Kauai Bonefishing

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by mafried, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. I fished Anini on Kauai with guide Rob Arita this past monday. I was on a family trip and was able to squeeze in half a day. This was my first time ever fishing for bonefish. Most of my fly fishing experience is from the beaches in South Puget Sound. We had a perfectly clear day which I think is unusual for the North shore and saw at least 12 or more fish. Or more correctly Rob saw 12 or more fish. I saw 3 for sure but essentially just tried to cast where Rob pointed for all of the others without much luck. Thus no exciting photos. Despite perfectly clear water and good lighting, they really hid in the camoflage of the reef. Rob was a great guy, and super good at spotting the fish. Even quite patient with my casting. I would certainly recommend him to anyone wanting to fish on Kauai. If you google Kauai bonefish you'll find his site and his phone number.

    Besides from wanting to add this report for peoples information, I guess I am also searching for advice.

    I certainly had trouble with line management. Starting the casts with the fly in my hand, 15' of line out the tip of the rod, and a 12' leader, with another 20-30' of line swirling around me in the current without a stripping basket. As we wandered the reef the stripped in line frequently tangled with the extended line loops. Of course as soon as he spotted a fish it was always right as I was undoing some tangle, and getting the line out, up, and aeralized for the cast was not so easy for me to do in time. Especially casting to something I couldn't see. I had some decent casts, but some really bad one's too. Is this typical of the way bonefishing is done? Is there a better way to manage having to cast 50+ ft quickly when you can't walk around with the fly in the water because of hangups on the reef? I am quite accustomed to stripping in line, roll casting, hauling&shooting line for the cast, then stripping... as I do from the beach. But this seemed much harder. ??

  2. Spooky fish, windy conditions no basket, just everything against you. Fun none the less I'm sure. You gotta save up some serious money and fly to the Seychelles off the East Coast of Africa.........Crazy Bone fisheries just being discovered.
  3. My first time bone fishing was a real learning experience.
    My guide had me shorten my leader to 9' and told me not to make so many false casts.
    While wading I learned to pay close attention to the current and not keep to much line out. A basket would help.
  4. I fished with rob 3 years ago, and it was my first time bone fishing. All I can say is get an Orvis stripping basket it makes all the difference. I travel to hawaii every year now to chase bones.
  5. Mark, fun report. That's part of the challenge of bone fishing, it puts a premium on line management and efficient casting. Even from a flats boat, you've got wind blowing line underfoot, off the casting deck into the mangrove shoots, under the boat, around the reel, etc., and fish moving quickly.

    There isn’t one solution, but rather many little things. Practice casting in the wind helps a lot, and removes that as a variable. A stripping basket helps a great deal too, but there is a trade off if you're walking long distances as it is cumbersome, and while I use it from the beaches, I won't take it with me if I'm wading for any distance. Using a basket at home hinders the development of line management skills without one later.

    On the casting deck, I go barefoot in order that I can feel the line if it gets underfoot. Depending on the set up of the boat, I keep line off of the casting deck and onto the boat floor behind me when able to do so.

    While wading, I keep large loops of line in hand that progressively get smaller to help with tangles, and keep the minimum length of the line head outside the rod tip that I need to effectively load the rod tip on the first forward cast, and carry the fly and loops of leader/line in my rod hand. I drop the fly and leader as I initiate an abbreviated forward cast, and one, or two at the most, back casts (using double haul), and then shoot. Dragging line in the water invites mischief. I also mark my fly line with a black marker at the end of the head, the 50’ and 60’ length increments to help give me a quick visual guide as to the length of line I’m dealing with.

    My first time it felt like the first time I ever tried fly fishing, with line every where it shouldn't be. Part of the problem is that you're doing this while a professional guide is looking over you're shoulder and adrenaline is pumping out your ear holes. The other problem is that if you only do it only once every year or less, you can't expect perfection.

    I'm sure you did fine especially considering it was your first time. Very addicting though, eh? Each year I go to the Bahamas and, aside from the first couple of casts where I am all thumbs again, I improve significantly each time, and catch more and larger fish.
  6. Rob is as good as they get. He used to guide the North Umpqua which is a technical as a steelhead river as you can find. He is a Northwestener and one of us in his upbringing. If you go to Kauai, Rob is the one and only. Coach Duff
  7. If I could give anyone advice on line management here, it's to leave the Tropical lines at home in the Great Northwest! Hawaii only hits 80 degree water temps in July and August on average. That is as high as it gets. And I mean 80-81 degrees max. Bring a Scientific Anglers Saltwater Taper or Sharkskin saltwater one weight above the rod (a 10 line for a 9 rod) and boys, you will be ready to rock. No tangling in the basket, ready to load for short shots when sightcasting and able to shoot the muscled up bombs when you have to blind cast. I had a client buy into some shitty advice from a local flyshop/guide off the Blanton board and he skimped and bought a cheap Cabella's line that stretched like a rubberband. He hooked two beauties and lost both. You will tear lines up here, but if you are going to chase monster bones (or any possible fish of a lifetime) bite the bullet spend the money and bring high end lines that are tested and will give you an advantage over these toads. Tight lines, The Coach
  8. And leave the mesh stripping baskets at home, unless they have cones in the bottom. Leland has the plastic buckets at Orvis, which are the only way to go. Duff :beer2::beer2:
  9. I usually carry the fly in my hand and enough line outside the tip to make about a forty foot roll cast, also a big loop off the reel dragging in the water. I carry all this in one hand. About half the time I roll cast to the fish. If it is further, make one roll cast, shoot on the back cast and make your forward cast. Try it, it's not as difficult as it sounds.

    I just got back from 6 weeks fishing Coach Duffs water and am supprised I haven't met him. I was there last year for about the same amount of time so I know what the conditions are like. Seeing fish is a problem at first. It is easier over the sand bottom but a lot of times that's not where the fish are.

    I pack my reels and stuff in a rubber made container inside my luggage and use it if I need a stripping basket. I don't use a stripping basket often but it would make it easier for you. Most of the guys on Oahu use one.

    I probably have 10 bonefish lines and they are all good including the ones from Cabellas. Changing the line brand won't help much, I would either get a stripping basket or practice more before you go. Good luck!

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