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Friday, April 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Spokane angler fighting Australian fires by tying flys

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 15, 2020

Spokane fly fisherman Josh Mills has helped raise about $20,000 for victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Mills, and other anglers inspired by his example, are tying flies and then auctioning them off. The money is going to a non-profit that works in the Bahamas. (Josh Mills / COURTESY)
Spokane fly fisherman Josh Mills has helped raise about $20,000 for victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Mills, and other anglers inspired by his example, are tying flies and then auctioning them off. The money is going to a non-profit that works in the Bahamas. (Josh Mills / COURTESY)

Firefighters battling continent-wide blazes in Australia have a new ally.

Fly fishermen and women in Spokane and across the U.S.

“So far in one week we’re closing in on 80 or so contributors and it’s growing every day,” said Josh Mills, an avid fly fisherman from Spokane.

In September, Mills started auctioning flys on his Instagram to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Dorian. That grew, turning into the #dozensfordorian fund raising efforts. Anglers around the nation tied flys raising $42,100 over the course of a month.

When Mills started seeing footage and reading accounts of Australia’s massive and destructive brush fires, he knew he needed to “get the band back together.”

So, he started a #dozensfordownunder campaign last week.

Since then, the campaign has raised more than $10,000.

Mills, who lived in Australia for a short time, hopes to keep the campaign going for about a month. Mostly participants are tying flies and auctioning them, although some have auctioned guided trips, art and photography.

“It’s funny how gracious and willing people are to do it,” he said.

The money will go directly to Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation. The YDCCF is the nonprofit arm of the for-profit Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, a Bozeman-based booking service.

The No. 1 priority will be supporting firefighters with money going to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

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