Brian Gies and I just returned from an awesome week on Christmas Island. We were there January 8 -15 and it was a great way to kick off the 2019 season on the island! We had a fabulous group of guests with us, and were also joined by Rob Ramsay, a close friend of Fly Water Travel. Rob spends a month hosting friends and anglers from all walks of life at Christmas Island Outfitters each year. Rob’s history of fishing the island, in-depth knowledge of the flats, fisheries, fly tying, customs, tidal movements and life on Kiritimati proves invaluable for those that join him.
We were there on a first-quarter moon cycle, so we were fortunate to fish a variety of environments on the island. From the vast flats of the main lagoon, to the ocean side flats of “The Wreck”, to the fossilized maze of coral structures of the back country, we saw an amazing cross section of what this ultimate atoll has to offer the visitng angler. Overall, fishing was good for bonefish, triggers and a variety of other flats species. While no massive trevally were caught during our week, a good number of smaller GTs, bluefin trevally and golden trevally were brought to hand. We also had a handful of shots at larger specimens which kept us on our toes. The diversity and possibilities of this fishery continues to blow long-time guests of the island away time and time again. Christmas Island truly is a venue where you can step out onto a flat and not have a clue at what may swim in front of you next.
One of the primary reasons for Brian and I to visit was to check out the new accommodations that guests will be staying in for the 2019 season. Sunset Horizon Fishing Lodge lies just north of London on a beautiful beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean, only a very short drive to the boat harbor. As is the reality on the island, accommodations are rustic, simple and non-luxurious. However, Sunset Horizon features full time power, consistent A/C in all guest rooms and good access to wifi ($10 for the week). Hot showers are even available! While the rooms were simple, they were kept clean each day while we were out on the water and refreshed with clean sheets and towels. Laundry service (not included but can be paid for on-site) was affordable and convenient so we had fresh fishing clothes each day and thus only needed to pack 2-3 sets of flats clothes for the week. The rooms have a double occupancy configuration, private bathrooms, mini fridge and plenty of room for gear and bag storage. Out in front there were racks to store rods and small clotheslines to hang items out to dry after a day on the flats.
The guest rooms flank a large dining palapa where meals are taken in the mornings and evenings. Instant coffee and an electric kettle are always available for guests under the central dining palapa and it is here where the wifi signal is strongest. This location provides fantastic ocean views looking out to the expansive Pacific to the west. The beach is swept each morning and is a lovely place to hang out in the evenings with a cold beer in hand. Along with two smaller palapas, there is another larger screened room on the beach with plenty of seating for relaxing after dinner.
Food is a combination of island and western fare. Meals continue to be very simple and meant only to satisfy the appetite of hungry anglers. Fresh seafood is often served as well as rice, chicken and pork. Lunches also continue to be meager on the island. As always, we highly recommend bringing a supply of snacks such as energy/protein bars, granola bars, beef jerky, dried fruit and nuts to supplement lunches. Also, electrolyte packets to mix in to your water will keep you hydrated and feeling good for the week. Additionally, for the time being, instant coffee will be the standard fare for coffee at Sunset Horizon. If you prefer a “nicer” option, feel free to bring your preferred instant coffee as well (ex. Starbucks via).
The lodge staff is friendly and polite, with an on-site manager available to assist with any problems. The hotel is secure and fenced-in with a night-watch keeping an eye on the place after dark. Nothing has changed with the guiding program. The Christmas Island Outfitters guide team, managed by Bita Kairaoi, remains intact, motivated and as skilled as ever. All guests on our week were very impressed with the knowledgeable and personable guide team. The guiding program continues to offer both truck and boat-based fishing days, depending on conditions or each group’s desires for the week.
Overall, Brian and I were very pleased with Sunset Horizon and are confident that it will be a great venue for anglers travelling to Christmas Island in 2019. While all of the realities of travelling to Christmas Island remain, we are enthusiastic that Sunset Horizon, in combination with the most skilled and experienced guide team on the island, will make for a memorable and successful 2019 season.
Contact us at 800.552.2729 for more information on Christmas Island