Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati, November 8, 2014
A report from Eric for
I knew it was going to be a tough one week of work, but I was scheduled to visit Kiritimati Island (Christmas Island) with a medical team to check on the children who live on one of the largest atolls in the world.

The island, part of today’s Gilbert Islands group, was discovered and named “Christmas Island” by Captain James Cook on his third Pacific voyage on Dec. 24, 1777. In 1957 the
British used the island as a base for Pacific nuclear tests. In the early 1960s the island was again used as a key staging area when U.S. and British forces tested 24 nuclear devices.
It was a three hour 40 minute flight from Honolulu on Fiji Air and after checking through customs we wound up at The Villages motel where, after unpacking and getting settled in, we had a few hours to do a little fishing.
I broke out my fly rod and headed for the lagoon. The wind was blowing but I managed to catch a few juvenile bonefish before calling it a day. For the next few days we saw patients, so any fishing was on the back burner. But the weekend was near.

When Saturday came around and we were all stoked. We packed up all our toys and head out for a place they called Korean Wreck.
This is the location near the southern tip of the island where a large Korean fishing boat drove up hard on the reef and came apart and sections of the destroyed vessel are still visible. But it is also the reference point to a fishing area that is several miles long. It took us 45 minutes to drive from The Villages to Korean Wreck and once there the guides took a look at the conditions and told us one group would start fishing here while another group would move further down the coast to fish.
We were up first. We walked down the beach and saw bonefish all over the place. Our guide pointed at some fish coming down towards us and called out “ten feet,” so I stripped out some line and made a cast.

As I stripped in line the guide told me to stop and let the fish come to the fly. “Strip stop,” he said and as soon as I did this the fish took the fly. We caught a LOT of bonefish on our first round, I got 24, and it was getting to be boring so I told the guide that
I wanted to catch a GT (giant trevally). We jumped into the truck and drove to another spot.
We arrived at the spot and made our way out towards the beach the guide yelled “GT” so I stripped out line and made a cast with a brown bonefish fly. As the tiny fly hit the water I made two strips and “Bam,” the fight was on.

I thought the fish would make a V-line towards the breakers but it took off parallel to the beach. I managed to stop the first run as the fish started to turn towards the middle of the flats. This fish made numerous runs but I managed to bring it in. It weighed 12 pounds--my first “
ulua” on an 8 weight fly rod. I caught four GT’s, a five, eight 10 and 12 pound fish.
After lunch we left Korean Wreck and moved to the other side of the island.

The water at this new spot was a little rough and the wind was blowing in your face. As we walked down on the rocky shoreline my guide was walking ahead of me while I was looking for bonefish. Then a disaster occured. I saw my guide slip and fall and my four piece 10 weight rod was now a five piece rod.

My guide was holding his ankle and I asked him if he was ok and he said yes but was sorry the rod broke. I told him not to worry about it I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t hurt. We caught a few more fish, called it a day and went back to the motel.

We fished again at another location the following day but the wind was terrible and you could not cast a fly rod because the wind was howling and would blow all the line right back into your face. We broke out the spinning outfits instead and fished with stick bait lures and spoons, picking up a variety of reef fish and GTs.

It was a busy schedule for us the next couple of days, examining more children, then it was time for us to leave a fishing paradise and jet back to Hawaii.