Trip requirements for Saltwater fishing at Kiritimati, Christmas Island in the Pacific
This tiny speck in the Pacific should be called Paradise Found.
It is one of the best Bone fishing destinations on the planet: two hundred and twenty one Bonefish in six days. Not too shabby, plus there were a few other species but whose counting.
This adventure all began with a Fly Shop client wanting Bonefish flies for his trip in July 2019. We put a fly pack together for him which then posed the question how big a range and how many to take. Having a trip seemed necessary. At short notice Garry at Angling Adventures was able to put the itinerary together three weeks out. Christmas Island, Sunset Horizon Lodge here I come. Nella a hater of high heat and sand decided not to accompany me.
Late night flight out of Melbourne to Nadi then overnight flight to Kiritimati. The island is almost on the equator. 30º days, sand, coconut palms and smiling locals. Sunset Horizon Lodge picked me up with a quick trip to London were I was staying. Had breakfast, geared up and met my guide for the week. Nareau was older and well weathered and I knew instantly this was going to be a great week.
After hello (mauri) and how are you (kouara) came the dreaded words "Lets look at your gear". This is of course was a bit close to home having been a trout fishing guide for 25 years. My rods #8, #9 and #12 were all good. I was to use my #8 every day and Nareau would carry my #12 incase we ran into a Giant Travelly. My yellow fly line was good, however, the sink tip was not as the flats are all shallow. Quick change of fly line to a yellow floating and #8 passed inspection. On my reel I had put c250 yds, 50 lbs breaking strain which I was told casually I would need. My #12 had 400 yds XTS Gelspun and 100lbs breaking strain. Nareau approved of my reels, a Vanquish set up with an #8 line and a spare spool with a #9 line. The Islander reel set up for the #12 line. The terminal end for the #8 had a 9' fluorocarbon leader at 20lb breaking strain and a section of fluorocarbon tippet 20lbs breaking strain. If possible its good to stick to one brand of leader and tippet.
Purchase the very best salt water reel you can afford as 100 meters of backing will be pulled out of your rod tip every day. The high end reels have a very good drag system which will save the day.
Now to my flies; opening my several fly boxes for inspection I got a 'hmmm' as a sage like comment on the flies I had spent a 100 hours putting together. Typical guide. 'Lets go chase some bonefish' he said and so a short drive to the boat and I was into it.
The first days fishing tended to be a bit of hit and miss as I went from long casts to short depending on the way the Bonefish were moving. All the fish were on the move and no tailing to be seen. Ikari (bonefish) have mirror like scales and show themselves as a smudge moving along the bottom. Nareau spotted all the fish way before I did. I then found out what the #12 was for ...... a pointer to the bones location! He would call the distance in feet and then left to right or right to left, then it was up to me. Lets just say I got it wrong more often than right. It was my first day - give me a break. Oh! and then there is the wind. Good guides make sure your are either casting across the wind or down wind. I was told they do sometimes have calm days, not in my week. We had a good afternoon breaking each other in. It was fun. Eight fish landed then back to the lodge for drinks and dinner . Lobster and a buffett of other assorted goodies. The other guests proved to be very interesting from USA and two from Singapore . All had been to Christmas Island before bar one. Many walks of life make for good company.
The rest of the week followed in a similar vein, however, more fish were caught each day. Other species caught included Travelly, Trigger fish, Goat fish. Over the week my fly selection from our Fly Shop stock proved useful with Charlies and Gotchas the standout flies.
Top 5 Items to Pick for your Trip to Christmas Island
1. 8 weight rod - plus 9 weigh rod if fishing other species, if chasing monsters other than bonefish take a 12 weight rod
2. Flurocarbon tippet material and leaders
3. Gel spun backing
4. Bone Fish Flies - Crazy Charlies, Gotchas
5. Palgic Flies - Surf Candies, Decievers, Poppers
Be sure to give me a call to discuss your trip requirements and we can put together a tailored pack for you.