Dec 6th, 2018
The fact that virtually every flats fishing angler in North America has heard of Christmas Island is far from coincidence. Amidst the vast inventory of the world’s saltwater flats destinations, Christmas Island is a unique and natural masterpiece that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats fishing, remarkable numbers of cruising bonefish and trevally, and consistent year-round weather await all who visit this unique atoll. Fly fishing guides at Christmas Island Outfitters have been handpicked by head guide Bita Kairoi for their overall level of experience, skill, calmness under pressure, and instructional abilities. Each day anglers will depart via truck or catamaran for the day’s flats fishing. Virtually all fly fishing entails sight casting to fish while wading in shallow waters. Christmas Island’s plentiful bonefish average two to three pounds, although on any given week opportunities for larger bonefish in the five to ten pound class may be available. The fly fishing guides at Christmas Island Outfitters are also among the atoll’s most skilled and passionate trevally hunters and love nothing more than to share with their guests the thrill of hooking these monsters. Excellent blue water fishing for tuna, wahoo, and trevally is also available. Although accommodations and meals are simple and rustic, anglers stay on a stunningly beautiful coral beach overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. Whether you are an experienced saltwater angler or a novice keen on honing your flats fishing skills, Christmas Island offers an intimate and thrilling angling experience unlike anything else in the world.
Contact Dylan at 800.552.2729 for more information on Christmas Island
Top reasons to go.
1. To experience some of the world’s best saltwater wade fishing.
2. To chase giant trevally that are relatively close to home at an operation that is relatively affordable.
3. To get away from the winter doldrums and experience consistently good fishing in the winter time (Dec – Feb).
4. To experience a huge array of species diversity including bonefish, trigger fish, snapper, five species of trevally and more.
5. To learn from and fish with some of the most skilled and experience saltwater flats guides found anywhere in the world.
Where is Christmas Island
Just north of the equator approximately 1200 miles south of Hawaii.
How do I get there?
To get to Christmas Island you will need to make travel arrangements to and from Honolulu, Hawaii and also hotel arrangements in Honolulu. Fly Water Travel will make your air reservation from Honolulu to Christmas Island.
How much is the flight from Honolulu to Christmas Island?
Currently the round-trip flight aboard Fiji Air runs approximately $1000 per person. Airfare is not included in your fishing package.
When should I go?
Christmas Island is truly a year-round destination. Being that Christmas Island is equatorial, the destination offers some of the most consistent fishing weather found in the world for the December to March time frame. Angler traffic from the states is heaviest during the winter and spring months but this has more to do with anglers looking to get away at this time than the fishing being especially productive. In the summer months Australians and Kiwis tend to dominate the flats and U.S. traffic reduces dramatically.
What about tides and the moon?
The various moon phases of the month have more to do with how the island sets up for your week than any other factor. Anglers looking for a well balanced productive time to fish the flats or want to focus on bonefish should book during quarter moon cycles that provide neap cycle tides and long sweet spots of moderate water depth on the flats. Anglers looking for great opportunities for giant trevally and blue water species should look toward the full moon and new moon periods of the month. These times provide the greatest alignment of the earth, moon and sun and generate the biggest tide swings. Hybrid weeks with either a full or new moon towards the beginning or end of a week provide good opportunities for both.
What fish will I catch?
The prime species is bonefish, but there are numerous other species including giant, bluefin, banded, black and golden trevally. Also several species of trigger fish are available as are sweetlips snapper, wrasse species, ladyfish, barracuda and wahoo and tuna offshore.
How do they fish?
All of the fishing is done while wading the expansive hard sand and coral flats. Anglers choosing to fish the bluewater will do so from the boat.
How do they access the flats?
They access the flats using outrigger boats as well as trucks. Christmas Island Outfitters has kept with the option to also offer truck days because they allow anglers to access the ocean side flats often referred to as “The Wreck” and even more importantly the flats located deep in the lagoon. We often refer to these flats as the “back country”. This area sometimes holds the island’s best population of trophy bonefish, and offers the best chance at the elusive golden trevally. It is also prime habitat for hunting GT’s. You can access this area via boat but tides restrict the amount of time you can spend back there. With truck access anglers can fish the area all day long. For people looking for the most challenging and rewarding experience Christmas has to offer this area is a must. Angler’s that are comfortable walking all day can try what we call “The Ramsay Trek” for a unforgettable adventure.
How many fish will I catch?
Catch rates vary wildly at this destination. The very best weeks will see good anglers landing well over 100 bonefish but when things get hard landing 4 to 6 a day can be a challenge. All things being equal averaging 6-10 fish a day is quite reasonable. Most anglers also land a hand full of smaller trevally and if you are looking for them you should get between 6 and 12 shots at larger(30 + Pounds) GT’s in a week. If one of these shots ends up in a hooked and landed trophy you should count yourself lucky.
Can I arrange for a private guide or private accommodations?
Yes, private accommodations can be arranged in advance at an additional cost. Private guides can be arranged in advance or on site, for the whole trip or single days at an additional cost.
How is the food?
Let’s face it; this is an island in the middle of the Pacific with no soil and very little water. They do not have a culture incorporating fine food. Prior to boats shipping in rice and ramen noodles the fare was fish, coconut and breadfruit. Then consider they were a British colony for quite a while. This might have helped them understand a few things but am certain it did not advance their culinary aptitude. That said, there is no doubt that Kata (the cook at the lodge) is the best on the island and he works absolute magic with what supplies he can get his hands on. I will not go so far to tell anyone that they are going to have great meals but if you go down with very simple expectations you may be pleasantly surprised. That is by everything but the lunches. I have hit this from every angle possible but it is the total week link. My advice; granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Bring snacks because lunches are, and will remain, weak.
What about bugs?
I have seen a good number of reports from disgruntled anglers about bugs in the rooms. Let me explain. Christmas Island is a coral atoll in the middle of the ocean and the only fresh water on the island sits in what they call shallow lenses. These lenses are only approx 5ft – 10ft deep. Thus harsh pesticides are not allowed on the island. You will see that the staff cleans your room every day but totally keeping the bugs out of the rooms is next to impossible. They come and go. You might have two or three days with nothing and the next evening come back to the room and there has been a hatch. If this happens just let the staff know and they will spray (they always have cans of Raid) your room while you are out fishing. This will typically keep them at bay for a few days.
Should I bring my non-angling spouse to Christmas Island?
The setting on the island is that of an extremely rustic, remote and sub-third world. Unless your partner is very much willing to “rough it” (no power at the lodge during the day) for the week it is generally not a good destination for spouses that are not interested in fishing.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is no cell service or wi-fi.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
No. Anglers must bring everything they will need with them for the trip.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
We prefer a fast action 8wt for bones and a 11wt or 12wt for GT’s even more important is the reel. Our favorite brands are Bauer, Hatch, Abel, and Tibor.
What are the physical demands?
As all of the fishing is on foot, meaning you do a fair bit of walking. Most of the time you will be on a particular flat from an hour to two hours so you always have time to rest and hydrate in between flats. Also it should be noted that the guides are extremely helpful. Over the years we have had people with very limited walking abilities have great experiences on the island. The guides know where optimum traveling lanes are and can get people into great fishing with very limited walking.
Can I fish the blue water at Christmas Island?
Yes! Anglers that agree to give it a try can fish the blue water for a half day very easily without additional charges in most cases. The edge of the island drops into deep blue water very close to shore. Wahoo, yellow fin tuna, mahi mahi, GT’s, and even billfish can be caught within one or two miles of the beach. This means that on good weather days anglers can head out on the ocean for just a few hours and then return to fish the flats all in the same day.
Dangers and annoyances
Although travel to Christmas Island is quite benign, should a medical emergency arise, getting off of the island to receive medical attention is extremely difficulty. To this end anglers are strongly advised to purchased a membership to Global Rescue. Global Rescue provides thorough and 100% reliable assistance in the case of an emergency. We also recommend that folks be mindful about staying hydrated and consider taking something like Pepto Bismal as a prophylactic to reduce the chance of stomach issues, which at times are common.
An angler and his guide work the ocean side flats for bonefish and trevally species.
The guides at Christmas Island Outfitter are hard working, skilled and a pleasure to spend the day with.
Christmas Island’s lagoon is a vast matrix perfect saltwater flats.
Fly Water Travel’s Paul Imperia display a beautiful bonefish from Paris flat.