So the Bahamas is considering legislation that would limit foreign ownership of lodges, and clamp down on DIY anglers as well. Frankly, this has been bubbling for a long, long time, with good reason.
If you were scratching out a living on some Bahamian Island, and foreign operators and wandering anglers were taking a bite out of your flats… your enterprise… you’d be pissed too.
But we don’t think anyone expected a backlash quite like this. We think a compromise is brewing. It should be. Foreign-owned lodges are hauling the mail when it comes to marketing and generating income for many Bahamian businesses. Major US operators, like Orvis, Yellow Dog, and many others, are very concerned about where this might lead.
Thing is… the DIY part is the key element. As much as we love certain lodges, and travel companies, and so forth, the notion that an angler cannot, under penalty of law, pick up a rod and dabble… experiment… learn… fail… succeed… whatever, in some form or format, runs so counter to the inherent ideals of fly-fishing, that it should be opposed vehemently. And that’s true, whether that’s in the Bahamas, or on a stream in Utah, or (almost) anywhere else in the country.