If Ed Tamai is Oahu’s most venerable bonefish guide, then Makani Christensen is the Island’s most energetic and ambitious. Both men are dedicated professionals and I can tell that spending time on the water with them has started to push my fly fishing game to the next level.
The other week Ed, myself, and four other assorted fly fishermen, mostly guides and fishing company reps, all piled on to Makani’s boat for a day of fly fishing free-for-all. Seven people was definitely pushing the limits of the boat but after some careful weight distribution we successfully navigated out to the flat.
We all sort of waded our separate directions and fished through a very low tide. The flats were active with all kinds of fish. I think between everyone we saw about seven BIG giant trevally cruising by. Some people (mostly Ed and John Sherman) managed to hook some bonefish, too.
As the water came up I made my way into the mangroves. I was confident in the fly I was using, an orange shrimp (the same fly I mentioned in my last post). It was getting a lot of looks from hungry bonefish, but I just couldn’t seem to connect. Eventually I found myself walking with Ed along a narrow strip between the mangroves and a deep channel. I watched Ed hook and lose one fish, and I managed to spook a couple more. When we finally turned back Ed shook his head and said he was beat. I was too, we had been wading in the sun for hours. But in true fashion, after only about two minutes, Ed got that hungry look again and said he was going to look for fish along the edge of the trees. I continued on about halfway between the channel and the trees. I moved past a small mangrove and spotted a fish rooting in the mud about twenty feet away. I made a quick cast and waited until it came up and started moving again, almost perfectly perpendicular to my line. I paused for a beat and then twitched the fly. The fish darted forward and dipped down and I was hooked.
Surprisingly, the fish didn’t run for deep water but turned towards the shallows and swam straight for Ed. It was a good thing he was there too, because the fish was too big for me to get a picture by myself. I was also impressed that the fish had completely inhaled the little orange fly!
About a week later Makani and I went out on his boat again. This time it was only the two of us. The clouds weren’t very cooperative and we ended up fishing from the boat, casting over the reef towards shore. Makani managed to put me onto a nice fish that I never even saw, I just cast where he said and the fish did the rest. By the time I went to bed, he had even posted a short video to Youtube: