Kiritimati (Christmas Island) is a wondrous place with its bleak, impossibly flat and dry landscape, juxtaposed with it’s amazing blue and gold-hued seascape. It’s lagoon and perimeter reef provide impressive vistas and consistent top-notch fishing. Eight of us headed off to Christmas Island just 12 days ago. One came back early and despite our travel sagas (an astonishing story best saved for another day) the fishing was sublime. While many Australian flyfishers go to Christmas Island these days, it’s still a true flyfishing travel adventure. Plenty of bonefish – some easy, some difficult; some big, some small. Plenty of trigger fish, all difficult. And a myriad of other species should you choose to seek them out.
We stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel. It’s well-worn, deteriorated condition is initially a bit of a shock but it’s this weathered appearance that provides an odd charm that grows on you. The staff at the CCH were as warm as the weather. The food was a revelation with crayfish (done all ways) and yellowfin tuna being the stars of this island food extravaganza. Oh and there was plenty of cold beer.
Our guides, Tuke, Otea, Yobu, Harry & Jimmy (I suspect all spelt incorrectly – other than Jimmy, which isn’t his real name) helped us all enormously and were, at all times, fine company. Their ability to spot fish, especially in marginal conditions, was incredible.
We had organised 2 full days using the trucks to access more distant shore fishing, 4 days from the skiff where we fished on the vast array of lagoon flats. Plus a couple of half days shore fishing.
For me the ultimate Christmas Island fishing day was our last. I fished for bonefish on a perfect pancake flat and landed 15 before lunch. After lunch Jimmy helped me go target trigger fish. I had plenty of shots at these super-spooky fish that from a distance, look a bit like swimming TV sets. The stats sheet says I hooked five of these crazy fish. One spat the hook, one busted me off in the coral, one swam down a hole in the coral and two unlucky ones were landed. Great stuff!
Now Mark ‘The Black Wiggle’ Weigall has caught many fine fish from among dozens of species during a long fishing life, yet when he landed a 20 lb+ trigger fish on our trip, he described it as the best saltwater capture he’s achieved.
We were all provided with a sumptuous dinner on the final evening along with endearing local dancing acts – and great island music combined with terrible western schmaltz music. The fact that our hosts, with limited resources, would go to such trouble to put on event an event like that, made some of us quite emotional.
All our group were blown away by the whole experience, and without exception are eager to return one day.
Postscript: Bear modestly asked if I could add a pic of his big bonefish, and who am I to argue?