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Archive for January, 2008

Fly Fishing Christmas Island
Some places are hard to get your fill of and for us Christmas Island is one of them. It isn’t that the bonefish are the biggest, or that the meals are the finest, it is just the fact that Christmas Island is a special place that leaves a lasting impression on those who visit. Here people who have little smile a lot, children wave with intrigue and delight, and the guides love their jobs and like to work long hours. For a lack of better words, Christmas Island still has an innocence about it that is sincere, palpable and ultimately enriching.

So, how was the fishing? Well in all honesty it was a mixed bag and more challenging than I had expected. Some will tell you it’s a fishery in decline but the fact of the matter is that 2007 was an exceedingly cold season in the equatorial Pacific, the likes of which cannot be recalled. The beginning of 2008 has seen the same unpredictable weather leading to water temperatures on the flats that were between 70 and 73 degrees and that is too chilly for happy bones. It was also chilly for the anglers with many of us donning several layers on the flats. Due to the cool water temperatures, there were times when there were far fewer bonefish on the flats than we were accustomed to, and in the same breath there were some great sessions where anglers were hooking 10-20 bones in a half day. But the fact of the matter was that it was on again off again and despite a super group of skilled friendly anglers, our daily catch was rarely equitably distributed! Such is fishing.

On the bright side, we saw and hooked (and subsequently lost) some large bonefish that were in the 6 plus pound range and we had some good sessions in the blue water with wahoo upwards of 40 pounds (note the photo on a big one that was bit in half by a much larger shark). We also had a great time teasing in Giant Trevally on the small boat. Most of our party gave this a crack despite the rough seas and while it is a challenging venue best suited to skilled anglers, it is extremely exciting. The speed and aggression of these fish is most impressive as they go flat out trying to track down and kill the fleeing plug. I was fortunate and got a 40 pounder on popper, and Peter Tronquet landed an impressive 60 pounder! There were also a fair number of fish landed in the 20-30 pound class. The highlight of my Trevally day was of course the one that got away. Paul Imperia and I both cast to the fish as it charged up on our little boat. At the last minute it sucked up Paul’s fly and in the same instant turned and ate mine. We both set on it savagely and it tore off. Simon, our guide yelled for us to tighten our drags, as the fish was heading for the reef. We both did so to the point were we were certain something would fail. A moment later there was a loud snapping sound and Paul recoiled backwards and almost fell out of the boat. His backing had randomly snapped in the middle. Now solo, the fish pulled so hard against my drag that I feared I would lose my rod and after the fish pulled another 50 yards of backing out, my 40 pound leader butt broke and the fish was gone. In terms of fish hooked for the day it may have been the first time the boat had ever gone four for three. Good fun!

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