Lines in the Sand

When the terrain is wide open, the brakes might as well be too—just steer clear of the cacti. The author keeps it pinned through the Baja chunder on a freshly pioneered line.

Lines in the Sand A Rogue Reunion in Baja California

My good friend George Vandercook and I grew up on the Beaverkill River in upstate New York, where besides boasting world-renowned fly fishing, the conservation-focused valley also has miles of techy singletrack.

Even though my house was within a stone’s throw of one of the river’s finest fishing holes, I can count on one hand the amount of times I cast a fly into what I considered the perfect swimming hole. Maybe it was my attention span. Or maybe it was because of the dirt jumps we were building on the other side of our house. I always saw fly fishing as a “retirement sport.” For George though, the river became his thing.

Two decades later, George, along with our good buddies Jack Porter and Rudy Babikan, runs Los Locos, a fishing operation along Baja California Sur’s Magdalena Bay. The trio makes its annual pilgrimage south in October and spends the next two months guiding clients and hunting for marlin. Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is a mecca for dedicated fishermen, dirtbag surfers, throttle-twisting enthusiasts and individuals willing to ride their touring bikes for 1,000-plus miles. I do not fit into a single one of those categories.

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While maybe a bit on the dry side for building, Baja dirt is ripe for roostin’. Alex Chay having a blast with Isla Magdalena’s terra firma.