Kiritimati (Christmas Island) bonefishing report

4lb bone, caught backcountry. Daniel Hackett

4lb bone, caught backcountry. Daniel Hackett

During early June, myself and a group of Tasmanian fly fishers headed off for the famed saltwater destination, Kiritimati aka Christmas Island. Worth noting is that this is not the Australian Christmas island; this Christmas Island was another one of Captain Cook’s innovatively named pacific islands, located 3000km’s or so south of Hawaii.

With flights only landing once a week, anglers have about 6 1/2 days of fly fishing on the typical trip. Bonefish are the highlight, and on an average day it is normal to fish to 50+ bones. Lower than normal water temperatures meant that the bones were a bit harder to find during our first three days, but the last three days with sun and good tides (low tide just before lunch) led to some great fishing.

Bones up to 10lb were fished to, with several 8lbers landed. Atleast 15 bonefish in the 8lb + range were lost on the reef by myself and my mate Simon, during the outgoing tide. Incidentally it was during the runout tide that we had our best big-fish fishing, as the largest fish retreated to tail on the deeper, reefed edges of the large flats. The two bigger bones in the below photos were 5lb and 6lb.

Rising tides brought schools of fish back on to the flat, normally smaller in sizes (2-4lbs), but super-plentiful. Our best two hour session saw something like 40 fish landed between the two of us, including 3 triple hook-ups while we asked the guide to fish with us.

Besides the awesome bones, trevally and triggerfish were another highlight. About a dozen triggers were caught by the group, while heaps of blue trevally, and a lesser number of golden trevally were also caught on the flats. The jaw-dropping GT’s were also present, but much harder to fool. I had a shot at four 40lbers, and a 100lber in hip-deeper water, the latter being one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in the natural world.

We all tried and tested a lot of gear, and a lot of flies. I’ll be posting a full report of the gear-related side of things over on our FlyShop 1864 blog later this week.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the photos. Daniel Hackett.