a new world of angling opportunities that can be treasured and enjoyed for a lifetime.

one tip to improve one's fishing

Less is More! Limit number of false cast & let the rod and line do the work for you when casting. The power is in the action of the rod not your arm. Load the line and watch it shoot!

perfect day

Zero wind, bright sun, gin clear water and happy fish would be the perfect day which only happens so often. Really the perfect day can be any day when you are catching fish on the fly! I challenge myself to fish in all conditions. When I catch fish on fly on days when most would not dare to step outside those can be the most rewarding perfect days.

a good fishing story

A few years back, one of my best friends and I were taking my boat a few miles offshore to surf an outer sandbar with our SUP’s which had never been done before in our area. It was a perfectly slick calm day and as we were on our way out we came across a mega school of tailing jacks and slowed down to inspect. Out of instant reaction I grabbed an 11 weight and quickly ran to the bow of my skiff and started to strip out line to cast to the big school jacks.

Right before I made my cast my buddy said, “Whoa, whoa you have caught plenty of on those big jacks the fly off of your boat! I dare ya to try to catch one off of your SUP!” I said “You’re on, let me give it a shot!” I carefully placed my SUP in the water; it’s a very small paddle board designed for surfing waves, not really designed for stability and fishing off of.

Once I got on the board and balanced myself I stuck the fly rod between my legs and paddled within casting range. The action of trying to position, cast and balance was challenging, for sure. I could hear my heart beating at the suspense of possibly falling over and looing my whole rod and reel setup overboard. By the way, to add even more pressure I was also being filmed! I stripped the line out and started my cast gripping my toes into the deck of my SUP, hoping not to fall off. The big popper landed perfectly, and I started stripping the line carefully back to the SUP. The school swarmed and followed the fly within 15 feet of my rod tip and all of sudden, WHAM! The popper was engulfed, and the line came tight and I went for a fly fishing sleigh ride that lasted for 20 minutes in the 100 degree summer heat! The battle was epic!

Everything was caught on video, the cast, hook up, sleigh ride, and catch & release of a 30lb. massive jack crevalle. I have had so many great catches in my life more than I can count but this one will stick out as one of the best and most exciting catches of all-time for me!

Check out the video here:  https://youtu.be/SFKJg2mkXB8

contact info

Cell: 843 298 4376