Bonefish Camp

Here's the spot if you are looking for that salty piece of land. Fly lists, trip reports and tidbits of good travel information can be found here in Bonefish Camp.

Bonefish Travel Tips

Joel La Follette - Friday, July 04, 2014

1. When traveling, always wear clothes you can fish in. You never know when the rest of you gear will show up.

2. Always carry your rods, reels with lines, leaders and tippets, wading boots, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, medicine, camera, rain jacket and an extra change of clothes on the airplane. You should try to carry on anything that you can’t live without that is allowed by the airlines.

3. Since some flies and tools cannot be carried on the plane they must be checked. If checking two pieces of luggage put a box of flies in each or have a companion check one in theirs.

4. Carry along some favorite snack foods like beef jerky, trail mix, dried fruit or granola bars. Stash more in your checked bags. When leaving the country make sure the packages are unopened. Customs is funny about that sort of thing.

5. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay healthy when traveling. If bottled water is not available, bring along a backpacking type filter and use it! Water bottles with built in filters work too.

6. A small portable cooler is a great place to keep your snacks, drinks, camera, extra flies and sunscreen while out on the water. Make sure your camera is in a zip lock bag in case the cooler gets wet. Take plenty of zip locks!

7. Your cash, passport and wallet should be locked up at the lodge or, if that is not an option, on your person. I keep mine in a zip lock bag in my hip pack. Carry plenty of $5.00 and $10.00 for tipping your guides. Also plan on leaving shirts, tackle and other goodies for your guides after trip is over. A new pair of sunglasses make a great gift at the beginning of the week and might help your guide spot that big fish!

8 . Handi-wipes. The best things to carry for cleaning the sunscreen, sweat, and salt off your face. Great for cleaning up before lunch on the flats or on an airplane. Can also be used for…. well, you’ll figure it out. Get the soft packs and carry them in all of your bags. I use three or four packages on a weeklong trip.

9. Make up a small “fix anything kit” to make repairs to glasses, rods, reels, lines, etc. (see my list posted elsewhere on the web site)

10. Chill. Remember you’re on island time and things don’t always go as planned. A good attitude will make even the largest set-back seem like part of the adventure. Don’t be an “Ugly American”, respect the people, their country and culture. Ask questions, share stories, have fun. Leave a little bit of yourself and take home a little of the adventure in your heart. 


Christmas Island Fly List

Joel La Follette - Sunday, August 09, 2009

This one’s easy.

Christmas Island Special                                 size 6           Orange

Christmas Island Special                                 size 6           Orange

Christmas Island Special                                 size 6           Orange

Christmas Island Special                                 size 6           Orange                           

Christmas Island Special                                 size 6           Orange

Moana’s Banana Peel                                      size 6

Moana’s Chili Pepper                                      size 6

Christmas Island Special                                 sizes 4, 6, 8  Orange, Pearlescent, Pink

Beck's Sili Legs                                              size 6  Pearlescent

As you can see there has been a real “go to” fly for Christmas Island. Take lots. Your other Basic Bonefish flies will also work well, but it’s hard to beat the CIS in orange. For the Korean Wreck you might want some lighter flies as you will hang up on the coral with the heavy stuff.

Besides Bonefish, Travalley provide the action for the big fish lover. Big poppers, Sea Habits and Deceivers will get their attention. GTs and Bluefin will grab those patterns as long as they’re moving fast. Golden Travalley will eat bonefish flies or crab patterns.

There is also a good bluewater fishery on Christmas, but that’s a whole other story…


Sad Day on Christmas Island

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Bonefishing world lost an icon this past week when Polau Kaiu passed away on April 1  due to complications of his fight  with diabetes. Polau was the Head Guide at the Captain Cook Hotel on Christmas Island for many years and had only this past year turned those duties over to Tyrone. He continued to work as a Senior Guide.

I was lucky to have  fished with Polau a few times  during my stays at the Cook and we always  had a great day of catching bonefish. He was very quiet and only spoke to answer questions or point out a fish that I had not seen. He was a wealth of information about the island and it's inhabitants so a walk with him was like a history lesson about Christmas Island. If you asked the right questions.

The last time I fished with Polau we walked a flat never out of sight of bonefish. I cast, hooked and landed fish after fish. None were  very large, but all were eager to eat the fly.  In the afternoon I switched guides with my partner and took the younger guide who informed me we would have to work hard to catch as many fish as I had caught with Polau. I had no idea how many fish I had landed so I asked my young guide what our goal was. He replied that Polau had counted 41 fish landed that morning. I was surprised by that number as I didn't think it was that high, and I had no idea Polau was keeping score. I landed 29 fish in the afternoon, greatly disappointing my young guide.  Polau was still the Top Guide.

tiabo  Polau Kaiu,

ko raba

This is an email I received from Biita, the Head Guide at the Shark Place....unedited. JL

Hi Joel.

Sorry for the delay to response. Yes he dead the very sa thing happen. Joel Listen to this story: One of my child was sick so my wife and I went to see the Doctor, 5 minutes later an ampulance came in Palau was in the car with wife and two older children. I asked him what happen he said he has a boil sore when he end diopedics. I mean High sugar.He spoke to me with heart beat like he just came back from a running race. I hold on to his ches to help him a bit, the son came up and I stay away. I ask what he like to eat they said he like to eat a shape Cracker. All over the store could not found one so I came back with an apple and orange. Then we go home. 

Next morning I went to the air-port to say good bye to the Client when some of the Guides told me Palau is dead.

Very very sad. Came back run to the radio station and pay for the announcement about our very welknown Guides Palau. People ask if I related to him but I say no He is very very special to me so I got to do something for him.

Anyway Hew was over 50yrs old. Palau have six or seven Kids. Sorry I cannot give you the right amount. When I get a chance I will count and tell you. 

Thank you again for your time.

Thank you again 

Biita Kairaoi 

Christmas Island

Joel La Follette - Sunday, November 18, 2007

One thing you can count on when heading to the tropics is that the wind will blow sometime during your stay. Sometimes it won’t stop. That was the case during our fall trip to Christmas Island. It never let up. A few mornings it seemed like it had faded, but by the time we got on the flats it was back in full force. Never the less our adventurous group of anglers caught plenty of fish and had a great time.

When embarking on any trip you’ll find that the success of the trip depends on your attitude. Lost luggage, bad weather, illness and a host of other things can only ruin a trip if you let it. Lucky for me my guests all have a great attitude when it comes to fishing trips and all rose to the challenge of the wind. Also lucky for me no one got sick, lost their luggage or had any other problems. All we had was the wind.

Bonefish, Travalley and an assortment of other fish provided enough action for the group and most evenings the bench fishing went on for hours. You should see the Trigger fish my Dad caught! It is fun to sit back and watch as others relive great battles and share the excitement of a really big fish or in some cases a first bonefish. Battling the wind and fish made success stories even sweeter. You earned them.

Apart from the weather we enjoyed great food on this adventure which has not always been the case on Christmas Island. Kata the cook really put together some great meals and no one went hungry. Our hosts made sure we had everything we needed and went above and beyond the call to see we were comfortable. The accommodations at The Shark Place were clean and neat and the staff was friendly and efficient.

Over at the Villages we had six anglers that had traveled with us from Hawaii and we joined them mid week for a luau. The Villages staff put on a great party. We enjoyed music and a native dancer in addition to a fantastic meal. On the last evening the “Village People” joined us for dinner and again we were entertained with native dancers. We had a group of women who presented us with flower leis during their dance. Then a group of men in traditional dress did some impressive dancing of their own. Food again was center stage and Kata did a great job. We also crowned TMack the winner of the ugly shirt contest and awarded him a lovely pink Lava lava as the prize. Two of the dancers were chosen as judges and I’m sure we’ll need to disqualify Troy if he tries to enter that shirt again. I think I saw him slip the female judge a five spot earlier….

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