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Archive for the ‘Saltwater’ Category

Our good friend Chris Daughters, owner of Caddis Fly Angling Shop, has just returned from New Orleans with his wife and fishing friends. Although it’s currently 50 degrees and raining here in Oregon, New Orleans is a pleasant 85 degrees and breezy. As all of us here at Fly Water Travel are watching river levels and weather patterns, casting to visible redfish in short sleeves sounds pretty appealing…

You mean, I don’t even need bootfoots? Sign me up!

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There’s been a lot of photo work here at Fly Water Travel lately. Brian’s recent trip to Farquhar became a veritable buffet of saltwater species…


See more of Brian’s photos on Fly Water Travel’s Facebook page

Ken has just returned from his first Spring trip to the lower Skeena River, fishing out of Skeena River Lodge



Ken has a slideshow posted on the Skeena River Lodge page of our website. As soon as Ken’s fingers thaw out he will be publishing his trip report on the Fly Water Travel Trip Summaries Page.

Charles has been presenting slideshows of his trout and steelhead fishing adventures to fly fishing clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. You can see the Deschutes River section of his Oregon Steelhead presentation here.

Give us a call toll-free at 800-552-2729 to star in your own photo gallery!!

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Enjoy the full story on Robert’s most recent fishing trip to Christmas Island!!!! 

http://flywatertravel.com/catalogue/christmasislandmilkfish

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Christmas Island Outfitters 

Trip Report Submitted by angler Charlie Rosser

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On Monday, April 9, Jerry , Charlie met Bob DeRosier, Chris and Dave at Phoenix International Airport for the start of a 10 day trip that would take us to Christmas Island. The trip would include 2 days to get there, 6 days of fly fishing and 2 days to get home. Why would a fly fisherman spend 2 days flying to this Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?  There are only two things and they would be Bonefish, or should I say BIG Bonefish and Trevally.

Christmas Island is world class, miles of coral sand, glistening lagoons and coconut palms – what seems like one of the smallest places on earth is actually a geographical giant, the planet’s largest coral atoll. It has an area of 248 square miles of which 125 square miles is land and the remainder a lagoon filled with flats that have some of the biggest Bonefish in the world. It is 1300 miles due south of Honolulu, Hawaii or just about the same distant north of Tahiti. It is located 145 miles north of the equator which makes for nice weather year round. Temperature at night in the 70’s and upper 80’s to 90 during the day with lots of sun and little rain.

The flight was to be 3 hours on a 737 jet but it had been cancelled and we were booked on a charter flight that would take 5 hours. The plane was a Gulfstream G1, see below. This is a 1950 vintage twin engine turbo-prop plane with a capacity of 19 passengers that has been updated with the latest electronics (at least that is what they told us). Our flight was full and a little cramped but for the experience of fishing Christmas Island it was well worth it. Not only was it cramped for passenger space but it was also cramped for luggage. We had a checked baggage limit of 40 lbs. The carry-on was not weighed but it had to sit on the floor in front of your seat. There is not much room under the small seat in front of you and there are no over head bins. My checked bag and rods weighed in at 44 pounds. When I saw the weight on the scales I was worried I would have to move items from my luggage to the carry-on. My carry-on back pack was big & heavy already. It was loaded with snacks, a big bottle of Crown Royal and lots of candy to give to the kids on the island. Thanks to Jerry with a checked baggage weight of 36 pounds I was told my check bags were cleared for loading. The plane did have ice, soda, water and sandwiches for the passengers. Some of us used the soda and water to have a few drinks on the way over. That may be what made the cramped space a little more comfortable.

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Breakfast was to be at 6:30 and we were to meet the guides at 7:30 in front of our rooms. Jerry and I had a wake up for 5:30 which meant that Kata, the chef, would knock on our door at 5:30 and put a fresh pot of coffee with cream and sugar on our porch. We definitely got spoiled as this happened every morning at our wake up time.

At 7:30 the same truck we rode in from the airport pulled up in front of our rooms. We would get to know this truck very well because it would take us everywhere we went on the island. As we approached the truck our guides for the week were there to meet us; Moana, Mike, Betero, TJ, Russell and Beia. Peter, the head guide, would set up our guides for the day so we had a different guide each day. This made our time on the water very interesting talking to each of guides about their family and life on the island plus each guide did things a little bit different on the water and we learned something new each day.

We fished 3 different areas in our 6 days of fishing – the flats, an estuary and in the surf at the Wreck. The stripping action for the bone fish was a series of long slow strips to attract the fish and then another series of short fast strips until he took it. The first couple of days it was difficult to spot the fish. The bottom was hard or soft coral sand with bigger pieces of coral scattered throughout. The bone fish are camouflaged against the coral, so we had to keep focused and be ready for any movement. Anything that looked like a piece of coral but was moving was a bone fish. The target would be 3 to 6 feet in front of it. After day 2 it got a lot easier to spot the bone fish on your own.

We saw mostly schools of bone fish with probably 20 to 30 in a school. Several of the guys were fishing the breakers at the Wreck in hopes of spotting a big Trevally while the rest of us fished the pools in the calmer water inside the breakers for bones. The bigger bonefish fish were caught on the flats mainly by spotting single fish and casting to them. At the estuaries there were schools of smaller 2 to 3 pound bone fish. The average fish on the trip was probably 3 to 5 pounds with several caught that were 6 to 7 pound. As for the biggest bone fish of the trip, it was 10 pounds, 27 inches caught by yours truly. I did hook one bigger but after too many long runs to count and wiry arms it threw the fly as the guide was landing it. On both big fish I was more than half way into my backing before I could start reeling him back. Jerry’s shining moment was when he caught a nice 24 inch bone that weighted 8 pounds.

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Though bone fish was our main objective of this trip, we did catch a variety of fish. Some of the fish we caught were: Parrot Fish, Goat Fish, Trigger Fish and Puffers. Another fish that was targeted was the Trevally. There are 4 different species of Trevally: Blue Fin, Silver, Black and Giant Trevally (GT). We caught them all except the Black. Jerry & I both saw a Black Trevally and cast to it but did not get a hook-up. On the second day Bob and Chris took off with one of the guides and headed for the blue water to hunt down a GT. They started by using a spinning outfit rigged with a big hook-less teaser plug. When the GT would come up they would cast big flies and start stripping as fast as they could in hopes the GT would turn on it and take it. Bob set the hook and after a 45 minute battle Bob landed a 55 pound GT.

The trip was planned and booked by Bob DeRosier who owns Paradise Creek Anglers in Pinetop. The travel agency used was Fly Water Travel and the lodge we stayed at was Christmas Island Outfitters or better known as Sharks Place. Cabins are 2 man rooms that have plenty of space to store all your clothes and fishing gear. Each room has its own shower, sink, toilet and a refrigerator that is stocked with bottled water, soda and beer daily. I was really surprised by the food served at the lodge. For being located out in middle of the Pacific Ocean I would rate it a 4 out of 5. Hats off to Kata, the cook, for the excellent meals he prepared. For breakfast there was orange juice (tang), eggs, French toast or pancakes with bacon & sausage. Several mornings we had a cheese, veggie & bacon omelet. Lunch was kind of skimpy but not bad considering you were on the water and wanted to fish all day. You had your choice of a lunch meat or peanut butter and jelly sandwich plus an orange or apple. We did take cliff bars and other snacks to supplement lunch during the day. They had coolers of drinking water on the boat but we always threw in a few beers or soda to have with lunch and for the ride back to the lodge. After having a few drinks before dinner Kata would set out 2 platters of hor’dourves. They would be fried bread fruit, a locally grown fruit, and sashimi or fried Wahoo. While enjoying the hor’dourves and another drink your appetite would get worked up from the aroma of the meal Kata was preparing. Every night we had a salad, potatoes and rice with a fish dish and a meat. Fish included: Lobster, Tuna, Wahoo and Sweet Lips (a local bottom fish that looks and tastes a lot like halibut), all made in a variety of ways. The meat dishes included: steak, spaghetti w/meat sauce, chicken wrapped in bacon and curried chicken. I never heard a single complaint after getting up from the dinner table. If you are looking for vegetables, better bring your own.

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The last night on the Island the lodge puts on a Luau, complete with roasted whole pig and dishes of local cuisine. They also had native dancers and singers perform. It was a fitting end to a place I would never dream to have visited. To see the people and their culture was truly a moving experience for me. The fishing and food far exceeded my expectations. – Charlie Rosser

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Bair’s Lodge, Andros Island

Submitted by Jon P.

Bair's Bonefish

Bair's Bonefish

My father and I have been fly fishing together for the last 10 years, but had never tried saltwater fishing on a fly.  To celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday,  Fly Water booked us at Bair’s Lodge in South Andros, Bahamas for a four day trip.  For a first time “bonefisherman”, we had tremendous success!  Our first day we caught 10-14 fish each and also caught two great barracuda, one was over 20 lbs!  Our second and third days were more challenging, battling the wind can be tough, but we still managed to catch 3-4 fish each on those days.  Our last day was great.  After a tough morning we ended up having a great afternoon and catching 7-8 fish back to back right after lunch.

I would highly recommend Bair’s Lodge.  The couple running the lodge were fantastic and the accommodations were very nice.  Be prepared, this is a fishing trip!  No rest for the weary!

Thanks again, Rachel, for all your help in setting up our trip.

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Alphonse Island Slide Show

Seychelles 2009 was supposed to be a two week adventure visiting three outer islands on the 150ft Mv Fly Castaway with 11 great clients and friends. But thanks to Somali pirates and their hijacking of the Mv Fly Castaway’s sister ship, this trip was not to be. The full story can be found at the end of this report.

Ultimately my 2009 Seychelles trip was rerouted to Alphonse Island Resort. A blessing in disguise? Perhaps. A great trip by any measure? Without question. I had known about the resort for over 10 years and while Fly Water had sent a handful of guests there, it had remained one of the few places that we had not made time to visit. The fact that I was going there as a back-up option for a canceled trip seemed almost unfair.

The Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, located approximately 1,000 miles east of mainland of Africa and northeast of the island of Madagascar. They are a world leader in sustainable tourism with nearly 50% of their land under protection making it a true island paradise.

My remaining group of five intrepid travelers all met in Paris where we caught the once daily Air Seychelles redeye flight to the capital island of Mahe. After spending a few days in Mahe seeing the sights and acclimating to the equatorial weather, we took a two hour (250 mile) charter flight to Alphonse Island. Alphonse has the distinction of being the countries most remote island with a resort. Once a productive coconut plantation with a population of just over 500 the Island is now reserved exclusively for the guests of Alphonse Island Resort. If there is one word to describe the island it would be tidy. From the time we set down to the time we left I would be hard pressed to say I saw anything out of place. Even the grass next to the airstrip looked as if it was clipped by hand.

When we stepped off the plane we were met by the mostly South African staff and guides and after brief introductions we were whisked off to the resort. The resort itself consists of a beautiful open air lobby and dining room / tiki bar and 30 simple elegant bungalows. Each was equipped with an ocean facing porch, a/c, ceiling fans, spa tub, and my personal favorite, an outdoor shower. I was lucky enough to accompany the lodge manager while she was escorting Bill to his cabin. I swear his smile filled his entire face and when his grin finally broke, he said “I think this will do.” Although there are 30 bungalows the resort is currently only taking 10 guests per week. This is due to the fact that the new owners want to rebuild the entire resort; a fact that I find hard to believe as these are by far the nicest saltwater accommodations I had ever experienced.  In any case, for the next few years, no more than ten lucky anglers will have the run of the place.


Although Alphonse Island has some very productive flats, the vast majority of the fishing is done in the lagoon of St Francois Atoll. St Francois lagoon measures roughly seven miles by four miles and is just a short boat ride from Alphonse. Each day we woke to a 5:40AM call and after a breakfast of fresh fruit, espresso, and eggs cooked to order we made our way (on our beach cruiser bikes) to the fishing center and the TamTam. The TamTam is the resort’s 48ft catamaran that would take us to and from St Francois each day. The ride would take about 40 minutes and we would use the time to put on our flats boots, apply sunscreen and fuss with our tackle. Once parked safely in the lagoon, each guide would get his 16ft Dolphin, load up rods and clients and head out to the flats. The major species that inhabit the flats of St Francois are bonefish, trevally, trigger fish, milk fish, barracuda, and permit. Oh yeah, and sharks…lots of big sharks. The flats are a combination of hard sand, turtle grass, and marl and the vast majority if angling is done on foot. Without going into a multi page fish by fish saga I will say that the bonefishing was as good as it gets. Two hours into the trip I realized that counting would not be necessary. We had a great mix of tailing fish, singles, doubles, and large schools giving us all ample opportunity to sharpen our game. With bonefishing this good we all dedicated about 50% of our day to their pursuit and then spent the rest of our days chasing the more challenging species. If we measured success by opportunities, I would say we were all quite successful. Each day we had good shots at trevally, permit, and trigger fish. Unfortunately success is typically not determined by good shots but by fish to hand and hero shots and not everyone was equally rewarded for their efforts.  In our parting conversations we all agreed that our fishing was very good, and that the bonefishing was actually the best any of us had experienced. All and all the program had all the ingredients to make it a true trip of a lifetime.  With a spectacular resort, great bonefising, good numbers of trevally, permit, trigger fish, milk fish, and an exceptionally gifted  guide staff, it is hard to ask for anything more.  My only complaint is that it is halfway around the world and I wish it were closer to home.

Now back to the start. A week before or scheduled two week trip to Astove, Cosmoledo, and Providence Islands, a group of Somali pirates hijacked one of our outfitter’s ships very near one of the islands we were supposed to visit. This in turn caused the government to close down the entire region we were planning to fish. As you can imagine, getting this news was just slightly less unsettling than the thought of calling eleven people to tell them the trip they had been planning for the past year and a half was not going to happen. Receiving the bad news in the afternoon, I decided it would be best to sleep on it and then dive into the dirty work first thing the next day.

As I made my way through the phone calls I was repeatedly amazed by how everyone was taking the news.  Sure they were disappointed, but surprisingly they all held it together and not a single one tore into me. By mid day the calls were completed and it looked like all of us would be staying home for the next few weeks.  Shortly thereafter, the guys started calling back and they were all saying the same thing, “O.K., now that this trip is off, where are we going to go?”
Amazed again by the resilience of the group, I went to work to see what we could put together on a week’s notice.  As often is the case, things began working themselves out. The ailing economy had left the once packed Alphonse Island Resort mostly empty during the dates we needed. As a result half of the group was able to keep their same flight schedules and make it to the Seychelles.  The rest of the group opted to stay closer to home and took advantage of openings at Pesca Maya Lodge in Mexico.  What happened to Fly Castaway and all the payments for the original trip?   We are pleased to report that even though they took a substantial hit on deposits they had made to charter companies, they have refunded 100% of the trip cost.  70% came in the form of a cash refund and 30% to a credit toward a future trip.  Given the circumstances we feel very thankful for how Fly Castaway dealt with the situation and we look forward to getting back on board with them when the time is right. We also send a special thanks to our clients Rich Spraker, Rob Ramsay, Jim Mair, Bill Gaboury, Paul Imperia, Bruce Nakao, John Kryzanowski, Gene Weber, Doug DeVivo, Steve Henderson & Mike Masino.  Their patience, understanding, and resilience was commendable and deeply appreciated.

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We are having an excellent year down here in Mexico. So far, all guests have landed at least one roosterfish and some up to 10 in a day. I have seen schools of roosterfish 50-70 strong in the 15-20lb range sometimes boiling the surface, this is new to me. The monster size fish have been few in numbers and I am still expecting them to show in the next couple of weeks.

Ken’s popper fly was absolutely torn to peices this morning by some ravenous roosterfish. I have a  78 yr old who I set up with the Beulah 11′ surf rod, shooting head and Ken’s popper fly. All he had to do was roll out the 30′ head and he had 2-4 fish fighting over it on the way in. 3 fish landed and then the fly lost it’s eyes. We caught a couple more before it was so unrecognizable I had to change it up.

The Gran Sueno is a beautiful 5 star hotel, over the top setting and we have fished 200 yards in each direction. We have landed pargo, dorado, roosterfish, jack crevalle, cabrilla with wahoo and blue marlin within casting distance of the panga.

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