Trip Report: Christmas Island

Upon arriving at Christmas Island and going through customs at their very small airport, each member of our group quickly found ourselves wearing a crown of woven leaves and flowers and a refreshing coconut beverage. We were quick to add spiced rum to our beverages. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Like many fly anglers, I’ve read about how spectacular Christmas Island is for many years. It was a dream come true to finally be on a plane heading there. The fly boxes were full. My rods, reels and lines were prepared and ready. As we approached the island, I could see the massive array of flats that awaited our arrival. The day had come! Legendary Christmas Island guide, Moana Kofe, peers across a bonefish flat looking for the right conditions to begin a day of bonefishing. Moana was truly a joy to fish with and it was fun to try and pick up little pieces knowledge from his vast experience on the flats. It was also very fun to talk with him about life on the island and a whole bunch of non-fishing topics. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Including me, there were eight anglers in our group. The seven anglers I would have the pleasure of fishing with throughout the week were Pacific Fly Fishers’ customers – five of them from our local area, one from San Diego, and one from Canada. Two had been to Christmas Island years before. For the rest of us, this was our first time.

The number of flats on Christmas Island is truly amazing and each a little different. I have no idea how the guides choose which flat is good at each given time. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Charlie T. takes a quick pose with a typical Christmas Island bonefish. Notice in this picture how well the fish blends with his surroundings. Just a couple inches underwater and they instantly disappear. It was fun to get better with each day at learning to spot the fish on the flats and distinguish bonefish from other fish on the flats. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Dave I. strikes a pose like the cover of Fly Fisherman Magazine. Dave caught this nice Christmas Island bone on our last day of fishing. Buff sun protection over your face, neck and ears was wore by all anglers almost all the time. Christmas Island is just about right on the equator and even the guides wore them to protect themselves from the harsh sun. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Our week of fishing was with Christmas Island Outfitters and it was apparent from the beginning that we were in good hands. Accommodations were simple but sufficient for a group of anglers. The food was plentiful and better than expected given the challenges of being on a remote island where there isn’t exactly a massive grocery store around every corner. The guides and the fishing was off the charts spectacular and it was fun to see the excited faces of each angler every evening as we all reunited after each day of fishing.

Dave M. and his wife Nancy M. had fished Christmas Island years ago. It was fun to get their perspective on this trip vs. their past trip... and also compared to the many other places around the globe they have fished. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Michael with a nice bonefish prior to its release back into the clear waters of a Christmas Island flat. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Another nice bonefish for Dave M. There are a number of different bonefish species and the Christmas Island bonefish are more long and slender compared to those of the Caribbean. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

The emphasis of the fishing was for bonefish and there appeared to be endless opportunities and countless fish to cast to throughout most days. One of the few frustrations I felt during the trip is that after hooking one fish, I would inevitably see another, larger fish cruising in the distance… but I had to land the one on the line before I could cast to it! Not a bad problem to have. Zach H. shows off a big Christmas Island bonefish. Those bigger fish were spooky and tough to fool. I had a number of shots and finally hooked one but lost it as it ran off the edge of the flat and broke off in the coral. Nice going on this fish, Zach! Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Schalk L. with a Christmas Island Giant Trevally. Those trevally were serious gear-testers. Suddenly that 12-weight rod didn't seem that big when a trevally took off heading for cover. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Craig E. poses with a beautiful Giant Trevally from our trip to Christmas Island. Putting the heat on these fish was important to keep them away from sharp coral reefs as much as possible. Sounds easy... but wasn't! Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Not every moment on the bonefish flats was full of constant fish, but most days an angler could expect to have over 50 shots a day. Three of the four and a half days I spent concentrating on bones, at least half the day seemed filled with constant fish to cast to. Gaining the ability to spot your own fish (even if the guide is standing next to you and pointing them out) is a huge advantage. Casting to those fish quickly, accurately, and without too much splash is another big advantage. Both of these could be surprisingly difficult when the adrenaline is pumping and the guide is pointing out fish after fish and calmly stating, “It’s a big one, right in front of you. Just 15 feet out. Cast now.” Another tough-fighting Giant Trevally finally comes to hand. Looking at the head, jaws and teeth of these fish was pretty impressive. Definitely a fish that could bully just about anything around. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. Nancy M. knew how to show those tuna who's boss. Armed with a sturdy 14-weight rod, a ton of backing, and a serious leader, Nancy was the queen tuna slayer on the trip. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Christmas Island’s Giant Trevally are always on the minds of anglers heading to the island. They are impressive fish on the end of the line and in your hands. Some members in our group targeted them more than others but we caught them casting to the edge of the flats, trolling and also chumming them up and casting flies to them. Chumming them to the edge of the flat and then casting flies was a bit of a novelty, but hooking one of those brutes on a 12-weight was a thrill anyway… and also a lot of work! They were more fun when you would occasionally get a shot at one cruising the edge of a flat. It was tough, though, to drop the bonefish rod and get the cast out in time with your trevally rod before the opportunity was gone. For those in the group that spent more time targeting them, they caught around half a dozen fish in a day. Most of them seemed to be around 10- to 20-pounds and included a few different trevally species. The chummed fish averaged quite a bit larger. Dave I. turned a 4-piece rod into a 5-piece rod on this fish but got it in none-the-less. What a great fish! Yellowfin Tuna of any size are like fighting a VW bus and to land a fish this size is a highpoint of anyone's fly fishing career. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters. This is unbelievable. This yellowfin tuna weighed-in at nearly 100-pounds. Nancy M. hooked this fish and it took four anglers and two hours of battling it to finally subdue it. Even the guides looked pretty shocked as their boat rolled into the harbor with the tail of this monster sticking out of a huge cooler. Amazing! Nice job, Nancy!! Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

The surprisingly spectacular opportunity on this trip was the killer yellowfin tuna fishing. This was a trolling deal where you used the biggest fly rod, sturdiest reel, and largest flies you could get your hands on. Four anglers would troll flies behind the boat at an extremely fast pace while keeping an eye out for bird and fish activity on the surface. When the fish appeared, first one reel would begin to scream… then another… then another… and usually all four would soon be ripping hundreds of yards of backing off the reel while you held on for dear life. If you’ve ever caught yellowfin tuna before, you understand what I’m saying when telling you we landed fish over 50-pounds and one fish of nearly 100-pounds that took four anglers two hours to land! I would highly recommend anglers that go to Christmas Island think about taking a day to go offshore. 14-weight rods with only the best reels are highly recommended! Dave M. looked pretty dang excited about adding "Wahoo" to the long list of fish he has taken on a fly rod. This fish shot out of the water behind the boat just prior to Dave's rod slamming down and his reel beginning to scream. Contact us to book your trip to Christmas Island with Christmas Island Outfitters.

Christmas Island is a special place. It is easy to see why so many anglers have gone there numerous times. To make this trip even better, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of other anglers to travel and fish with. Thanks to each of you if you are reading this. I hope we travel together again soon.

Michael

Looking to take a trip to Christmas Island? Contact us about booking your trip and help with travel arrangements and equipment.

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