By Allison Taylor
As a young child, Kyle Vaughan fished with his family around Lake Lanier and on a farm pond in Cumming, GA, just north of Atlanta, where he grew up. He began hunting as a third grader with his dad and uncle, and always loved being outdoors. Vaughan started fly fishing after his senior year of high school while on a camping trip, and his experience evolved into a passion that has only grown since. After that trip, he purchased a book on fly fishing and started to teach himself the art of fishing for trout. That was in 2006, before the days of YouTube videos and the vast internet resources available today. Vaughan discovered that he especially loves to fish small streams for native brook trout and enjoys the unknown aspects of venturing out on a small tributary that he has never fished before with the hope of finding a healthy population of trout.
Fast forward to now, and Vaughan is not only following those passions but he’s sharing them with others as the outfitter manager and guide with DB bar D Outfitters, based in Mills River. It took a little soul searching to get to this position, which followed a 12-year career in banking where Vaughan was in credit review, branch management and special assets. After his stint in the corporate world, he moved to Western North Carolina to follow his dream of fly fishing and guiding. “My favorite aspect of guiding fly fishing or hunting trips is the friendships and shared passion from all walks of life, as well as teaching beginners in the hopes of instilling a confidence that helps them pursue either fly fishing or hunting for years to come,” says Vaughan.
Vaughan’s self-taught skills are a testament to what a great resource books and the internet can be for anyone wanting to learn how to fly fish or even to hunt. And guide services like DB bar D Outfitters can provide a personalized approach to teaching others. Vaughan touts the benefits of capitalizing on others’ experiences and knowledge. “One of the biggest tips I have for people growing or becoming better at either fly fishing or hunting is to talk to others that are experienced and participate with them on the water or in the woods, if possible,” he says.
“Guided trips are great resources in my opinion—a guide’s goal is to see you succeed and learn during your time with them, and you can learn a lot with a guide by your side answering questions and sharing their point of view with you.”
DB bar D Outfitters, located at 3333 North Mills River Road, Suite B, in Mills River, offers trophy trout fly fishing trips around the Southeast, private trout water memberships, upland hunting and big game hunting trips. For more information, visit DBbarD.com.