Honolulu, Hawaii, March 27, 2009
A report from SteveL
Jin and I spent the last two days fishing
Rat Island and the stretch of reef from The Tree to $5 Flats.
On Thursday we went to Rat Island - a tantalizing taste of flats fishing in Hawaii. As the tide rose, we saw numerous lone fish cruising the shallows - but the cloud cover and wind made it difficult to see them until you were just a few yards away. Despite our no-luck on those flats, Jin was still game to come back during season to try again.

In the evening my wife and I joined Jin and his wife at
Roy's Restaurant in Waikiki. It has to be one of the finer restaurants in Hawaii. Roy Yamaguchi has pioneered his version of Hawaii regional cuisine with his own fusion of Western and Asian flavors and foods. I ordered Moi (Polydactylus sexfilis) filets. The filets were steamed with the skin fried crispy and combined on a bed of polenta with Nalo Greens with balsamic vinegar and goat cheese. It was awesome. Equally great were the other dishes ordered and the chocolate soufflé was heaven. Jin ordered a 2005 Napa Pinot Noir --which I must say was excellent.

After all that good dinner and wine we started the next day around mid-morning. It was extremely breezy - Jin commented that everytime he comes here, it's blowing full on. (He just has to come more often to catch calmer weather). We fished the rising tide from a minus to about a foot and a half. I put us on the best spot I could figure on a minus tide and we were hooking up to all kinds of odd creatures. Jin pulled in a Flying Garnard, lizard fish and trumpet fish. We each had mystery tugs and bites that would fight briefly and come off.
At one of the reef passes, my fly was slammed by a very large fish. It screams off with my fly line and 20 yards of backing in a few of seconds making a bee-line for the "Blue Hole" and the open ocean. I crank my drag down and lean on the fish to turn it and then my 40-pound test segment of my tippet breaks and its gone. Jin muses that it looked like I was trying to pull in a tuna. I didn't have a choice, it was either that or the fish was through the pass and out into the reef.

We fished all the way down to The Tree. It was a little cool with that stiff breeze constantly at your back -- while water wasn't freezing on my guides like in
Maryland in January, my fingers were still getting numb. Then we called it a day and headed off for lunch at Zippy's -- Jin scarfing Teriaki Beef combo with Kimchee fried rice and me with a steaming hot bowl of Ox Tail soup.

Another fine day of fishing in Hawaii.

EQUIPMENT: We used eight to 10- weight rods with floating line. Reels must hold at least 200 yards of backing. More is better. Flourocarbon leaders and an assortment of flies in size 2 to 6.