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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-29-2001 10:46 AM
October Caddis
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Nathan,
You are going at a great time of year. Seems to be less pressure from May thru August. Our winter months can bring out some real stuckup flyfishers to the Island. Guess they go trout fishing from May on. One thing to remember about May through August is that it's winter far to the South and that means big south swell moves northward. If you surf bring your board it's great, a surf and fish vacation. The Patagonia executives go at this time of year because they do both.
Good luck and be prepared to eat so much lobster it will come out your ears by the time you leave.
I've had friends that bring heavy surf rods for night entertainment and have caught Trevally close to 100 pounds while enjoying a beer or two.
03-29-2001 09:31 AM
juro
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Awesome report Greg! My turn in the carribe with a flyrod is next winter. It's been a few years since my annual trips to the Keys.
03-28-2001 10:12 PM
GregD
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Hi Nate,

I had the great fortune of going to Xmas Island thanks to the generocity of my father. I didn't see any mention of who you booked your trip through or with. We went through Kauffmans, whose is associated with frontiers. We stayed at the Capt Cook hotel, an old british army headquarters I'm told. Kauffmans provided and excellent written list of considerations and recomendations. The staff was great and the food was good considering the adverse conditions there. They gladly cooked some of the fresh yellowtail caught perfectly for the group to enjoy, it was great!

I found walking the flats and casting at the bonefish to be exciting and challenging. After spending considerable time with a guide on the flats and catching some 14-27 inch bonefish I decided it was time to look see what I could observe and do to find larger fish.

In general the fish seemed quite spooky on clear water days, and some would clearly refuse the flies on occasion. Naturally this appeared especially true if conditions were in shallow water, calm and clear. You could chew up alot of time stalking them on the flats and catch just a few fish.

Yet if it was windy the water got murky and you could practically step on the bonefish before they would notice you if you where down current. Downside is the sharks would pop up around you without warning and in waist deep water it was enough to send my barefoot guide dragging me off to a shallower fishing spot. During the trip I had several encounters that required me to go on the offensive to redirect 4 to 5 foot shark away from me. On the western point (mouth of the bay) I was fishing with at least 25 or so little sharks milling around became to much to watch your backside and cast at the large bones and trevally cruising around, felt much better standing on a dry sand bar [img]http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">.

I found using typical structure and current analysis technics far more interesting to locate Big fish or schools of bones. I observed some Big bones cruise on the flats and quickly back off a number off times. Which naturally lead my to the edge of the flats. My favorite and most productive was fishing off the sandy beach bayside, with schools of bonefish cruising along shore. Or feeding in the current in troughs during the outgoing tides although they weren't as large as those hanging off the flats IMHO.

I preffered working along the edge of the flats typically on whatever side the current flowed of the or either side working my way there. I then began suffering very high breakoff rates, perhaps due to using 10 or 12 pound test leaders! 10 to 12lb test is great for limiting the size of the bonefish to say 35 inches or so. They get bigger than that there I'm told, and I lost quite a few before I finally moved up to 15Lb test and got my drag adjusted alright. Even then I still couldn't keep my flies or fish on. Whether I found the giant trevally or others with a mouthful off teeth is debatable, But the fish where certainly bigger for me most of the time. I never consistantly keep those fish or flies on, and lost some seemingly very large fish.

A gentleman from the Seattle area held the record single day catch of 40 bonefish in one stop the week I was there. He wasn't chasing fish on the flats with a floating line. He was using a sink tip and fishing deeper water working in the longshore current along shoreline using a 20LB tippet! After hearing this I decided my insistance on using a 10-12lb tippet was actually very limiting in my opinion. After all the first fish I caught gave me a good fish relative to a schooly striper only the bonefish was only 9-10 inches long <img src="http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">. At that point I relized why the bonefish is so reveared as a gamefish. And when I finally got into a 30in class I couldn't believe how many times I heard the scream of the drag and the backing rolling off with one fish.

Logistically speaking the Capt Cook Hotel isn't really close to the flats. And I hardly consider the fishing very good out front of the motel. It's treacherous on the slippery growth on the coral and waves pushing you around with ease. Around high tide you can wade along the coral on the water covered beach, fishing for cruising bones and trevally. The
place in New London is located right at the departure point and if you where so inclined could likely walk to good fishing around the flats in the bay.

I saw a suggestion to purchase flies tied from the locals, I had to I lost so many and didn't have enough of the guide preffered types. I found some to be very poorly tied with dull and brittle hooks. But compared to nothin they catch fish <img src="http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Happy.gif[/img].

Don't drink the Water unless it's clean bottled or you bring one of those backpack filter bottles. The groundwater is quite contaminated courtesy of the US military and the Brits leaving acres of 55 galoon drums of fuel, oil and other chemicals leaching into the soil over the years. I got really sick when the island ran out of bear and I switched to Mixed drinks. The Ice cubes or food from the leuaui did me in, imodium helped alot.

The Sun was brutal, numberous people wore shorts only to be fried and miserable the rest of trip. I wore long pants and long sleeve shirt. Still my neck, hand, ears, nose and any other exposed part was pretty fried. A handkerchief came in really handy to pretect my neck, Flats hat I'd consider mandatory and some good aloe and sunscreen of course.

Don't leave the door to your room open unless you don't mind crabs with an attitudes coming in to visit. The laundry service destroyed our clothes. Beer or your favorite beverage should be hoarded if you want a guaranteed supply, good to do when the supply ship is overdue for 3-6 months (typical I'm told).

The Karabati people have so little, it would be greatly appreciated by the guides if you tipped them with flats boots (11-13X) or Sneakers. They all appeared to be large footed people. Toys for the kids are good tips for the family men. After you see some guides walking barefoot all day stepping on the razor sharp coral you'll see why they would be so highly valued.

If you dive like I did you may swim with Giant Mantas, spinner porpoise or what little of the reef fish remain. Not many left after commercial divers catch them all for sale to american pets stores. Say hi to Kim at Dive Karabati for me if you see him.

I'm sure it will be a trip you'll never forget and want to come back and get them another time. I hope to go again with my father again someday.

Sorry to be so delayed in my post, this took me a while to type, I had problems posting, working too much etc...

Tight Lines,
Greg.
02-09-2001 01:52 AM
Eddie
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Tibor reels all of a sudden looked like a real bargain after I sprung for my wifes ring.
Call my friend Josh @ Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters: 415-781-3474. He went a few months ago and would be happy to answer your questions. I will tell him you might call. This is going to be a great trip. Eddie
02-08-2001 12:31 PM
Mattb
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Nate, there was a slide show at last month's NH CCA meeting about Christmas Island, too bad you missed it. The main things the presenters emphasized were sun protection- you're on the equator- and sparse flies. They actually said that the store on the island had flies that were tied by the locals for very reasonable prices.

In addition to the bonefishing and the trevally there is also offshore fishing for tuna and wahoo, so i'd recommend a stout rod.

One other thing I gleaned from the slide show was that the outfitter that is affiliated with fronteirs is the way to go, the presenters said that all their boats had nice new outboards, but they saw folks from some of the other camps broken down on more than one occasion.

Matt

I just checked the CCA NH page and it was Capt Dave Gittens that did the slide show. his website is <!--http--><a href="http://www.maineflyfishing.net/" target="_blank">www.maineflyfishing.net</a><!--url--> and i'm sure he'd have some great info for you.
02-08-2001 10:24 AM
Adrian
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Nathan

Most effective flies were in smaller sizes - #6s and #8s. Variations on the crazy charley and gotcha theme in different colors/shades and weights. Yellow/gold and white/orange produced in the past. A quick look through any of the catalogues will show a number of so called Christmas Island specials. I would definitely take along fly tying gear and be prepared to experiment.

Flies for Trevally should include big deceivers and poppers. They're generally not too fussy. There's some useful info at the following site. This is the operation we're going with.

<a href="http://www.castawayflyfishingshop.com/Xmas1.html" target="_blank"><!--auto-->http://www.castawayflyfishingshop.com/Xmas1.html</a><!--auto-->
02-08-2001 09:00 AM
juro
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

I am jealous Nate! Hope you have the trip of a lifetime. GregD recently went there with his wife and parents. That way the guys could fish and the ladies had company Sounded like a good plan to me.

I have a friend who used to run a lodge down there, I am not sure if he is still into it so will look before I leap with his info...

BTW - Adrian, you are a wealth of information, glad to have you on board!
02-08-2001 08:57 AM
Nathan Smith
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

No this has nothing to do with the wedding. Actually this is the last big purchase that I won't have to ask permission for.

Adrian,
Best flys?
02-08-2001 08:55 AM
Adrian
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

If this is a honeymoon trip I hope she likes to fish -there's not much else to do there other than drink, read, birdwatch .....
02-08-2001 08:51 AM
Adrian
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

I'm making a return trip with friends this coming March. I was there in '96 and it was our introduction to saltwater flyfishing - and what and introduction!

For a first bonefishing trip it's about as good as it can get. There are simply so many fish there that you can screw-up time after time until you get it right and there will still be more fish to hone your skills on. Expect to be fooled by Milkfish. They look just like bones in the water, often swim with them but feed mostly on algae. The thing I like most about the place is it's remoteness and it's all wade fishing on firm coral sand flats which seem to go on forever. I love the Bahamas and the Carribean as well, but I've had many days there where opportunities are thin on the ground.

In addition to bones, there are also three species of Trevally which will really put a bend in your rod. If you haven't had enough at the end of the day, you can wade out to the edge of the reef in front of your hotel and cast for Trevally and who knows what else. This is great fun but don't go out there alone. - the surf can easily turn you upside down and the next ladnfall is over 1000 miles away! Most evenings one of the locals would come down to cast a 12" pencil popper with an ancient looking fixed spool reel and 100lb class big game rod from the 1960's era. He went home with a 20 to 40 pounder most evenings. I only managed one hook-up which ripped half the line of my reel until it jammed and the line snapped like rifle shot.

Take at least two of everything you think you'll need. The nearest town is 1200 miles away and the local tackle shop didn't have much in it. What was there was ludicrously expensive.

Antibiotic cream is a good thing to have. We were ignorant of the fact that the polyps in the tropical waters hold considerable amounts of bacteria and the tiniest cut can become quite painfully infected. Fortunately I had taken some TCP ointment and it did the trick.

I'll be writing up a report on our trip but if you need any other info. drop me an email.
02-08-2001 08:32 AM
striblue
RE:Christmas Island Fishing Trip

Nathan, does this have anything to do with a Honeymoon? I knew you were getting married. That is very sly, booking a honeymoon and finding a place to fish. I take it your wife to be has seen these posts?
02-08-2001 08:12 AM
Nathan Smith
Christmas Island Fishing Trip

I decided to go for the gusto and go to Christmas Island rather then to the Bahamas. I booked the trip yesterday for May. Has anyone else been there? If so what are your thoughts.

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