Christmas Island January 2013 - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
SL2
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Christmas Island January 2013

Earlier in December I posted asking some questions about Saltwater fly fishing as I prepared to go to Christmas Island with my Father-in-Law. We made it back, but just barely. Catching bonefish is very addictive, and a Giant Trevally almost pulled me out to sea.

We stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel. The accommodation are not fancy, but who needs fancy when all you do is eat, fish and sleep. Our unit was 30 feet from the ocean, which sounded like a jet engine at times, but was very nice to fall asleep too. Plus, it drowned out my father-in-law's snoring. There were times at night when I thought high tide was literally lapping up against the side of our building. A nice hammock made for a good afternoon resting place and it was nice having a warm shower at the end of each day. The food was basic, but superb and the hotel staff were great, including creative towel folding upon arrival each afternoon.

We spent three days traveling to various flats by truck and three days by skiff. On our first day we fished "Go like Hell Flat" and had a great day. My father-in-law had been to Christmas Island 10 years ago, but was still a pro and hooked a couple bonefish (bones) within the first few minutes. It took me a little longer to get my first bone, but when I did it sure what fun. After a couple hours I was able to spot fish, when the sun was out, but relied on the guide when there was no sun. We had a great first day, each ending up with over 20 fish to hand.

Even though the fishing was a little tough because of cloud cover and rain, we still managed to get at least 20 fish a day. Even though number don't really matter when your looking over teal-green water and white sand that will take your breath away, numbers still have a way of sneaking their way in. Most of the time I was lost in the amazement of my surrounding; the birds, the sand, the water, the sky, the clouds, the fish, the explosion of a Trevally chasing dinner on a flat, the rays, the puffer fish, the black tip sharks, the colors of surgeon fish, the crabs, the crunch of coral under my feet, the lapping of the waves against my legs, the flapping of my shirt in the wind, the silhouette of bone fish against the white sand, the majestic shadows and bright flashes as Trevally cruised on and off the flat, and my favorite was standing alone, all senses attuned to the present, no thoughts robbing my enjoyment because of the need to be somewhere, say something, or do something. There was nothing I needed to say, no where I needed to be, and the only thing I could think of needing to do was, "go catch that tailing bonefish."

Six days of fishing, and living only for the moment in which I stood. It was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. There is so much I can say about this trip, my experience, but I lack the words and skill to do any justice in trying to fully describe the beauty and wondrousness of Christmas Island.

So for those who have succumbed to living only by the ESPN highlight reel, I will wast no more of your time.

Six Days, about 20 bones a day, per person, average size was 2 pounds.
Two 1/2 days Trevally fishing, 8 landed, at least 17 hooked, lost 4 fly lines, blew-up 3 reels, and broke no rods. (Four guys fished for GT. 2 guys hooked a minimum of 5 fish each, landing only 1 each. Another gentleman went 1 for 1. By Gods grace, landed 5 and hooked 6.)

da nah na.....da nah nunt.

I asked many questions about fly fishing for Giant Trevally (GT) before we left on our trip, but now I know the answers to my questions. If you are going to fish for GT, use a 12wt rod. ( I did, and I am glad I did) Put as much 50# backing on as possible (a minimum of 300 yards), and use a straight piece of 80# hard mono, 5-8 feet long. I had one of the GT I caught take out 300 yards of backing, I was thankful for the 40 extra yards the guy at the fly shop put on. Also, if one of your local fly shops sells you a 20# leader for Trevally, laugh in his face and by the 80#. Unless you don't really want to land one or are going for a USGA record. No need for a shock leader.

For bonefish, I used a 9'6" 7wt Z-Axis and it was perfect. I over lined with an 8 weight line. The guide I fished with decided he would start fishing with a 7wt by the middle of the week. I started with 12# tipped and moved up to 15# because the fish didn't care and there are some big bones out there and having 15# is nice when you hooked one. I used fluorocarbon but I don't think it really matters.

Some of the places we fished were: Go-Like-Hell-Flat, Banana Flat, Orvis Flat, Lone Palm Y-Site, Tereke Flat, Paris Flat, Te Ren Flat, Pancake Flat and many other places that I did not get the names of.

This was a trip of a lifetime, and although I would love to go back someday, I do not think I will be able to. I am okay with that, it makes this trip even that much more special. (I will be putting some of my gear, bought for this trip, up for sale sometime this week, so keep your eye out.)

Please enjoy the pictures below, as each one of these puts a smile on my face and it was a pleasure to have to take these pictures so you could enjoy them. I would love to hear your comments and stories of similar experiences.

If you want to hear more, see more pictures or have questions feel free to PM me.

Christmas Island Bonefish and GT Club,

SL2 (Seth)
















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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 06:05 AM
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WOW! Nice pics!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:18 AM
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Sweet! Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking about Christmas Island and I hope to make it there soon.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:14 PM
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What kind of reels did you blow up?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 02:46 PM
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Those are great pictures! I went to Xmas island in 2000 or 2001 and it was fun but I didn't hook any trevally like that, wow. Even a small trevally puts a huge bend in the rod. Completely agree on the 12 weight. The one trevally of size that I hooked took off away from me and I watched it cross two flats kicking up spray before it cut off my fly line on a coral head; this was with a Tibor Gulfstream with the drag fully cranked. Hooking and landing trevally is a lot about luck too.

Just FYI that the core of a flyline is only 40 pound test so 80 pound straight tippet might help with wear on rocks, etc. but it doesn't help with pulling strength.

Sounds like Xmas is still the best place to learn about bonefishing, I just remember the sheer number of shots. Compared to the Bahamas I saw almost no schools of fish, but mostly singles and small groups, so lots and lots of shots. There were places where you could stand stationary and fish for hours as fish paraded by. I think one morning I caught 20 fish without moving over a 2-3 hour period. But, there were also days on some flats that seemed empty.

I am very glad to hear the fishing has held up.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Reels

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Originally Posted by Carl Blackledge View Post
What kind of reels did you blow up?
My recommendation would be to get the best reel possible if you are going to target Trevally. We fished two 1/2 days for Trevally and our Echo 11/12wt reels were trashed. Basically each reel lasted about 2 or 3 fish. The last fish I caught it was all palming. I guess thats what you get for $100. One of our fishing partners $400 Ross Saltwater reel got trashed as well. These fish are extremely hard on gear.

SL2
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by circlespey View Post
Just FYI that the core of a flyline is only 40 pound test so 80 pound straight tippet might help with wear on rocks, etc. but it doesn't help with pulling strength.

Sounds like Xmas is still the best place to learn about bonefishing, I just remember the sheer number of shots. Compared to the Bahamas I saw almost no schools of fish, but mostly singles and small groups, so lots and lots of shots. There were places where you could stand stationary and fish for hours as fish paraded by. I think one morning I caught 20 fish without moving over a 2-3 hour period. But, there were also days on some flats that seemed empty.

I am very glad to hear the fishing has held up.
You are right about the pulling strength, and the heavy line is basically for abrasion resistance. A fly fisherman is most likely get get his line cut on coral, or have the hook come loose than have a Trevally actually break the line. At least that is my experience.

You are also right about the bone fishing. There were times when I just wanted to stand in one spot and keep catching fish but the guide kept us moving. My father-in-law found several spots where he just stood there and fish would swim towards him like they were traveling on a country highway. I saw way more fish than I cast to. I cast to way more fish than I caught. And I caught way more fish than I expected. The fishing has held up nicely, and the bonefish are now protected on Christmas Island, so that might be helping. They are looking at doing the same with the Trevally. The only thing I noticed was that on some flats the fish were more spooky than other flats. I think this is because some flats like Paris and Orvis are more popular so the fish see more fisherman. Although, I did have one of my best days on Orvis Flat.

Tight lines,

SL2
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 01:40 AM
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Great photos and thanks for sharing.

I have been to The Bahamas twice bone fishing and had a blast. The size of the bonefish are bigger but we didn't have the numbers of fish like you did. Really doesn't matter either way as just being there is awesome. I have some friends who have been to Christmas Island and had the same success as you did except they never mentioned trevally. What a blast.......my next trip is going to be on Christmas island for bonefish and trevally

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 05:57 PM
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This is really amazing!! Did you fish DIY on the "truck" days? I found the packages kind of expensive...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 07:49 PM
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report

Seth,
Great report! My arms are aching just thinking about some of those
monsters. Good advice, as well.
Best,
lsteinb
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lsteinb View Post
Seth,
Great report! My arms are aching just thinking about some of those
monsters. Good advice, as well.
Best,
lsteinb
Thanks, I think my arm pump just finally went away After catching those GT I am ruined.

Seth
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflyexplorer View Post
This is really amazing!! Did you fish DIY on the "truck" days? I found the packages kind of expensive...
No, we were with guides every day and they proved very important on cloudy days and they were the reason we could hook GT like we did. If a guy had been to Christmas Island a few times he could probably fish without a guide. I am not sure how one would arrange it though? Also, I caught a lot more fish when I was with my guide than when I was not.

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