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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to take my wife to Hawaii in the near future. Would love to do a guided bonefish trip. Is there a time of year that's better? Or a different species that's better to target with the fly rod? Assuming a 9' 7 or 8 wt. Guide or specific island recommendations? Thanks for any input. I've never been to Hawaii or fished for bonefish, so this should be fun to add to my list of fly fishing experiences.
 

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Contact hawaiionthefly.com
Mike is a great guide and he will put you on some fish. He's fishes the island of Oahu...easy access from Honolulu. I think there are more fish around in the summer, but I typically go in the winter and always catch fish. Standard 8wt bonefish setup is fine...make sure you have lots of backing on your reel!
 

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Hi: You can also check out Nervous Water Fly Fishers while there. I think they are the only Fly Shop in Honolulu. Ed is their guide, and was raised in Honolulu. Great guy. I've fished with him a few times. Hawaii is seasonal so late spring, summer through late fall is best. South shore of Oahu is definately the best place to be. I fished on my way to Christmas and routinely saw very big bones in Oahu. I've done the walk and wade thing (cheaper), but you can access more areas by boat. I think the fellow mentioned above only does boat trips and not a bad investment based on my experience. Yes, very big fish & coral. Have lots of backing!
 

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The surf tends to be a lot bigger in the winter. Oahu is bigger, population wise, which means more traffic, more people, and it can be a lot busier, so keep that in mind as well if you are looking for a relaxing vacation in Hawaii. When friends ask which island to go to I usually direct them to Maui, the Big Island, or Kauai. Outside of fishing I'm not sure what type of vacation you and your wife are looking for.

With that in mind I believe the bone fishing is the best on Oahu, not sure what it is like in Kauai, but believe there is some good bonefishing in Maui, or out of Maui to one of the nearby islands. There are some really big bonefish on the Big Island, but from my experience it is tough to fish for them with a fly, and I'm not sure if there are any guides on the Big Island. I had a few chase my fly when I was there last, but all of the bonefish I have caught where dunking squid in 30ft+ water as a kid.

Generally spring to fall is the best time to fish in Hawaii. Partially this is when there are calmer conditions and also some fish come inshore to spawn in the summer months. Other fish like trevally can be fun to target. If you can fit it in your suitcase I recommend bringing a stripping basket if you are doing the walk and wade thing. The lava can be a pain at times when trying to cast, even the small rocks in the sand, and choppy water or small surf can be annoying too.
 

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I second the recommendation on Mike Hennessey at Hawaii on the Fly. I had a great trip with them and learned a ton. You can find several of his videos on YouTube...very worthwhile. I've also heard very positive first-hand reviews for Rick Lee and Coach Duff. I think what the other posts said regarding gear is correct but with some modification depending on where you go. I spent most of my trip on a shallow flat. The fish there were big and plentiful but spooky. We used very long level leader and made short casts. Hitting "the spot" from 40 feet with 15 feet of mono with a 25 mph cross wind is quite the challenge. The guide's medium-fast 7 weight was far easier to cast than the fast 8 weight I was using for the first part of the day. Send me a PM if you're interested in some information on DIY trips.
 

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Aloha A A, I live on the Big Island and do some guiding over here. You have some great advice for possible guides on Oahu. Mike Henessey is an awesome guide and is fun to fish with and a good friend of mine. Ed works for Nervous Waters and has lots of experience. There are some others on Oahu if you are interested. The outer islands have less guides but some fish that are not quite as educated as the Oahu bones. Molokai is probably your best bet if you want to get a 10lb bone. Clay Ching is the only guide there on a regular basis. You should plan on fishing in the morning and on a negative low tide. It is very windy on Molokia after 10:30 am. Maui has Jon Jon Tabon and he likes to use a kayak to access some remote sand bars. Kauai has Rob Aritta and he fishes Anini beach on the north shore. You have guides and options on all the islands. I am getting a hip replacement in three weeks and will be out until December. Let me know when you will be here and where you will be staying and I should be able to help you out.
Word of warning. If this is your first bonefish experience, you will have some difficulty catching a Hawaiian bonefish especially on Oahu. the fish are very smart, think trout on the henry's fork at the ranch. They are very big and strong and like to break you off. You will see large fish, if you get the fly in front of them and they are feeding you can catch one. It is not like Christmas Island or the Bahamas with lots of hungry small fish. An 8wt with a floating line is the best way to go. Your guide should be able to give you flies that work. It is a fun thing to do while here and there are some monster bones here. Good luck and email me at [email protected] if you have more questions or need more help. Mems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great info everyone! I think I'll shoot for late spring next year. I can make it an anniversary trip (May). It will be my first attempt at bonefish. I'll contact Mems, thanks for the advice!
 
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