|I'm here in Oahu for a week on business, and had a day with no events. So we booked a guided trip with Louie the Fish's son, Joaquin. We jumped in Joaquin's small tender and headed out to the flats by the airport. That place is loaded with bones of unusual size. |
Joaquin set me up with a 15' leader of straight 17lb flouro and had me slinging the fly over the edge of the flat into the deeper water. Bones apparently like to cruise the dropoff, and will be often be found feeding just up on the shelf. After explaining the routine to me, Joaquin took off with my partner to stalk fish on the flats proper and do so sight casting.
Blind casting may not be as glamorous as sight casting to tailing bones, but it worked well for me. I caught two fiesty jacks to start out. Several casts later I was picked up by something that had considerably more horsepower. My Everglades sang a sweet song, and I was into my backing on my first ever bone. The fish ran out across the channel and I feared it would find a coral head, but it turned and ran right back at me, passing me and going about the same distance in the opposite direction. I feared it would get into the mangroves, but once again it turned, and this time started circling me at a distance. The fish played tetherball with me for a long time, but eventually tired. I let out a whoop and hollered off to Joaquin in the distance that it was a bone. They waved to me, and I released the fish. Mission accomplished.
Not long after, I picked up a second bone. Both were only 3-4 pounders, smaller than average for Oahu I'm told. But I was still stoked.
By then, the wind had picked up and the sun was shining in the wrong direction to really allow for sighting fish. We still went on a long walk and Joaquin spotted fish anyway. We moved to a new spot looking for fish in the shelter the mangroves. Joaquin spotted many of them, they were just very spooky and I never got the fly to them in time. We saw some very large fish. I know they're there... I'll just have to give them another try. Maybe Thursday!
Can't say enough about how pleasant it was to fish with Joaquin. He's knowledgeable, patient, and a good teacher. He can certainly spot the fish, too. What an amazing fishery they have right there in Honolulu's backyard.