The endless flats and amazing diversity of fish around Christmas Island make it one of the premier destinationsfor fly fishers. These fly fishing tips on Christmas Island will make your trip truly memorable.
Christmas Island — or its official name, Kiribati — is just a tiny blip in the Indian Ocean, and many people have never even heard of it. But if you’re serious about fishing then this place is a little bit of angling heaven on Earth.
We booked our seven day trip to Christmas Island through Fly Water Travel. If you want to book a fly fishing trip of a lifetime, Fly Water Travel are the experts to trust.
Our trip lasted seven days, April 23 through May 1, 2012, because there is only one flight in and out of Christmas Island per week. We flew through Honolulu on our way to Christmas Island. On the way out, we had to stay overnight at the Best Western at Honolulu airport. Unfortunately, there is no way to skip staying the night on the way out. We would have done it a bit differently and at least stayed somewhere near where you could go out or get drinks in the evening. It’s only an extra 20-minute drive in the morning to stay somewhere closer to Waikiki Beach.
Once on Christmas Island we stayed at The Shark Place, a cozy little lodge run by Christmas Island Outfitters. The rooms are simple and clean, with fridges, fans and a casual dining table. The food is extremely simple since the island receives one cargo shipment of food per month, mostly canned foods except for the raw sashimi. There was no air conditioning, but The Christmas Island Resort has AC and it would be very worthwhile to try and stay there. After a day of fishing in the equatorial sun, AC is a godsend.
Christmas Island is home to an amazing variety of animals — including an estimated 120 million Red Crabs — but it’s also home to less savory critters like roaches and mice. If you’re very uncomfortable with this then Christmas Island may not be the travel spot for you. You may also want to check out the nuclear testing they did back in the 194os-60s before you leave for Christmas Island. While it’s said to be much better now, the island still has the highest cancer rate in the world.
A very important thing to remember: Bring sun-protective clothing and lots of sunscreen. Christmas Island is only about 110 miles north of the equator and fishing in reflective water means the local red crabs will have nothing on the color of your skin if you don’t protect it.
While our outfitters provided things like lodging, meals and transportation, it’s up to each angler to bring appropriate gear. Here’s the list of items we were required to bring on the trip:
- 8 weight, 9′ fly rod (a second backup is highly recommended)
- A matching 8 weight reel with a sturdy drag
- Two to three dozen bonefish-appropriate flies
- 12 weight, 9′ fly rod (a second backup is highly recommended)
- Matching high-end sturdy 12 weight fly reel
- Six 9′ tapered bonefish leaders – 10 lb and 12 lb
- Spool 10 lb tippet
- Spool 12 lb tippet
- Spool 15 lb tippet
- 15 yard spool of 100 lb fluorocarbon
- Sturdy pair of saltwater pliers
- UV-protective Sun Gloves
- UV protective Buff
- Two pairs Flats pants
- Three Flats shirts
- Pair of Flats boots
- Neoprene socks
- Two tubes of sunblock (recommend 30 or higher SPF)
- High-quality polarized sunglasses (if you can’t see the fish, you can’t catch them) — we recommend bringing at least two or three pairs
Last but not least make sure you bring lots of extra flies and lines. We ran short on fly lines and backing as when you’re using 100 lb tippet, everything else breaks except the 100 lb tippet!