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Imagine no bonefishing lodges from Nichols Town to Mars Bay. We fished with Rupert Leadon and his guides out of a guesthouse called Nottage’s Cottages. His own lodge was a ways off from being built—still in the process of making big rocks into little ones. During our week of fishing we shared the lodge with Jim McVey, his brother and father. Later Jim would become a household word among bonefishers as the originator of the “Gotcha” fly pattern. By the way, The McVey’s had more money than we did and got the pick of the better, more experienced guides. The food was greasy, but ok, and nobody got sick. The boats were pretty much old Boston Whalers with a couple of newer, real flats skiffs. The boat rides were long and a total ass beating—like hazing for a bonefish fraternity!
Most anglers have suffered one time or another for their fishing, with rough accommodations, bad food, bugs, animals, long runs to the fishing, motor break downs, drunk or hung-over guides and no-show guides, etc. Some anglers somehow feel that you need to suffer, even if needlessly, for your fishing. That suffering makes you more worthy and appeases the fishing gods. Making a connection between cause and effect on this is pretty a load of crap.
So now let me tell you about Bair’s Lodge in 2012. There is no suffering on or off the water, except if you hit a rough day headed to the south end of Andros. The guides, as a group, are up there with those from any lodge around. The flats skiffs are perfect for the water, and the outboards work flawlessly. The water of South Andros is legendary for how vast it is, the range in habitat, and the large size of the bonefish that swim in it. And to top it off, the hospitality there is an open bar. Lunches have been a weak point forever at bonefishing lodges, but here you pick out your own kinds of food, snacks and drinks and quantity as well. The lodge takes 10-12 anglers at a time. It has had three remodels that I know of, all towards a better place for the guests and the staff who work there. The beds and sheets are better than most people sleep in at home. What makes it really special is the hospitality, an intangible factor, but one of the very real reasons the guests I am fishing with are going for the 6th year in a row. It is your lodge to enjoy without getting clipped for every beer, water, soda, drink and glass of wine. These are the good old days.
MY BAHAMAS PACKING LIST
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC