Christmas Rush

I’m fresh back from my trip to Christmas Island and I’m still on cloud 9. I’m sure everyone at the shop is sick of hearing my stories over and over again. 

Christmas Island doesn’t disappoint! I have been to quite a few different saltwater destinations but this one has been my favorite so far. The variety of species, all the different terrain, not to mention every experience was new. 

Our group consisted of 11 anglers and all but one were new to Christmas Island. And almost everyone was new to flats fishing. So this was going g to be a very exciting trip for all of us. 

Our group met up early at the airport for our flight to Christmas island, and at the airport we met up with a few other groups heading to the island. There were about 50 people total. The flyfishing community is small and of course I ended up knowing quite a few of them. We boarded the flight and made the short hop to the island. I know I was excited and couldn’t wait to get on the ground. 

The plane offloaded and we all headed for the small terminal, collected our bags and passed through immigration. On the outside the parking lot was buzzing. There were about 10 trucks from all the different lodges waiting to pick up their guests. 

The lodge was about an hour drive from the airport. We were packed in the back of two different flat bed trucks with seats and canopies built on them. The ride was rough as the trucks had stiff suspension and the roads haven’t been paved in about 50 years. There were so many sights to see. Immediately my thoughts went to the WWII documentaries of the pacific. I also started to compare and contrast the difference between the lush tropical paradise of Hawaii this island that  would have been a tropical hell. 

We arrived at the lodge met the staff and moved into our rooms. The lodge was pretty much what I expected from a tropical island. A basic cinder block building, reminiscent of a 50’s motor inn roadside motel. The rooms all had bathrooms and air conditioning, so they were exactly what we needed. Rods were rigged, cocktails were drank, and our anticipation ran high for what the next day would bring. 

Everyone was up early and ready to go. Everyone split into their group, lapsed onto trucks, and headed for the beach. The first day my fishing partner would be Big Andy, and on our boat we had Stan and Karl. We loaded up onto our boat for the day. A wooden outrigger, I’m guessing it was about 25’ long, a little canopy and some benches on either side and a rod rack overhead. Our guide that day was Max. He seemed like a good guide and was eager to get us into fish. We headed off to an island halfway across the lagoon, and were dropped off on a beautiful sandy beach. I offered the guide to Andy and I set off across the flat to the other side. I’d fish my way down and meet up at the other end.

It had been about a year since my last flats fishing experience so my eyes were still adjusting to spotting those ghosts of the flats. Slowly working my way down towards a little point I was seeing a couple of fish but mostly as I was pushing them off of the flat. I slowed down and opened up my eyes. Trying not to specifically look at any one spot. Looking a little further away I saw a fish coming off of the point and turning towards me. I made my first cast and put it on its head. I guess my casting needed to adjust too. I stood there and waited to see if another fish would come off the point and soon enough it did. I made a cast and this time not on its head. I lead it far enough that I was in the game. A few strips and the fish noticed the fly and turned on it. One more strip and I was into my first Christmas Island bonefish. This was a good intercept spot, I caught a couple more. I started moving again to keep pace with Andy and Max. The trip was off to a good start. 

When we got back to the lodge everyone was excited and reliving their experience. It seemed like pretty much everyone caught or interacted with fish that day. There were a lot of different species on the flats, Bones, triggers, trevally, puffers, and surgeon fish.

The next morning we awoke to rain….. most of us opted to start the day trolling and see what happened. We trolled our 12wt’s off the back of the outrigger with our floating lines and large GT brush flies. Within minutes we were into our first fish and shortly after our first triple of the day. The yellowfin pulled hard and really tested our tackle. Our boat got into quite a few different blue water species and we’d be having yellowfin tuna tonight. We called it quits early and headed back to the lodge to recuperate. Everyone else came in shortly after with stories of success. 

This trip was off to a great start. Our anticipation was high for what the rest of the week would bring. I know we were all dreaming of catching that 40lb GT. 


Here are some important things to know if heading there in the future.

  • Flies- Do not go without orange and pearl Christmas Island specials. Make sure you have them primarily in size 6 and in a few different weights. Also it’s a good idea to have some Gotchas and Crazy Charlie’s with bead chain eyes. Bring some shrimp patterns in a range of sizes and weights as well as flexo crabs for the triggers. Have a few large brush flies and 80lb fluoro for the GT’s and any other large predatory species. 
  • Rods- An 8, 10, and 12wt is a good rod combo to cover every fishing situation. 
  • The food is adequate but bring snacks like, protein bars (that don’t melt), nuts, and jerky.
  • No one got sick on our trip but bring pepto, imodium, cipro, and advil. You can’t be too safe.
  • The currency on the island is the Australian dollar, get it ahead of time as there is no place to exchange currency at the Honolulu airport or at Christmas Island.
  • If you do go, understand this is a small island 2,000 miles away from any large continent, so set your expectations low and go with the flow. The people are very nice and will try to accommodate you as best as possible. This is not a resort and is a fishing specific destination.



Christmas Island Special tying instructions 

Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3h size 8

Eyes: Dazl Eye Gold 5/32

Thread: Orange

Tail: Orange Krystal Flash

Body: Orange Krystal Flash coated with Bone Dry UV resin

Underwing: Orange Krystal Flash

Wing: Tan or Sand Craft Fur


Be the first to comment...
Leave a comment