Ed picked me up early and we marveled at the clear sky and calm conditions on the ride to the boat ramp. The weather was ideal. “Why can’t every day be like this” we kept asking each other. The marina parking lot was mostly empty and we rigged up the fly rods and launched the boat in record time.
We poled an interior section of the flat. The air and water were perfectly still. The boat only moved when we pushed it, which is rare indeed in the latitudes of the trade winds. We found plenty of bonefish cruising for a snack, and got a few to bite on Ed’s October crab fly. After hooking a few fish in the shallows, the area was a bit disturbed so we changed spots and began a long, slow drift across the width of the flat. Right away, I caught one more fish but things slowed down after that.
The tide was rising and the water was getting a bit dirty and there were very few fish up on the flat. Soon, we were telling fishing stories and only half looking for fish. I asked Ed about Christmas Island (that’s Kiritimati Island, not the one in Australia, just in case you want to Google it). Ed was telling me about seeing packs of giant trevally on the sand flats there. Ed first thought they must be quite small, but his guide shook his head and said they were upwards of twenty pounds each, just very far away. He described how the pack approached head on, only turning left or right once they were in casting distance. As we slowly approached the opposite edge of the flat, I spotted a fish out of the corner of my eye. It looked a bit too green to be a bonefish but I knew there wouldn’t be another chance to catch something before we floated into the channel. I was still listening intently to Ed, imagining a pack of big GTs, black against the white sand, and not at all worried about catching this strange, green fish, so my cast came off quick and relaxed and the crab fly landed gently a few feet in front of it. Ed had also been engrossed in his story and did not see the fish until he followed the line of my cast, then things got a little crazy. “It’s a golden” He yelled. I twitched my fly and the fish on the edge started forward, but it was a second fish, obscured from me by Ed standing at the other end of the boat, that rushed into view and grabbed the October crab first.
The fish pulled us into the channel where it took about ten minutes to bring to the net. Ed coached me through the fight with helpful, and not at all stress inducing comments like “bring it up fast, but be really careful” and “you have to land this fish!” After a few photos, I released it back into the deep, where it’s companion fish was still waiting for it near the boat. Golden trevally feed on the flats like bonefish, but they are a rare sight and, based on the collective wisdom of Hawaii guides, are mostly a springtime fish. Seeing, no less catching, a ten pounder in October was pretty much unheard of.