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The Quintessential Bonefish Fly

When we say the best flies for Christmas Island bonefish are sparse, we really mean sparse. This fly won’t really get the fish excited until it’s been lipped by a dozen bonefish, has a strand or two left for a wing, and has most of the body unraveled. Less is more for these fish. I think a bare hook with some bead chain eyes would get the job done. Whites, light tans, and light orange are the color of choice, but in my experience they all work equally well.

As is always the case, presentation is key and fluorocarbon leaders are a must. If I’m not worried about coral I’ll use 8lb. and bump it up to 10 or 12lb. in the rocks. Minimum of 12′ long. Unless the fish are tail up and feeding hard, you need to lead them by at least a few feet. If they have their head in the sand you can drop it much closer. Start with medium speed, 8″ strips once you have their attention. If you’re getting refusals, change how you strip before you change the fly. Retrieval can be a key factor in eliciting an “eat”.

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Geriatric Triggerfish

Triggerfish… they are one of the most skittish fish on the flats. They possess heightened senses when it comes to the approaching angler. It can be hard to sneak into within casting range and they will all run at the slightest abnormality in their silvery world. Or so I thought…

I followed, cast to, hooked and lost this fish for over an hour. He eagerly ate my first presentation, but the hook didn’t set. Instead of blowing up, like most do, he continued probing the coral heads. I recast, but he had lost interest. Never one to give up, I tied on a new fly. Once again he pounced with the same result, he instantly came unbuttoned. This pattern continued and on the fourth fly, I was finally able to set the hook! Now comes the fight only a trigger can offer. Nope, he came in with a decided lack of interest and even less fight. When I lifted him for the final disgrace of a picture, I noticed he was completely emaciated. Old or sick, I’m not sure, but I felt bad for the fella…

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On the Hunt… Fly Fishing for Milkfish!

Christmas Island has a healthy population of huge Milkfish. Find the sipping schools of fish, sneak into casting range and let the current keep you there. You will have countless shots, but getting them to eat isn’t easy!

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Crab Legs…

“I’ll just back into this chair leg and no one will see me. From there it’s a quick dash into the room. Once I’m in…”

This was the crab that, day after day, tried to get into our room at Lagoon View Resort. While all crabs may basically look alike, this one was different. There was an arrogance to his sideways shuffle, a saunter in his step. Humans were merely roadblocks to the final prize.