Flyfishing in Maui - looking for info



I will be going to Maui in March for a week of vacation, hotel on the beach, with a little time for flyfishing from the beach...

I have heard that flyfishing in general is rare in Maui. And the few that do cast a fly quickly switch to spincasting. How could this be?
(surf, wind, etc...) Although the early morning hours are said to be very calm.

Has anyone had success flyfishing in Maui from the beach? Or, inland rivers/streams?

I have only been flyfishing for two years now... but you could say I have definitely caught the bug!

Thanks in advance for any insight or info!


Be the guide...
I've been to maui twice in the last 2 years and have never seen a person fly fishing. I wanted to try, but could not find a fly shop or fly guide (they are there, just takes some looking - and problaby a bit o money).

The fishing style in general is quite different. The locals mostly bottom fish (check out the cliff fishing that these guys do. I forget the name of it, but they have it down to an art. Spin fishing (whipping is the island term I think) works on many of the beaches, so I think a quickly stripped bait fish pattern should work. The tricky thing is going to be figuring out what you caught (many of the fish are quite good eating, and you'll find them in the local restaurants). I found I had enough fun snorkling and studying the fish that way.

And yes, get on the beach early. By noon, the winds pick up pretty good.

Have fun!
I will be in Maui in May and have done some research regarding flyfishing on Maui. Sounds like it is not common but I was able to hook up with a couple of guys over there who were willing to share some info with me over email. Once I figure out where I filed it I would be glad to send it to you, or copy it to this board.

If you try it I would really like some feedback on how you do. To me it sounded like it was worth a try if you pick yout times and locations correctly.
Here is one of the emails I got back in response to flyfishing in Maui...

Hawaii has both fresh and saltwater opportunities. Saltwater opportunities include Trevally, Bonefish, Barracuda, Ladyfish, and numerous other reef species that can be found on all the islands. Freshwater opportunities includes Bass,Peacock Bass, and Bluegill on the islands of Oahu and Kauai and limited trout opportunities on Kauai. The saltwater fly fishing is generally pretty tough as you can expect 15 to 30mph. tradewinds 90% of the time. Because most locals catch and keep everything the numbers of all species of fish have declined dramatically over the years. The freshwater fishing is a little easier as the reservoir on Oahu is catch and release for the bass and the peacocks. You do need a license to fish the freshwater but for whatever bizarre reason, you do not need a license to fish saltwater.

If you intend to fish the salt an 8 to 10wt rod with a saltwater safe reel will do. Remember the winds! We are not kidding about them. So evaluate your casting skills and gear up accordingly. A floating line will work in most situations but it is also good to have an intermediate and sinking line, however depending on where you fish you may or may not need more than a floating line. A good saltwater reel with at least 200yrds of backing, and 10 to 15lb. leaders and tippets. Leaders from 9 to 12ft are fine. Good flies to search with include #2 and #4 clousers, deceivers, reef specials, hula shrimps, bendbacks, and standard bonefish patterns. Fishing smaller flies are easier in the conditions and allow you to catch a wider range of fish. Other gear you will need include a stripping basket, flats boots, polaroid glasses, sunscreen, and appropriate sun clothing.

Freshwater tackle include standard trout gear 4 to 7wt. Reels do not need much backing. Small streamers and poppers work well for bass, peacocks, and bluegill. The lake has limited bank access and is better fished by a boat. The lake can be fished from shore effectively but this involves alot of roll casting as much of the bank is grass and treelined.

Nervous Water Fly Fishers offers guided bonefishing trips on the island of Oahu. Our rates are $295 for a full day and $195 for a half day. The full day trip includes lunch. Both trips include transportation to and from fishing. Trips are all walk in. Gear can be provided if needed. There are also guided trips for bass and peacock bass on Lake Wilson, Oahu. We will be happy to give the contact info for these guides if you are interested. These guides are not affiliated with Nervous Water Fly Fishers.

There is also a good offshore fly fishing guide who operates out of Kona. His name is Del Dykes. Let us know if you would like his contact information.

Clayton C.Y. Yee
Kevin Faucheux
Here is one of the other ones...........

Fly fishing for bill fish/game fish in Hawaii is not common. The bill
fish here rarely 'fin' like they do off Mexico/CA.

Also, none of the big sport fishers are really set up for fly
casting. They have tuna towers, chairs, fly bridges, outriggers etc.
that make it extremely difficult to cast a fly. They won't allow a
fly rod/casting on a share trip in any case.

I'm not aware of any guides on Maui that can supply fly tackle. A few
of the larger boats have taken private fly fishing charters who
brought their own gear, but it's pretty rare.

We don't have any flats. The biggest problem with shore casting flies
here, is that you're usually casting blind (ie: you don't see fish).
That's why we mostly 'whip' with spinning gear. Takes less time and
the retrieves are faster.

Contact Clay Yee <[email protected]> Clay runs a fishing
shop on Waialae avenue on Oahu. He can provide the information you're
looking for. You can get his input on the flies he recommends.

Some months ago, I was fishing off Kealia Beach and ran into a guide
with a fly fish client. The wind was just slightly onshore, and
although the guy looked experienced, he couldn't get any distance. He
switched to a spinner after a short time.

I got these emails from a some clients:

"Aloha Mike - Just another quick note of thanks for all your
information and encouragement. Had a great trip to Maui. Took me a
couple of days to find a good place to fish on my own but ended up
working my spinning gear at that park area that is at the end of the
road south of Makena. Only managed to hook a couple of small fish
that I didn't recognize but had fun fishing and snorkeling down there.
On my last day Ken Takashima (sp?) felt well enough to take me out
for a 1/2 day with my flyrod. We drifted down the coast of Lanai
just outside the breakers. I was able to raise two nice trevally to
a surface popper but didn't connect on either. It was exciting to
have them come after my fly. In hindsight, my poppers were a bit too
small for this water and I wish I had another crack at it. Anyway,
you were very nice to provide me with all of the info and I wanted to
let you know I appreciated it. Mahalo - Jeff"

I would bring a fly rod next time, but not fish from shore or wading.
I'd get a small boat or kayak and fish the sea side of the reefs,
like at mile marker 14. The other reason I liked this area was that
there was no wind in the am. Wind is the biggest detriment to
flyfishing Hawaii, so early morning or leeward areas would be best.
We went out in a catamaran to fish Molokini one day. And when we came
back to Makena beach, the shipper stopped the boat about 100 yards
off shore to dump the remains of lunch. Up came a whole swarm of grey
fish, about 10-15#. Forgot what they were called but gave the
impression that they'd hit a fly and would be fun on a flyrod. I
forgot about the technique you mentioned about using a float. One
variation would be to use a spinning outfit and float but drag a fly
instead of a jig or lure. It's not flyfishing, but might be fun."

"Bobby did not know anything about fly fishing, but he made that clear
up-front and was curious about the whole deal. He was willing to give
it a try. We went on the south end of the Island near our hotel - Maui
Prince. We did four-wheel drive over some rough road across some old
lava flows and fished from some cliff areas at first. (Does that help?)
This was a little challenging to cast from 10-15ft above the water, but
I was able to roll cast a short distance. The wind was blowing fairly
well also, but that was not that big of a deal. After a while we went
to more of a rocky beach area. I was able to throw a fair amount of a
shooting head out and had the two fish hit here. Both were on for 30
seconds max. I would have been much better off if I had brought a
stripping basket. The surf tangled my running line and I just did not
think to bring one. Bobby gave me the impression that the fishing was
slow that day in general and that April is a hit/miss month for shore
fishing. My wife, fishing with spinning gear, caught three fish.

I could often see fish chasing the fly, but I think my flies were on the
big side. Thinking salt water, I tied my fly's mostly of 0/1 hooks. It
was a learning experience.

I was thinking that a Sea Kayak may be an efficient way to deliver a fly
with a sinking line. Especially if you could get a partner to trade
paddle duty. You would have to be really careful in the tight quarters
not to hook each other. I've been hooked bass fishing from a pram with
my brother.

The was my first trip to Hawaii and my wife's first to Maui and we
really enjoyed our short stay. Maybe next time I will hook a big one."

This is what my friend Rick had to say:

"Maui's beaches offer many good fly fishing opportunities.
Basically, the beaches fronting hotels are some of the least fished
in Hawaii. Many good 8 or 9 wt compatible fish can be found (various
trevally, bonefish and Pacific threadfin) from shore. Sunset and
sunrise are best, and simply walk the beach and cover as much water
as you can. I'd suggest a sink tip floating line and use Deceivers
(blue/white), Clousers (chartruese for sandy areas and black around
rocky headlands), Blanton's Whistlers and sparse Crazy Charlies (for
bonefish in sandy bottom areas. You can also contact Island Biker
(808 877-7744) for advise on island--they sell fly tackle. Hope this


ph. 808.879.3789
fax. 808.879.0687
email. <[email protected]>
www. <>
#6 is the last email I got on fishing in Maui. While it is not fly fishing info it is useful. If you try please post results OK.


Hawaii doesn't require any salt water fishing licenses, yet :). There
are a few "no fishing" areas on all of the islands, but they don't
front the hotels and they're clearly marked. There really aren't any
restrictions on number of rods, type of bait, etc. etc., here. As
long as you release your fish, there's no closed seasons. You can
pick up a copy of the regulations at any tackle store. Most of the
rules pertain to nets and diving/spearfishing and sale of the catch,
virtually none pertain to hook and line release fishing.

I'd say bring your small spinning rig, 2-8 lbs (think small). Or
bring a reel(s) and buy a cheap rod here at Sports Authority or
K-Mart. Give it to a kid or leave it in the condo when you leave.
It's cheaper than renting.

There are no maps of possible shore fishing areas on Maui. I
considered trying to put one together, but I just haven't had the

While it doesn't provide any maps, the best shore fishing
tips/tricks/tackle etc. are found in Jim Rizzuto's books.

There's only one guide here that I know of: <>

I don't fish much down Lahaina/Kaanapali/Napili way, mainly because
of the traffic, but there are many areas to fish that way.

I do a lot of fishing in the "mudflats" area between Kihei and
Maalaea Harbor. It's fairly close, easy access, not crowded and I can
take my dog w/o a leash :) It's on the ocean side of Kealia
Wetland/Wildlife Sanctuary. Don't be tempted to drop a line in the
freshwater side, it's a federal offense. It's clearly marked.

I also fish in and around the Wailea/Makena area since I live 5
minutes from there.

I generally 'whip' with a Daiwa BG-13 6#test 6.5' graphite rod, or a
Penn SS 12# test on a 9.5' e-glass.

We use Kastmasters, Rebel windcheaters, Krocadiles, rapalas,
scroungers, twister tails, glitter strips, wood egg floats, natural
strip and live baits (shrimp, squid, octopus or fish). There aren't
really bait stores, but you can get bait at most supermarkets.

I probably use a wood egg float w/ a 4' leader to a single hook and
put on a glitter strip or twister tail or strip bait, more than
anything else though. It kinda depends where I'm fishing.

Like any other kind of fishing, fish like structure. Work both sides
of rocky points on a beach, stream outflows(very few), sharp drop
offs etc. Also, obviously, places that require a little more
walking/climbing/4 WDrive are likely to be more productive than
places that have easy access and get fished all the time. However,
don't neglect in front of your hotel/condo. Due to parking problems,
etc. most of the locals don't fish often near the hotels, therefore,
the fishing can be fairly decent. You have to go early or late to
avoid the swimmers and snorkelers.

I grew up here so I don't really know the english names of all the
fish. Papio is a trevally (jack) family- good fighting good eating
(after about 15lbs. they're called ulua and is the most sought after
(record is around 190#), some guy caught a 563# sea bass here while
fishing for ulua from the beach. Moana is a type of goatfish good
eating and good bait for ulua. I think, wa'a nui is a snapper?. Don't
know english equiv. of lai - leatherback or something. It's a good
fighter. I ate it in Tahiti and it was good, but nobody here really
eats it, we use the skin on lures. Kaku is barricuda. Needlefish
called i'i sometimes referred to as 'poor man's marlin" 'cause they
often jump and tailwalk when hooked. There are also bonefish,
milkfish and some others.

Yes, some of them bite, and some have sharp fins/scales, so you
should handle them with gloves/care.

Sports Authority is also on the same road as the airport, so you
have to drive by it (left hand side, after the 3rd traffic light), no
matter what. A 7' spl 1100 Ugly Stik costs $29.99 and they have other
fairly decent brands even cheaper. I tried one of their SouthBend
6.5' graphite composition rods awhile back. It felt a lot better than
the $18 it cost. They also carry glitter strips, leads, egg floats

Long's Drugs also carries a pretty good assortment of tackle.
If I can be of further help, let me know.



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