Fly Fishing the World's Largest Atoll
Located in the South Pacific, equidistant between Hawaii and New Zealand, sits Kiritimati Island – the largest atoll in the world known to anglers as “Christmas Island.” Not to be confused with the Territory of Australia “Christmas Island,” Kiritimati is a remote and largely-undeveloped island that is part of a long island chain that makes up the country of Kiribati. 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 home to impressive numbers of bonefish, milkfish, triggerfish, giant trevally, golden trevally, and several 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. For those looking for a diversity of species and solid numbers of bonefish, Christmas Island is hands-down one of the top destinations in the entire world of saltwater fishing.
Yellow Dog is very excited and proud to be working with The Villages, the best operation that the island has to offer. Built directly on the beach just outside the small town of London, The Villages has several small cabins outfitted to accommodate two anglers per room. Each cabin is equipped with air-conditioning, hot showers, comfy beds, and an atmosphere that allows anglers to think of nothing but the week’s fishing ahead. The Villages has an indoor dining area with air-conditioning and a covered palapa-style lounge area where cocktails and appetizers are served after long days on the flats. With a client-to-guide ratio of one-to-one (the only operation on Christmas Island that offers this!), anglers can look forward to fishing one-on-one with their own guide each day. Each guide will come directly to a client’s cabin every morning and take their rods and gear to the boat, which is just a short, 50-foot walk from the lodge. With a friendly staff, good food, and a “fishing-focused” atmosphere, The Villages is the perfect place to call home for a week on Christmas Island.
Food and Beverages
All meals are prepared within the Villages kitchen featuring a variety of different fish dishes, rice, chicken, pork, pasta, and salads with a homemade dessert to top everything off. Each morning anglers will eat a breakfast consisting of homemade toast, eggs, and bacon then make a short walk to the beach where their boat and guide will be waiting for them. During breakfast, a table consisting of lunch items will be provided for anglers to make their own sandwiches and fill their lunch box with extra snacks, fruit, and drinks. Each angler will have four (4) bottles of water which are included in the trip package, provided for them during their day of fishing. If desired, anglers can bring more at an additional cost. All cabins are equipped with a small fridge filled with sodas and beer at an additional cost. After each day of fishing, anglers are served appetizers in the open lounge area which will consist of fresh tuna and wahoo sashimi, chips and dip, and cheese and crackers. The Villages only provide beer so any additional adult beverages can be purchased in Honolulu at the Duty-Free shop. A maximum of only three (3) bottles per person are allowed through customs.
Typical Length of Stay
Since flights to Christmas Island’s Cassidy International Airport (CXI) through Honolulu’s International Airport (HNL) are only offered once a week on Fiji Air, the standard package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days.
While most visitors to the island are focused mostly on the diverse fishing opportunities, The Villages does offer guests diving opportunities. Christmas Island is virtually untapped by diving exploration and has some of the most pristine coral reefs in the South Pacific. With experienced guides trained in diving, guests can swim among the fish and experience the extraordinary beauty of Christmas Island’s underwater world. Guests wishing to dive must be DAN (Divers Alert Network) Members, certified divers, and must purchase Global Rescue to participate in the diving opportunities offered. Guests can also enjoy diverse birdwatching and take advantage of many snorkeling opportunities. Bringing your own snorkel gear will allow you to enjoy the vast coral areas loaded with unique fish species and dazzling collections of colorful coral. Snorkeling and birding may all be done during your guided fishing day or before or after a day of guided fishing.
Internet Connection/Cell Phones
The Villages does not provide any internet access during your week on the island, and cell phones will not work at any time during your stay.
How To Get There
There is only one flight per week to Christmas Island/Kiritimati Island’s Cassidy International Airport (CXI) on Fiji Air that departs from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) every Tuesday morning. This means that you must fly into Honolulu on Monday at the latest in order to make the Tuesday morning Fiji Airlines flight. We suggest to arrive on Sunday to allow for any potential delays with your flight over to Hawaii. In the event you miss that Tuesday flight you will miss your trip to Christmas Island!! The Fiji Airlines flight is around three and a half hours to Christmas Island from Honolulu. On arrival, you will pass through immigration/customs and where a transfer agent will be there to meet you for the half-hour van ride to the lodge.
Make sure to book the departure flight from Kiritimati (CXI) back to Honolulu to depart the following Wednesday (arriving back in Honolulu on Tuesday). You will be traveling over the ‘International Date Line’ on this trip! We recommend to also plan to overnight in Honolulu again on the way home in case there are any delays with your flight from Christmas Island back to Hawaii.
We recommend to book your hotel nights in Hawaii in the Waikiki Beach area there in Honolulu. It is close to that airport and there are literally dozens of options. There is some quality bonefishing on Oahu and also over on Molokai that you can take advantage of on the front or back end of your trip. Yellow Dog does have some referrals we can pass along so please let us know if you are interested!
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, de-laminated, or damaged in any way.
Minors Traveling Without Both Parents
All children 18 years of age or younger accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a NOTARIZED letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to travel. Single parents need NOTARIZED documentation of divorce or a spousal death certificate. Unaccompanied Minors require a NOTARIZED letter of consent signed by both parents.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
The staff at The Villages will make you feel as though you’re right at home and will do anything you ask of them at the drop of a hat. The same can be said for all their guides. Each angler will be assigned their own guide for each day of fishing, which is a huge advantage when it comes to spotting fish and handling fish for photos. Your guide will be with you every step of the way and are game to chase any species, whether it’s bonefish, GTs, or triggerfish.
Christmas Island is considered to be a bone fisherman’s paradise, and rightly so! Bonefish are the main target species on Christmas Island, and they are found throughout the flats and shallow waters of the atoll. This is an excellent destination for beginner saltwater fly anglers due to the sheer number of bonefish available. The average bonefish throughout the ecosystem run two to three pounds in size. That said, the guides do have areas where larger fish may be targeted. Larger fish can range anywhere from three to seven pounds while some of the ocean reef flats hold even larger fish. In addition, fish in the six to ten-pound class are occasionally caught. One of the things that we really love about fishing Christmas Island is the amazing diversity of species that can be targeted with a fly rod.
Triggerfish are numerous and the atoll is home to three different and unique species of triggers. They are not easy to fool, and they feed in coral gardens and patches on flats, which means landing them can be a challenge. They are one of the most rewarding and certainly most beautiful fish you can catch on the fly. The waters of the atoll are also home to three species of trevally: Bluefin, golden and giant. The presence and availability of trevally for the flats angler definitely makes this destination unique. Trevally can be found feeding on the flats at any tide, but incoming tides and periods of high tide are the most productive times to focus on these hard-fighting gamefish. Guides know where to locate them and anglers must be ready to make quick presentations to these aggressive, fast-moving fish. While the practice of “chumming” in giant trevally with pieces of cut up milkfish or baitfish is something that some guides on Christmas Island are willing to do, this controversial technique is definitely not needed if you are patient and diligent about an organic approach.
There are small milkfish on the flats, but the larger milkfish can be found in channels and deeper water around the island. These large schools are fished from the boat as they surf the swells. milkfish feed on small clumps of algae and are very tough to fool on a fly, but if you are lucky enough to come tight on one while fishing algae fly, they are one of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean and opportunities to give milkfish a shot abound on Christmas Island! The offshore or Bluewater fishing that surrounds Christmas Island is worth exploring as well. You may easily do this for a few hours in the morning before hitting the flats. There are typically abundant tuna and large barracuda, giant trevally, wahoo, Mahi Mahi, sharks, and occasional marlin that also inhabit these waters. This is a year-round fishery as a result of being so close to the equator.
Boats and Equipment
The Villages utilizes several very unique, locally-crafted, outrigger-style transfer boats. These boats are used to transfer anglers to the flats, where you then wade the shallows for bones, triggers, trevally, and other species. The boats are very reliable and offer anglers a fun and effective mode of transportation to and from various flats. Most of the flats are easy to wade, as the bottom consists of solid white sand. You will occasionally need to navigate some coral outcroppings, rock shelves, and deeper channels, but overall the wading is very easy. When using boats for transportation, boat drivers will pick you and your guide up at the end of your “wading lap,” which means that you will rarely need to make long walks back to the boat through waters that you have already fished.
When it comes to tackle and personal equipment, all of us at Yellow Dog are huge believers in supporting and patronizing local, specialty fly shops. As a rule, specialty retailers usually know and understand the tackle, gear, and equipment that is required for successful fly fishing – be it on local waters or in far-off fisheries around the world. For the Christmas Island fishery, it is absolutely crucial that you arrive with the right gear and equipment, as there is nothing available once you reach the island! If there is anything that you need, you will 100% have to bring it with you. Sending flies and gear to the island ahead of time is not an option as there is no reliable method of shipping at this time. Please call the Yellow Dog office for more information and details about gear.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person and quoted in US dollars.
7 nights / 6 days of guided fishing
Double occupancy cabin with a 1 to 1 guide to client ratio
2022 Rate = $3,290.00 per person
Single room surcharge adds $460.00 for the week
- All ground/water transfers while on Christmas Island
- Accommodations at The Villages (double occupancy cabin)
- Daily guided fishing with a 1 to 1 angler to guide ratio (3 – 4 anglers per outboard-powered 35-foot skiff)
- Breakfast and dinner at the lodge
- Cooler lunch on the water with your guide
- Bottled water, juice, coffee, and tea
- All island taxes and GSTs
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to and from Christmas Island / Kiritimati Island Cassidy International Airport (CXI)
- Accommodations, Taxis, meals/beverages and activities while in Honolulu
- Alcohol, beer and sodas (spirits and wines may be purchased in Honolulu at the airport duty-free)
- Gratuities for the guides and lodge staff
- Christmas Island fishing license
- Laundry Services
- Wireless internet
The Villages (Christmas Island)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking for all Villages lodging and fishing packages, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. For cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. Because of the lodge’s no refund and no credit policy, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. In no event will The Villages be responsible for any cancellation of services or operations due to inclement weather, any event of force majeure, airline delays or flight cancellations, or any other reason beyond the control of the lodge. For this reason, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. The Villages will not refund payments in the event of poor weather. If your flights are cancelled and connections are missed, The Villages is not responsible for alternative travel arrangements including flights, hotels, meals and any other expenses incurred. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be issued minus a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Christmas Island packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
Yellow Dog Client Reviews
“Having been on other hosted trips my two Yellow Dog experiences were by far the best.” – Robert M.
“Amazing place. Amazing people. Amazing guides. Amazing fishing. I’ll definitely return when I can.” – Matt M.
“Excellent. Better than expected. People were great and fishing was very good given the weather conditions.” – Kevin G.
“We had an excellent trip, will make it back soon.” – John R.
“I was able to catch quite a few different species of every day. I had several really good opportunities at GT and there were loads of triggerfish as well.” – Brent H.
“The trip to Christmas Island may have been the highlight of my fishing to date. Nials Logan the Australian agent was there with twelve other Aussies and they welcomed me in and we had a great time fishing. The guides and staff went overboard to ensure that our stay was good. If you like to catch nice bonefish, GT’s and triggerfish this is the spot. Thank you, Yellow Dog for putting this trip together.” – Bobby B.
“There were some days when the fishing was slow, but I caught quality fish in the following species: GT, Golden trevally, Colehin, Blue Fin Trevally, Trigger Fish, and Bonefish.” – Bruce S.
“Overall, it was amazing. The flats were amazingly diverse and there were always fish. The trigger fish was a good test of skill and by far my favorite. One thing I really enjoyed that I didn’t expect was the local people we meet. It was fun to explore the island and experience their way of life.” – David D.
“The best fly fishing trip I have been on. The variety of fish, 1 on 1 guide to angler, and # of fish was spectacular. Most of all, our host James made the trip for everyone. He crushed it on all fronts.” – Keith B.