CHRISTMAS ISLAND TIME
Yellow Dog client Ron Young recently returned from a fly fishing trip to Christmas Island. Despite a bit of rough weather, he had a stellar trip and wrote a report for Bozeman fly shop Fins & Feathers. Here’s an excerpt from his report:
“On another rainy day we again went out off shore in search of yellowfin. I brought an extra Mirage reel (I wish I had on my original 12 weight) and my friend Bob had extra line that I borrowed. We got into another round of yellowfins but the big event was catching milkfish that were hugging a Korean fishing vessel that was anchored up. Everyone hooked up on these fish casting next to the boat and the fight was on. These fish are incredible fighting fish. It took 55 minutes to land my milkfish and I was glad when I finally had it in the boat. The best part of the day though, was when my friend Bob hooked a milkfish and my old acquaintance Jimmy from the Catskills hooked a GT. Both fish were going in opposite directions and neither knew the other had a fish on. They could not understand why the boat was not helping them out! It was entertaining watching this to say the least. We did land both fish with Jimmy bringing in a 70 pound GT and Bob’s milkfish in the 25 pound range.”
The widely scattered nation of Kiribati, pronounced “Kir-ee-bahs,” located in the Pacific Ocean along the edges of the Equator, includes the Gilbert, Phoenix and Line island groups. The waters surrounding Kiribati were an important battlefield during World War II, and several of the islands were ground zero for nuclear testing in the 1950s. The isolated location of the Kiribati islands prevents tourism from flourishing and becoming a major business, even though the weather is consistently warm and the shallow water flats are teeming with bonefish, trevally, triggerfish, and numerous other game fish. It is important to note that Christmas Island is definitely not another Tahiti or Hawaii where you can go to relax and have nothing to worry about. It has few visitors, and they have to be prepared to “rough it.” That said, there aren’t many countries where the people are friendlier.
Located in the South Pacific equidistant between Hawaii and New Zealand sits Kiritimati Island – the largest atoll in the world that today is known to anglers as Christmas Island. It takes a bit of time to get here, but once you arrive, you find a saltwater wilderness area that is absolutely massive: an area that is home to impressive numbers of bonefish, milkfish, triggerfish, giant trevally, golden trevally and numerous other species. The interior and exterior flats of Christmas Island are a mix of hard white sand, coral and turtle grass, creating the ideal setting for wade fishing enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a great first-time flats trip or a destination that will deliver impressive numbers, then a trip to Christmas Island should be high on the list.
Photos: Ron Young and Yellow Dog Flyfishing.
Christmas Island sounding like a solid adventure?
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