Christmas Island - Hosted Trip Report
Taylor Goodhue | Confluence Fly Shop January 15, 2024
Christmas Island, Kiribati
After dreaming about Christmas Island for years and years, I finally had the opportunity to take a group of anglers to this legendary location. The anticipation of the trip had been building for a year now, and getting on that plane and seeing the atoll for the first time was pretty surreal. Bright blue water and endless sand/coral flats, I had never seen so much walkable terrain! Needless to say, we had the time of our lives, and we can’t wait to go back!
I had envisioned the trip to CXI to be a bit more challenging logistically, but it couldn’t have gone smoother. Once in Honolulu, the flight to CXI is only a few hours, and upon arrival, the Sunset Horizon team (along with head guide Bita) met us at the airport for a 45-minute truck ride to the lodge. After arriving to the lodge, we settled in and got our gear ready for the weeks fishing ahead of us.
Being my first time on the Atoll, I had only seen pictures of the lodge and didn’t quite know what to expect. Upon arrival, I was thoroughly pleased! I wouldn’t describe it as luxury, but it was an incredibly functional fish camp for the week. All our rooms had A/C, were cleaned daily, and had ample room for all our things. Being right on a great section of beach, it was nice to fall asleep every night with the sound of the ocean. Lisa (our hostess at the lodge) and all the staff at the lodge were incredibly helpful and kind and were readily available to answer any questions we had.
Where did you fish?
Over the course of the week, we had the chance to fish at two different locations on the island. On our day of arrival, I had mentioned to Bita that the group had an interest in fishing the Korean Wreck, which is on the oceanside of the Atoll. Being tide dependent, he recommended that we fish there on day one, when the tides were at their lowest and we were able to wade out to the reef. The ride out there was bumpy, but at the end of the day it was very much worth it! The other zone we focused on was the lagoon. Endless sandy and coral flats spanning in every direction, it was pretty incredible being able to walk as far you wanted!
How did you fish?
All fishing was done by wading. Depending on which location we were fishing that day, we would hop in the trucks and be transported to either the harbor or the Korean Wreck. At the wreck, we would be dropped off and walk the beaches and walk far out hugging the reef. I enjoyed this area for the incredible species diversity. Bonefish, blue trevally, and giant trevally seemed to be the most common out here, but there were numerous other reef fish species that we were able to cast at as well, most willing to take a fly.
When we would get dropped off at the harbor, we would get in outrigger style boats and head out to the flats for the day. Being a trout guy from Oregon, wading is my favorite way to fly fish, so this fishing style was for me! We could walk as much as we wanted on the shallow flats, looking for tailing bonefish and triggerfish, or we’d walk along the edges of the flats looking for the dark shape of a trevally on the hunt.
I can’t say enough about what a great time we had. First of all, the guides we had the pleasure of working with are all outstanding. I have never met individuals with eyes as good as they had and being able to see fish that I was sure they were making up.
The bonefishing this trip was outstanding. From chasing schools of 200+, to stalking big solo tailing fish, there was no shortage of them to be found. I’d say the average bonefish was a couple pounds, but we got into a good amount of high single digit fish as well. I personally saw one of the largest bonefish of my life, but after casting to it, my fly was stolen by a smaller one that I didn’t see!
Triggerfish. Man, what an epic fish! I think these are one of my new favorite fish. Incredibly picky and spooky, it was an accomplishment to have some of them even chase down the fly. Once we started hooking them, they would charge off the edge of the reef, dive into their holes, or bite through our leader/hooks to break us off! We were fortunate enough to land a healthy amount of these awesome fish!
Between all of us, a very healthy amount of trevally were hooked and landed, even missing some monsters on the flats. Blue, giant, and banded trevally were the ones that we came across the most. Lots of the smaller fish were landed, but swing and a miss on the big ones cruising the flats!
Without a doubt, Christmas Island is the most incredible place I’ve ever been to. The locals on the atoll were some of the happiest and kind people that I have had the pleasure of meeting. The fishing was some of the best I have experienced, with the number of fish around being the highest I have found anywhere. I’d like to say thank you to the Fly Water Travel team for making the trip go so smoothly and being a pleasure to work with! I can’t say enough about the experience we had out there, and highly encourage anyone reading this to get out there and see for yourself what this place is all about!
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