Josh Mills’ Little/Big Idea to help The Bahamas

The pictures coming out of the Bahamas were heartbreaking. Hurricane Dorian laid waste to paradise and left the people there stranded and in need of everything.

I sat in front of my vise and thought that if I could auction off a dozen steelhead flies on Instagram, it would be a gesture of solidarity from one angler thousands of miles away to the fishing and guiding community of the Bahamas.

The bids came rolling in and #DozenforDorian was born.

The flyfishing community is a tight bunch that often rallies to help those in need, but never in my life have I seen such generosity. Photographer Bryan Gregson shared the idea with Cheech from @FlyFishFood, who coined the hashtag. We settled on directing all funds to the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation and we were off to the vice races.

ABOVE Joe O’Brien’s hometied contributions to #dozenfordorian. Guaranteed to swim good.
Photo: Joe O’Brien

Every time I refreshed the hashtag search on IG, new dozens popped up from fly tiers around the country. To say that they are some of the most talented tiers around is a big understatement.

When I started this my goal was to raise $1000; we blew by that on day one. Next, I figured $5000 would be great—and we had that by day three. Now eight days into the fundraiser, the goalposts just keep moving. We hit $25K over the weekend. As Gregson says now, “it’s $30K or bust.”

We should have that in a couple of days.

With nearly 100 contributors and counting, this community-driven effort won’t be over anytime soon. The Bahamas will need us well beyond a week or two after the storm. #Dozenfordorian is ongoing and hopefully we’ll see new flies up for bid for a while to come.

To learn more, bid on some of the flies or other items and contribute, check out #dozenfordorian on Instagram and Facebook. Or make a direct donation to the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation


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