A Kauai Fly Fishing Adventure


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Posted by Nelson M on 2013-10-07 19:31:58

I just wanted to share this fly fishing experience while vacationing in Kauai. My wife and I and our 2 daughters (10 & 11) just concluded 7 days in Kauai. We are now on our way for 4 more days in Oahu.
As an occasional visitor on Dan Blanton's very informative and enlightening bulletin board, I've happened upon some posters searching for fly fishing info on Kauai and Oahu. Those postings have caught my attention since I have gone on family vacations to both islands within the past couple years. Most of the posters seem to have similar challenges as I that the fly fishing is not the primary reason for going to Hawaii and taking a back seat to the usual family vacation activities and destinations. Plus, I believe my wife would not be very happy of me shelling out the time and money to spend all day with a guide. She has hinted to make that a guys only trip. For now, the only approved solo activity is a round of golf, which is well worth it as these courses have some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere (but I digress). So, for now, the only way is to make this fly fishing thing work is to mesh it in somehow with wife and kids in tow.
So as the planned vacation date quickly arrives, I'm doing more research online and turns out there is rainbow trout in the mountain streams in Kauai, bass and peacock bass in various lakes, and of course the bonefish along the beaches. I'm getting excited at the possibilities. But the more I research the difficult it seems and the more it make sense to hook up with guide.
Undeterred, I pack my 4 piece 5 wt and 8 wt. SH floater and sinker (but forgot the intermediate), and an assortment of trout, bass, and shad flies. I did not have a chance to shop for bonefish flies so the shad flies looked the closest thing, some orange brown colors to match the crab imitation more or less.
So now we are snorkeling at Anini beach at the northside of Kauai. As the girls are enjoying a day of snorkeling and fun on the beach, I am keenly noticing the area has quite a bit of flats similar to what I've read about for bonefish. So I'm snorkeling and I see the usual reef fish then along comes this 20-24" bonefish cruising along. A beauty. I'm telling my wife and kids about it and they don't know what the fuss is all about. The next day we come back this time with my 8 wt. fast action Albright EXT and SH floater tied with an orange shad fly.
I make several casts fanning out in different directions and I notice schools of small reef fish following my fly. At this point I'm thinking hooking any of those fish would be nice right now as the odds of catching a bonefish seems very low with each cast. Then I notice what looks like a long skinny eel like fish following my fly. As I pick up the line, one of the long-ish creatures bite and its fish on!!! My wife comes over and is excited as I am and snaps a few pics on her IPhone. At first I thought it was a needlefish but on closer inspection I recalled that it looked more like the unusual looking Trumpet Fish. Confirmed it was a trumpet, after a quick google on the smart phone
After a few more cast, we called it a day and the girls wanted to move on to the next activities. Although, I did not catch another fish or a bonefish for that matter, I was not disappointed. At least I didn't get skunked. I also felt very accomplished, since I am that very occasional fly fisher living in Discovery Bay, living the busy family life with young kids chock full of related activities. To make matters worse, my aging fishing boat can't manage to stay out of the repair shop. So I mostly live vicariously through the accomplished fly fishers' stories, reports and photos posted on this and other websites.
Perhaps the next time my wife will let me loose for an all day guided fishing trip or let me go on a guys only trip (are you listening Robert N???) to an exotic fly fishing destination somewhere... : )
Nelson M

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