Feels Like Summer

There are some places on the flats where big fish regularly feed, but they are crazy-difficult to catch. When I see these fish I go directly into stealth mode, with lots of crouching low to the water and slow-motion steps. Most of the time, no matter how stealthy I am, the fish turn and swim away as soon as I make a cast, sometimes even before my line touches the water. When I do manage to put a fly in front of them, they usually look at it with such scorn that it’s hard not to take it personally. As they swim away I can almost hear them laughing, “you call that a mantis shrimp?”

Early in the year, I tied some flies specifically to fool these big, smart fish. I went with a subtle tan body made from some puffy EP fiber. I attached some matching rubber legs, but I tied them in parallel to the hook shank. My idea was to fish the fly very slowly, like a small crab crawling sideways. I tried it out this spring, and was able to get a couple of big fish to follow it.

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Loose Ends

I think we can all agree that 2020 was not the best year, with a smorgasbord of tragedy and disappointments, globally, nationally, and close to home. Looking back however, I am slightly stunned to realize that 2020 was, against all odds, a pretty good fishing year for me personally. I have written about most of the highlights already, but here are a few things I left out:

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Alone Together

A lot of fishing naturally necessitates “social distancing”, and fly fishing even more so, what with the flinging of sharpened metal hooks to and fro. This weekend, I found myself fishing the same flat at the same time as Makani and, alone together, we enjoyed a sunny morning within shouting distance of one another.

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O.P.B.’s

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Ed hunting triggerfish

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. Continue reading