Back Issue Content: 2007

Steelheading the Babine is never easy, just worth it.

FLOWING WATER, BY DESIGN, HAS A SANCTIMONIOUS way of pre-qualifying its clientele. Gentle riffles and wide gravel bars lure the false-casting masses, and boiling black holes rimmed with mossy ledge rock frighten them away. That said, I suppose there's really no great mystery why the easy flows produce the fussy little degree-candidate fish, while the spiteful, intimidating rivers hide the gluttonous thugs.

"There was no evidence to show they'd been around. There were no boats, no wreckage. There was nothing." - Henry Bain. Andros Island, Bahamas

Stanley Bain
Image:Chip Bates

On the morning of August 5, 1995, Stanley Bain stood in front of his Cargill Creek Lodge and surveyed the small flyfishing empire that he'd built. The resort sat near the North Bight on South Andros Island, The Bahamas, concealed among lush tropical gardens and manicured lawns. Three satellite cottages peppered the outskirts of his property, which included an in-ground swimming pool and a Cessna 402 for his more affluent clients who wished to arrive via private charter. And surrounding it all were some of the most productive bonefishing waters in the world.

Stanley was preparing for a two-week fishing trip to harvest lobsters for the coming year's clients. A recent hurricane had just passed and he and his brother William were getting a late start on opening season. But soon after fueling up the 36-foot Luhrs Sport Fisherman and two Dolphin skiffs that would accompany them, Stanley, William, and three lodge employees set out into the emerald waters surrounding Andros. As they headed away from Cargill Creek, the group passed Simon Bain, another of Stanley's brothers, who was returning with a client from the North Bight and Moxey Creek after a morning chasing big bonefish. Simon ran his boat close in front of his older brother's cabin cruiser, and he can still remember his two brothers laughing as he passed. It was the last time he would ever see them. Stanley Bain and his crew of four disappeared that day forever.

Excerpt from the new Fall 2007 Issue

How did I get here? I'm lying on my back in a sticky, soaking, sagging, zero-degree, goose-down mummy bag, shivering like a dog shitting a peach pit. The canvas ceiling above our heads has reached total saturation while the frame creaks and sways through 40mph winds. The canvas shell flaps and pops, billows and collapses, each gust knocking the moisture free in a shower of 42-degree water. Then drops start to form again, build in size and cling for a moment before the tent swells and slams back into place. Another shower. There's nowhere to go.