Red Water Bones

Many of the bonefish flats here on Oahu include mangroves. In some areas, the mangroves line the shore and in others they have grown up around small, sandy islets. The mangroves are not native to Hawaii, but they are happy here and have spread steadily over the past decade. Recently, the government made the decision to remove the mangroves from one of the main fishing areas near Honolulu.

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Trevally Fishing in Hawaii

A few months back I wrote a post about fishing for trevally during our trip to the Leeward Islands of French Polynesia last summer. Summer in Hawaii is the best time of year for trevally, or ulua, as we call them locally. In the spirit of looking forward to the upcoming season, I thought I would point out some of the differences I noticed between fishing for trevally in Tahiti, and fishing for trevally here in Hawaii.

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Fish Art

This is a birthday card I received from my family last Fall. The painting was done by my father, Terry McIlrath. He has been a professional artist since before I was born, and has been drawing, painting and sculpting fish images for just as long.

Fish and art have long been parallel themes in my own life and I guess it is only natural that they have combined in many ways.

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Winter Fishing Blues

I used to get a bad case of the Winter fishing blues every year. I could usually make it to February without going too crazy but eventually I’d bundle up and go looking for something to catch, which was usually nothing at all. For many fishers (especially the carp on the fly variety) Winter is a tough time of year. Even in Hawaii the storm fronts start to roll through weekly and the water temperature falls just enough that the fishing slows down noticeably. This year has been a little bit different. This year, my fishing blues are of a different kind.

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Flats Fishing by Boat

Flats fishing on foot and flats fishing from a boat are fairly different experiences. Like most things, each comes with it’s own advantages and disadvantages. I have spent quite a bit of time fishing solo from an inflatable boat or SUP board, but this was the first year I have spent any meaningful time fishing from an actual boat while being poled by another person. I have yet to really get the hang of it, but I have definitely learned some important lessons, which I thought might be useful to others.

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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