My big day arrived and I was like a kid anxious to hit the water with my fly rod. I booked the trip with Terry ‘Coach Duff’ Duffield. He got the nickname from being the DB coach for the UH football team.
Now he works with the Marines in the gun range and also guides a little but just three days a week. He told me that he used to go 200+ days a year but has since dropped most of his sponsors and has been burned out by the business, which isn’t glamorous as you would think. If you’re thinking of going on a bonefishing trip with him, be flexible and willing to accommodate his schedule. I had booked for Sunday the 18th but since we both wanted to watch the NFC championship game we decided to postpone to Monday. He cancelled and we decided to move to Tuesday.
Oahu flats fishing is a tough gig, yes the fish are huge but you’ll have limited shots at them and the fish are super weary. You’ll be fishing in water that’s 8-12″ deep, crystal clear and with the high profile of the casting cage, poling platform and white color boat they become a challenging species to target. It took me awhile to spot them as they are super camouflaged and are literally ghosts.
I had several shots at feeding fish but most of them scared and swam away, only 2 fish actually turned and chased the fly. I did have an un-identfied fish on but came off. It could have been a smaller bone, but likely not. Saw big schools of yellow for trivially which were good biters of the fly, but not what we came for. Also saw several puffer fish and a nice blue trevally that was likely a pupio (under 10#). He scattered out Pronto and we never had a shot.
I didn’t go fish less however, caught a couple Lizard fish, and also the Nunu? Which looks like a gar, with its long bill/beak like mouth. I wasn’t into blind casting but having the Orvis Helios H2 made 90-100′ casts possible with a double haul. Problem is that bones see you way ahead of this distance. It’s a timing thing and everything has to line up in order for the magic to happen. My arms and back are sore, especially my stripping arm from the repetitive actions but more of the sore inner core the wishes for some better action of the Oahu bonefish flats.
You can’t beat the scenery, however, just don’t know if I’ll return trip it for another shot at these guys due to the fact that their numbers are extremely limited for the amount of water we pounded for a good 6-7 hours.
Rod: Orvis H2, 9′ 8 wt
Reel: Galvan T8
Line: WF floating Scientific Angler
Leader: Seaguar tapered by Duff: 50#,40#,30#,20#
Fly: brown spam and eggs tungsten with weed guard and in brown
On a side note, a couple of days prior we took the kids to a botanical garden that featured free fishing weekends. The lake is stocked with Tilapia, Peacock Bass, and Cichlids. They supply the bamboo rods with barbless hooks. No live bait, but bread can be used. I did try a fly but these fish are so conditioned to bread and are super wary as well. We caught a couple and the boys had a good time.