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Started by twinbridges, June 13, 2014, 13:11:34 PM
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Back from an amazing week on Christmas Island. Incredible week of fishing on a place that really is "out there"
Left my computer in Twin so can't download pics until I get back there on Wednesday. Will resize a bunch of pics and my diary while on island. It really is about the eye candy isn't it.
The trip down to Christmas Island is 3 1/2 due south of Honolulu on Fiji Airways. They fly new Boeing planes and actually serve hot food and free wine. Amazing.
The atoll that makes up most of the island is the largest in the world. So the outer edge is ocean and the interior are flats with deep channels. The place we stayed is adequate as to accommodations and food. It is not the place to take your wife even if she loves to fish. That being said, the guides, trucks, boats etc are all very nicely done.
The typical day is a knock on your door a bit after 5:00 am which means coffee is available in the open air pavilion whenever you want it. Breakfast is at 6:30 am and trucks are loaded and ready by 7:00 am. All but one day we made the 15 minute drive down to the dock to get on the boat and then a beautiful ride for thirty minutes to an hour and a half to the flat of the day. This is a vast area of water and it would take a very long time to cover it all but the guides know it well and understand the tides etc. One day we took the trucks to a flat about 1 hour and a half away. It turned out to be the slowest day of the week but thats fishing.
The first day we fished near town of London and caught maybe 20 bonefish each. Two anglers share one guide, so you fish a while with the guide and then rotate to fish by yourself which is fine with me. As you learn a bit then get to apply it. The first day we fished in water about knee deep and with wind it was pretty choppy. You get used to the wind and it is not a problem except one day when we had a real blow. On this first day without Michael it would have been hard fishing but damn could he see them. If you made the case and did the right strip you were likely rewarded with a screaming reel.
We saw 4 giant trevallies but did not have a shot. They are cruising the edge and by the time you see them they are gone.
Great day fishing. When we get back to the lodge which yesterday looked a bit rough looks like home. We are an adaptive species.
Day two of fishing we take a long boat ride and find our place. It is beyond sublime, it is liquid green in which you can become lost. Zin like in its complexity and simplicity. Maybe you stop and lay down in the sea. But you are fishing and there are fish. But there is the sky and water, every the water, more greens, more depth than is possible, but there it is, surrounding you, totally.
We fish and catch with TJ today, who like his surroundings is zen like in his motions. It is simple, direction, distance and then his call for the strip is like a meladrome calling out the rhythm. Then there is a bonefish speeding across the flats attached to your rod.
The sun comes and goes and the flats are lit beyond imagination and then they are dark. You just wait for the light.
Saturday My friend and I are with guide Matt today. All guides are local natives and good guides with varying degrees of english skills. But it is not a problem as long as they can give you distance and point. We take a long ride to the back country and catch the biggest bones of the trip. Into your backing multiple times. So here goes the GT story. You can catch them on the fly if you are in the right place at the right time. That happened 3 times on our trip but not to me. The second way is to catch a live milk fish about a foot long and hook him on a big hook and let him swim around. The thirds is to cut up some milkfish and chum for them. This is the most effective way and some of the group together probably caught 10 GT's over 40 lbs. I chose to either catch them on the chase or not catch them. I don't fault the others for doing it the most effective way. Fishing takes many forms.
With the long ride and waiting for the tide to come in so we could cross the flat it was near dark when we get back to the dock. It is an incredible place, great guides and a life experience to remember forever.
Sunday We take the truck for the long journey to the Wide Flat. We stop near the airport and pick up Minien, the old guide, now near 70 who is the mentor of fiyfishing on Christmas Island. He is a small quiet person with lots of knowledge about habitat, fish birds etc. Finally near lunch a school is seen I make the cast and fish on. It is a very nice 6 pound bonefish. But by the time I land him the others are gone.
As we are planning to leave we pass by a young friend of mine who is a guide in Montana. We see a big GT cruising near him in shallow water, he sees it and casts to it, it moves away, he is running through the flat near thigh deep water making cast after cast for nothing. And then finally the GT eats and goes away. Joe follows him for about 300 yards across the flat loosing line. He finally decides he has to make a stand, stops, tightens the drag up and as I stand next to him we watch it accelerate off the reel and then with near 300 yards of gelcoat 60 lbs backing out the reel stops, it is toasted, and the fish is gone. That is how you catch or not catch a GT. He was fine with it. In fact he was more than fine. He was elated.
Monday We wake to rain and some of the guys decide to no go or wait and go later. We get 4 who don't care about rain or not and off we go. We fish with Peter today and the weather is good for a while but the fishing is hard. And then the wind gets to about 40 knots and you can hardly stand up, and then a wall of water comes flying across the flat and you lose sight of the boat out in deep water. I gets one bone blind casting and one in a mud.
We are off a little early today with the squall and it has gotten a bit cooler which is good.
Monday Our last day of fishing and the weather is good. Dan and I asked for Mac today and got him. He likes to move on and find the fish and he is good to be with. We head to the Y Flat and on our first walk I get a big bone that goes twice into the backing on hard runs. And later as we walk to a connecting flat there are lots of bones and we catch them steadily. It is amazing, cast after cast.
After lunch we move to a new flat and there are bones everywhere and small trevallies. It becomes a game to cast to a bone without the trevallies getting to the fly first. Although they are only 2-4 lbs they are pretty sporty. And then to a new flat walking and there are schools of bonefish moving across the flat in 6 inches of water. This is bone fishing as I had imagined it. Lots of sighting opportunities, lots of casts of all sorts from a simple roll cast to the 60 footer into the wind. You make the cast, the strip and you get the fish. Totally off the chart.
The young bucks with GT fever are with guide Michael clustered in the distance chumming. My friend makes the observation " there are the chummy chums, chumming" and we make a series of such variations. I want to catch a GT but it will done without chumming if it happens. Sport is everything.
And the next morning we are up at 4:30 am for the run to the airport and the flight back to Honolulu. What a place. The imagery will forever be a part of me.
I will do a series of photos hopefully that will give you a sense of the trip and place. The people of Christmas Island are gentle people who live simply off the ocean and the coconut trees. The Island has been called the first country that will disappear with an average elevation of 7 feet. They have recently bought 6,000 acres on Fiji and the Fiji President has said they would welcome the citizens of Christmas Island if need be. Time will tell.
Here we go.
Color me greener than that water with envy.
Glad you got to make that trip.
Good golly. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome. I love the approach to the GT. Thanks for the vicarious-ness.
No beer photos needed with that report!