Christmas Island-the bonefishing.

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Posted by Clark Harrison on 2013-02-22 13:46:00

Just a few observations on the bonefishing. It never got really hot but we always had winds of 10-20mph. I fished my 8wt Xi2 and then dropped down to my 7wtXi. Both rods got the job done and the guides were pretty good about keeping the wind to our backs so we'd have a downwind or across the wind shot. I used the Rio bonefish line on the 8 and the new Quickshooter bonefish line on the 7. I really like the new Quickshooter-it loads well on a short cast. Both the SA and Rio bonefish lines are great lines IMHO. Being on foot most casts were in the 30-40 foot range. I could take the longer shots but with the wind there was always the risk of getting blown off target and spooking the fish. It was not uncommon to hook a fish with only a couple of feet of flyline out of the tip of the rod.

As for leaders I tie my own with hard Mason and put a fluoro tippet on it. I like the stiffer Mason or Maxima for turnover vs the store bought leaders. There is a lot of stone sized coral rubble on the flats and some flats have short 6 inch patches of staghorn coral which are death to leaders.
4ft of 20, 2ft of 16, and 1 foot of 10# Mason followed by 2-3ft of fluoro seemed to work fine. I was using 1x 14# Seaguar fluoro tippet but the first 2 bluefin trevally I hooked on bonefish flies chafed through the leader. I then went to 01x 18# Seaguar tippet and didn't lose anymore of the trevally I hooked. We went to lighter leader and size 8 flies if the fish acted spooky which helped.
For flies the #1 and #2 go to flies are the orange Christmas Island Special in 6 and 8 with small brass dumbbell eyes and size 6 and 8 Gotchas. Not sure why but Christmas Island flies are always tied fairly sparse. I use 5-6 strands of crystal flash to tie the CI Specials and add a sparse wing of craft fur.
It's important to have sturdy footwear because of the coral rubble which would shred light neoprene booties. Important also to wear a cotton sock or a neoprene sock to protect your feet from the inevitable sand that can get in your boots and cause chafing. I used the Simms 1 or 2mm sock and it worked great. I burn so I wear long pants and I use neoprene gravel guards around the ankles to help keep the sand out.
A fanny pack is nice but all you really need is a box of flies, tippet, a spare leader, and nippers on the flats.
When wading deep for trevally were were sometimes in waist deep water and I think I'll use a waterproof fanny pack for my next trip. Mine got wet but never really soaked.
On the boat it's good to have a waterproof gear bag to keep gear dry from salt spray. I just got the Patagonia waterproof backpack and I like it although it's pricey and if I didn't find it on sale here in Reno at the outlet I wouldn't have paid full retail. The guys from Captain Cook lodge all had the Orvis waterproof backpack and had good things to say about it. A simple river rafting dry bag would also suffice.
As for numbers of fish I caught 15-20 a day and blew and broke off my fare share as well. My best fish was about 8# and I broke off a big one on the hookup that the guide thought was a 10pounder. Fish average 2-3 pounds but I saw a lot more bigger fish this trip than when I was last there in 1998. Then I was disappointed then because just about all we caught were little fish. I think it's fishing a lot better now although there is still some netting going on in the lagoon.
Dan back to the issue of the heat. I never broke a sweat and I think it never got above 80 degrees. It was much hotter my previous two trips in May and Sept. The AC worked fine so I was actually cold at night. My roommate liked the white noise from the AC to muffle my snoring.
I was lame about taking pictures but one of our guys Ryan Edde is really into video. He's working on a You Tube video and I've seen the beta and it's great. Once he's finished it I'll post the You Tube link.
When I can steal away to my computer in the next few days I'll post my observations on the trevally fishing.
Tight lines.

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