Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 24-31, 2018

I was bummed. Over the past week I caught a lot of fish, and I should be grateful for that. However they just weren’t the kind of fish I was hoping to catch.

I arrived in the Islands on Christmas Eve—thinking nobody will be traveling on Christmas Eve and the airports and airlines will be relatively empty. Wrong. The airports were a madhouse, TSA security lines stretched to forever, and the jets were cattle cars with people trying to cram too much luggage into a finite space.

All of my friends told me the tides for my stay would be close to perfect. Which they were. It was the weather that was not cooperating. There were very high winds to deal with and lots of rain. But being in Hawaii was much better that being on the East Coast at this time, even with the storms sweeping down the island chain.

Eric and I fished our usual spots every day. He connected with a couple of cookie cutter bonefish while I managed to catch everything else that swam on the reef. A couple of very large Mongoose fish which SteveL told me are
really good to eat, big yellow stripe Goatfish, lots of Trumpetfish of various lengths, tiny Parrotfish, Lizardfish, a common wrasse, two chunks of coral and a small crab. No bonefish. Not even a tug.

We went out even when the weather was very marginal. After heading to shore to take cover from a particularly strong and nasty fast-moving rain storm, we rigged up and headed back onto the flats. We were about 200 yards from shore when I heard a muffled roar behind me. I looked toward a canal that was blocked by a large sand plug in time to see a huge wall of water, foam flying over the embankments, blow everything out across the flats.
A dirty ring of scummy water began to grow and head out towards us. By this time we had waded almost to the breakers so I found a nice rock to stand on and watched the scum ring approach. It was fascinating to watch the dirty water and debris begin to break up as it approached the deeper water. Rather than retain a ring shape, all the floating stuff broke up into thick columns and were quickly swept out to sea. After a while, everything in our area was clear and we were able to fish again. However as we waded back in to head for home, the nearshore waters had a slightly clouded look, as fresh water mixed with salt.

The weather continued to be wet and nasty throughout my stay. Eric picked up another bonefish and I managed to add to my reef fish total. It was ridiculous. I even went to the fishing supply store to buy a fish bag so I could keep a few of the good eaters I caught for dinner. Of course, as Eric told me, as soon as I bought the bag I wouldn’t catch any more big fish. He was right.

EQUIPMENT: Fast action 7 to 9 weight rods with floating lines and heavy leaders to withstand runs through the coral. Fly sizes from 2 to 10, weighted and unweighted depending on water depth and fishing condition.