Bonefish Camp

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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 

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