Christmas Island is undoubtedly the best known international bonefishing destination on the planet; what it's not known for is the incredible diversity of angling opportunities that abound in the largest coral atoll in the world, from big bonefish to little bonefish, three species of trevally -- golden, bluefin, and giant -- triggerfish, and myriad reeffish...even wahoo, tuna and the occasional sailfish.
Christmas Island earned its fame as one of -- if not the -- most prolific bonefish destinations anywhere, and fly rodders have made this remote pacific atoll a must-fish for saltwater fly fishing locales for decades. As the world of international saltwater fly fishing destinations has exploded in recent years, the Republic of Kiribati remains enamored in the hearts of bonefish anglers everywhere - and it is still among the best places anywhere to wade fish shallow sand and coral flats for the mystic ghosts of the flats.
Christmas Island can be found 110 Miles north of the Equator and 1200 miles south of Hawaii. It is a remote coral atoll where thousands of acres of white sand flats are flooded by ankle-deep saltwater and covered with cruising bonefish in the 2-6 pound range. Much of the magic and the attraction for anglers at this South Pacific flyfisherman's Mecca is a result of the combination of healthy and numerous populations of bonefish, the chance for a trophy bonefish, easily waded flats and excellent angling conditions nearly every day of the year...including the winter months when many Caribbean bonefisheries are less productive.
Christmas Island stands untouched in a world where commercial harvesting has cut deeply into the quality of saltwater sport fishing. It's a maze of lagoons naturally designed for flyrodding, with easily waded, shallow, white flats offering near perfect visibility. It is a
saltwater experience equally alluring and rewarding to both the beginner and experienced fishermen and is particularly easy for West Coast anglers.
Because Christmas Island is so near the Equator, the weather patterns and angling are reliable nearly all 365 days of the year. A trip to Christmas Island is a must for flats fishermen and a welcome escape for snowbirds searching for winter sun, fun and fish.
Bonefishing at Christmas Island is done the way it should be: on foot. Fly fishers spend the entire day stalking these wary fish, usually on solid, white-bottomed flats that often stretch for as far as the eye can see. It is action-packed angling by any standards, and experienced flats anglers recognize that there is no place in the world that offers better bonefishing.
As an added bonus, there are several other, less explored but equally appealing flats and bluewater species available at Christmas Island. Not the least of these is the infamous trevally. There are three different species of trevally that can be targeted at Christmas Island: Golden Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, and the notorious Giant Trevally. Golden Trevally are rare and beautiful, can be caught on bonefish tackle - and quickly remind anglers why having 300 yards of backing can be important! Bluefin Trevally are some of the most beautiful flats species that can be targeted on a fly, their iridescent blue color
glowing with an inexplicable electric quality that is refreshing after straining your eyes for hours seeking to spot the nearly invisible bonefish. And Giant Trevally are true monsters, growing up to 60 pounds or more and ravaging every fish, fly, and un-prepared anglers they come across, often appearing mystically on the deeper edges of the flats and lagoons of Christmas Island. Anyone who is fortunate enough for a chance encounter with a monstrous G.T. will not soon forget it.
Another flats fish that has been overlooked until recently is the Trigger fish. They are powerful, fast and are found tailing on the flats. Their somewhat comical look belies the fact that they are so game and will pull line off of a reel until all one can see is backing stretched out over the flats. But watch out; they have a nasty habit of diving under coral and rock to break off.
In addition, there are daily opportunities for a variety of different reeffish, including sweetlips, grouper, parrotfish, and snapper. And adventurous anglers have the option to go offshore and target milkfish, tuna, wahoo, even sailfish.
Every fly fisherman should make the pilgrimage to Christmas Island at least once. It is one of those "life-list" destinations. Most will want to return. The people of the island, its fish, and the quality of the fishing casts a spell that will surely leave its mark on you, as it has on hundreds of anglers.
Whether you are an experienced saltwater angler returning for your tenth trip or a novice keen on honing your flats fishing skills, you'll find the ultimate in flats wade-fishing at Christmas Island Outfitters.
This new fishing lodge was opened on the island in June of 2006. Located on pristine white sand Discovery Beach, it overlooks the ever changing aqua waters of the atoll's lagoon.
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