Hawaii Fly Fishing Guide | Bonefish Hawaii is your source for all things fly fishing in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific. Whether it is a guided day of flyfishing for bonefish in Hawaii or a hosted trip the remote central Pacific atoll of Kiribati we have got you covered.
The full-time guide staff of Ikari House are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to their fishery, applicable angling techniques and the atoll’s many species of fish. They also have a pretty solid grasp of the English language and love their jobs.
Bonefish are the main target species on Christmas Island, and they are found all throughout the flats and shallow waters of the atoll. This is an excellent destination for beginner saltwater fly anglers due to the sheer numbers of bonefish that are available. The average bonefish throughout the ecosystem–fish that are always available and catchable–run two to three pounds in size. That said, the guides do have areas where larger fish may be targeted. These larger fish can range anywhere between three and seven pounds. Some of the ocean reef flats do hold even larger fish. While fish in the six to ten-pound class are occasionally landed, these trophy fish are not the norm.
One of the things that we really love about fishing Christmas Island is the pure diversity of species that can targeted with a fly rod. The triggerfish are numerous and large and the atoll is home to three different and unique species of triggers. They are not easy to fool, and they feed in the coral gardens and patches of the flats, which means that landing them can be a challenge. That said, they are one of the most rewarding and certainly most beautiful fish that you can catch on the fly. The waters of the atoll are also home to three species of trevally: bluefin, golden and giant. The presence and availability of trevally for the flats angler definitely makes this destination special. Trevally can be found feeding on the flats at any tide, but incoming tides and periods of high tide are the most productive times to focus on these hard fighting gamefish. The guides know where to locate them and anglers must be ready to make quick presentations to these aggressive, fast-moving creatures. When trevally are feeding, a well-placed fly will get it done most of the time. While the practice of “chumming” in giant trevally with pieces of cut up milkfish or baitfish is something that some guides on Christmas Island are willing to do, this controversial technique is definitely not needed if you are patient and diligent about an organic approach this is from a Hawaii fly fishing guide.
There are small milkfish on the flats, but the larger milkfish are in the channels and deeper water around the island. These large schools are fished from the boat as they surf the swells. Milkfish feed on small clumps of algae and are very tough to fool on a fly, but if you are lucky enough to come tight on one while fishing an algae fly, they are one of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean!
The offshore or bluewater fishing that surrounds Christmas Island is worth exploring as well. You may easily do this for a few hours in the morning before hitting the flats. There are typically abundant tuna and large barracuda, and giant trevally, wahoo, mahi mahi, sharks, and occasional marlin also inhabit these waters.
Boats and Equipment
There are two modes of transportation to the flats when fishing from Ikari House. Most time will be spent aboard a center console 18-foot v-hulled boat or a locally-crafted outrigger-style transfer boat. These boats are used to transfer anglers to the flats, where you then wade the shallows for bones, triggers, trevally and other species. When fishing the flats on the north end of the island, a van is used to access the beach and shallow reef flats. With either scenario, it is worth mentioning that Christmas Island is a wade angler’s paradise. Most of the flats are easy to wade, as the bottom consists of solid white sand. You will occasionally need to navigate some coral outcroppings, rock shelves and deeper channels, but overall the wading is very easy and solid. When using the boats for transportation, the boat drivers will pick you and the guide up at the end of your “wading lap,” which means that you will rarely need to make long walks back to the boat through waters that you have already fished.
When it comes to tackle and personal equipment, all of us at Bonefish Hawaii are huge believers in supporting and patronizing specialty fly shops. As a rule, specialty retailers usually know and understand the tackle, gear and equipment that is required for successful fly fishing – be it on local waters or in far-off fisheries around the world. For the Christmas Island fishery, it is absolutely crucial that you arrive with the right gear and equipment, as there is nothing available once you reach the island! If there is anything that you need, you will 100% have to bring it with you. For our Christmas Island and Ikari House programs, we work closely with a number of great fly shops across the country. We have fished Christmas Island for years and are dialed-in on the right equipment, gear and flies that you’ll need for a successful week of fishing. Contact us if you need recommendations on gear or equipment. | Hawaii Fly Fishing Guide