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bonefishing hawaii:

sean's mc fatty hawaii bonefish


sean checked in today and the report went a little something like this...


"Yo. Fishing was overall pretty slow in K Bay today, but I did catch a fatty. It weighed a little over 12lbs. The magic fly was a rusty brown turd variation. I may do a turd tying step-by-step for you later next week. Feel free to add all this to the blog, but please note the following for your readers:


I didn't realize the fish was this big when I saw it swimming. It only revealed its true size once I landed it. This has been the case in nearly every big bonefish I've hooked. You can't trust your eyes until you've actually caught the fish.


I still don't believe in that sixth sense stuff.


I personally find Sublime songs far more productive to sing while fishing than any old Cure song. Today's hit was "Garden Grove."

Big mahalos to Ross A. for all his help!"


now that's a hawaii bonefish toad...


that's the biggest bonefish i've seen in a while around these parts... way to go bro!  good times.  looking forward to your turd tying instructions, the public's gonna want to know!






bonefishing hawaii:

in between days... the bonefish sixth sense


e.t. had to work today so surfa boy craig and i decided to go out to hi kai for a little afternoon session with the switch rods.  craig had stuff to do in the morning and i always have work to catch up on so we didnít get on the water until about two or so.  when we rolled up i realized that i had forgotten my tabis (hawaiian style flats boots) at home.  pretty much a deal breaker around here, i thought that i would be doomed to an afternoon of casting practice from the beach.  not that a few hours of casting practice is all that bad or unnecessary for me.  soon after i noticed that my tabis were not there, craig digs around under his seat and produces a pair of bodyglove reef shoes.  sweet... the situation reinforced an ancient hawaiian bonefish fly fishing lesson, ďbra, no foget yo tabisĒ.


i fished a beulah 6/7 switch rod with matching elixir line and craig fished the same setup in the 7/8 size (www.beulahflyrods.com).  as we were slowly making our way out i saw that asa was already out fishing and there were also a couple of other fly guys as well along with the usual weekend mix of pbsskdjsb (paddle boarders swimmers surfers kayakers divers jet skiers boaters) all having fun doing their thang.


i watched asa cast at a few fish and i think the other guys did too.  i also saw some fish and a couple tails here and there.  i didnít cast to them because i was just chilliní and didnít even have a fly tied on yet.  i like to get out on the water and just soak in the vibe of whatís going on before i actually get into fishing.  i really believe in the sixth sense or the subconscious mind when it comes to fishing and try to heighten mine everytime out (sean and i have discussed this many times, i donít think he believes in that).


the fish i saw had that air of wariness about them.  i donít know how to describe it except for that.  the way those fish looked and acted was almost like they were in that first stage of spook all the time.  i think this is fairly common on tides like the one today when there is lots of activity on the water.  the fish are able to stay up on the flat the whole time and they know it, so they will feed at a more casual pace erring on the side of caution.  think about it, if you knew you had all day to eat and there were aliens and bears and lions and lightning and thunder all around you, wouldnít you kind of eat a little more slowly and carefully, paying more attention to the potential dangers around you.  on the other hand if you hadnít eaten all day and you showed up at the buffet five minutes before it closed, youíd probably be ravishing it and... what bears?


anyway, enough rambling from the old man bonefish idiot.  i rolled up to asa and greeted him in the traditional way we greet all our friends on the water, ďeh, beat it!  go fish over there!Ē  i found out that asa had been on the water since five thirty in the morning... crazy.  i chatted with him for a bit and confirmed the feeling that i had.  the fish were around but not very agressive.  asa said there were six other guys out in the morning but he didnít see anyone hook anything except for the dunkers (bait guys).  i left asa the shallower part of the flat and craig and i waded out to deeper water, to see if maybe we could find one that let down itís guard just enough to get us bit.


i fished the original clay mantis.  i developed this fly around 1995 or so (itís all pretty foggy now) and it kind of fell into the annals (funny word) of obscurity over the years.  some of my early clients may remember it.  sean had been telling me that i should resurrect the pattern from the grave.  so i tied a couple today... but thatís a blog for another day.  i got into my rhythm of casting the switch rod.  overhead, single hand, switch, overhead, single hand, switch.  before long i felt the subtle weight of the wary bone bite.  i set up on it and the race was on.  the fish felt pretty good as i couldnít get control of the situation as quickly as i like to do when there is danger around.  it was fast heading for fly line wasteland so i made the executive decision to save my brand new fly line and put the clamps on the fish which quickly popped the fifteen pound tippet.


we fished hard a bit more with no success and i began to think that i may have busted off my only ďblogĒ fish.  i knew they were around but i also knew the mood they were in would make it tough.  we moved back in as the place we were fishing was getting a bit gnarly and sketch.  more nothing.<  i tried a bunch of different flies, retrieves, tippet changes, short casts, long casts etc. and as afternoon turned to evening i had just about run through my extensive ďbag of tricksĒ.  then i remembered a blog that i once read (or wrote, i canít remember, it was yesterday).  the blog was about orange bombing peppers and big bright flies... some kind of bullshit like that.  i looked in my fly box and hey!  i had one.


so i tied it on and went back to casting.  i was no longer consciously thinking about fishing or anything.  that wasnít working.  i was just out there being one with the sea.  singing songs to myself out loud.  i do that a lot. iím like my own ipod.  i was letting my subconscious mind take over and assess the situation.  maybe i was just enjoying living and entertaining myself, which iím quite good at.  whatever it was i hooked another fish and it turned out to be a pretty good one at least for this summer season.

after landing that fish i looked around the area and at the spot where i casted.  i couldnít think of any reason why i would have casted there.  i also had to try and remember how i was stripping the fly.  i canít even remember now what kind of cast i made.  all i remember was that i was singing ďin between daysĒ by the cure.<    still,  <i hooked the fish.  luck?  the magic fly? the bombing odds?  the good spot?  maybe, but keep in mind that we only use a small fraction of our brains (some of us even less than others).  yet, our subconscious is always taking in information like smells, temperature, wind, sounds, minute magnetic fields and other mystical cues that we are not even aware of or can even comprehend. unlike our conscious mind i donít think the subconscious ever forgets .  so i do believe that having spent a lifetime around, on, and in the water on oahu and hardcore bonefishing here in hawaii for the last fifteen years, my subconscious may have picked up a trick or two that i donít even know about that helps me get through the tough days... if let it.  


i probably lost half of my blog readers around the first mention of  the subconscious mind.  that would make like what... two or three guys left.  thatís cool.  well to the two or three of you who stuck it out, iím not saying that you gotta do what i do or think like i think.  i certainly donít have all the answers.  thatís the game.  but is it possible that maybe thereís much more to this fly fishing stuff than just spots, tides, making casts and fly color?


iím just saying... maybe itís a good idea to learn the words to ďin between daysĒ by the cure.


was it the orange bombing pepper... or was there more to it than that?

thanks craig for the wicked pics and for letting me use your tabis... totally cool man.  good times.




<bonefishing hawaii:

the orange bombing pepper a.k.a. firetail


okay, the brown charlie blog got some good feedback and since i was riding the ole nor-vise (www.nor-vise.com) today... here we go again.  the slight increase in clouds this week along with the humanga-ganga tides made me think of the orange bombing pepper.  it is also known as ďfiretailĒ to the little rat that often bounces around my vise (my nephew) while iím tying.


the orange bombing pepper is a hybrid fly taking parts from a crazy charlie, gotcha, christmas island special, and chili pepper.  well, not so much from a chili pepper.  i guess the overall look to it is sort of chili pepperesque.  anyway the point is it just combines different aspects of different flies.


the orange bombing pepper is a large, bright fly.  i like throwing big bright stuff like this on overcast days or low light times of the day.  also on the super high tides which accompany the new and full moon.  i always feel more confident that a fish will be able to find it better in the murky, featureless, sea of the two foot plus tides in hawaii. 


a big bright fly can also trigger the reaction bite from the bigger bones in shallow water (if  you can present the fly without spooking the fish first... a big if).  sometimes they just canít pass up an easy meal of such proportions.  iíve had big fish spook, swirl around and clobberhouse flies like this.  if you spook a bonefish and it is running away itís pretty much game over, however a fly like the orange bombing pepper is one of the few things that can make them change their minds about taking off... or at least make them think about it.



the shtuff.


hook:  standard sw hook (mustad 3407, 34007, tiemco 811) size 2, 1, or even 1/0 if youíve got the balls.

thread:  flo orange flatwax

eyes:  5/32 gold brass eyes (3/16 on flies larger than sz. 2)

tail:  hot orange krystal flash

body:  flat pearl mylar tinsel and clear v-rib or stretch tubing

wing:  orange calf tail

overwing:  hot orange krystal flash  (donít get excited thatís just the wing on top of the other wing which is the under wing... get it?)


attach eyes... remember this?



tie in eight strands of krystal flash, at about the halfway point of the flash, right behind the brass eye.  gather the strands of k flash together, pull them back and tie them in.



advance the thread forward to behind the eye and tie in the v-rib back to the tail.  remember it is important to tie the rib starting from right behind the eye.  this will give the fly an even body and avoid hump butt.  from that point tie in a piece of flat pearl mylar.  the mylar can be tied in from the tail forward and doesnít have to run all the way to the eye as the mylar is thin and wonít  affect the body shape.  advance the thread forward to in front of the brass eyes.


wrap the mylar forward so that there are no gaps in between wraps.  make a figure 8 wrap with the mylar around the brass eyes and tie in with three or so wraps of thread.  trim excess mylar.


now wrap the ribbing (v-rib) forward just like the mylar was and tie off.  cutt off the excess v-rib.


tie in a long bunch of calf tail.  bucktail can also be used but i just love me my calf tails. 


a word about calf tail:

most calf tails are built the same.  the bottom part of the tail has the shortest hairs and the top has the longest hairs.  when i get a calf tail  i usually look at the hairs and cut the tail into three parts.  wire cutters work well for this as does some garden shears.  the first section has most of the short hairs which are good for small flies 6ís and smaller.  the second section has the medium size 4 hairs.  the last piece to the tip of the tail i keep for larger flies like this one.  the hair at the tips start to curl.  these can still be used by cutting a piece, holding the bunch by the tips, and kind of rolling the hair between your fingers.  of course this only works up to a certain point.  after that the hairs get too curly to use efficiently.


tie in four strands of krystal flash right behind the eye of the hook.  the flash is tied the same way as it was for the tail.  fold it back and tie it in.  make a nice thread head, whip finish, and cement the head.


finished fly!  how can any self respecting world class hawaii bonefish pass that up?  thereís no way! tie up a dozen or so and go pound it... iím gonna.  good times.





fly fishing hawaii:

the boyís fourth report


got the report from ďthe boyĒ (sean) on his fourth of july excursion.  as some of you out there may know, our buddy brandon came in from no cal for some r&r so the boys have been out and about doing their thang.  which also meant that i had to be in the shop more  and unable to do my usual horsing around. 


i tied up a few small poppers for sean as he wanted to huck around his five weight for papio with <brandon and mike from nankos.  between their busy fishing and fluid diet schedule, sean managed to check in with some papio action pics.


hooked up!  ďthe boyĒ gets a whitey on a popper with his five weight.


brandon takes a break from mainland life and manages to conk  ďthe big oneĒ.  a six pound white papio (trevally) that he promptly releases... sweet!


sorry about the gigantor photo mike, thatís just the way the pics worked out.  i can only work with what i got.  blame the photographer.


sean getís another little guy to eat.


... very ambitious.


looks like a fun day.  as deano would say, ďthanks for the invite... i see how it isĒ.  good times.







bonefishing hawaii:

e.t.ís ongoing adventures with the bizarre and the deano fourth report


while deano and i were chilliní at the shop this evening discussing the usual rabble, in rolls e.t. with yet another gigantor mantis.  this one was even bigger than the one he had caught the day before.  his client today was amazed as were the couple from out of town who happened to stop by the shop... they all got to enjoy a bonus bit of e.t.ís bonefishing prowess and local fishing knowledge added to their hawaii bonefishing journeys. also deano posted his fourth of july blog that i highly recommend checking out.  heís got some video on there thatís pretty entertaining.  check that out at http://bone4th.blogspot.com/.  it's always a pleasure to hang with two of the most foreward thinking and knowledgeable hawaii fly guys around.


thanks deano for the pics... there's no way i could have pulled off this stunt with my cell phone.  good times.





bonefishing hawaii:

e.t. is the manĖtis!


so as reported yesterday e.t. did hook a bunch of bones at keíehi  blah blah blah, whatever.  he also mentioned to me that he caught a mantis shrimp.  i didnít mention it in the blog because mantis shrimp... who cares?  then today craig sent me some pics of the mantis that e.t. caught and you guys gotta check this out.  there are aliens among us... cool.


is there anything e.t. can't catch?  wish i was there bro!  good times.







freshwater fly fishing and bonefishing hawaii:

lake update and the e.t. bonefish report


stan (www.hawaiibassfishing.com) called this morning and wanted to go check out the lake.  i havenít been up there since word hit the street that the water level was really low and guys were having difficulty launching boats from the ramp, so i was eager to get up there and see it for myself.  i also wanted to huck around a sage z-axis 5wt. 10ft. rod, that i picked up for a trip to oregon later this year, and havenít had a chance to fish yet.  we got on the water (what little water there was) around ten thirty.  the water in the area around the boat ramp was only about 8ft deep .  the ramp was still in the water though and launching the boat was not a problem.  the water was murky up until around the  county yard area.  there were a few other boats out and we stopped to chat with a couple of guys in tuc bay.  the guys had moderate success catching a few peacocks each.  we then headed up to the north bridge.  the water got really shallow up there.  the water right below the bridge was reading 3 to four feet deep and murky.

we went back down to the clearer water around morgans point and down to kemoo island.  i fished a beadhead icewing fiber streamer and stan fished the ghost minnow and a small mylar popper.  we caught some peacocks and red devils.  stan got a red devil to eat the little popper he was fishing, that was cool as devils donít come up for surface stuff that often.  the fishing wasnít red hot but we did fairly well considering we fished only a short time during the mid day heat.

with the water so low the bank access is as good as itís going to get.  so if you donít have a boat and want to try fishing the lake nowís a great time to check it out.  we saw quite a few anglers fishing from shore.  for the boaters, the lake is still accessible, as of today at least.  it is at the point though that if the water keeps going down it will certainly get more and more sketch to launch.  also thereís many new and exciting things to run over out there so drive carefully.

later today i spoke to e.t . he and some of the boys had gone bonefishing at keíehi again today.  e.t. reports that as the tide came in good numbers of bonefish were up on the flats. e.t. hooked and landed five today and a fat toady yesterday at hi kaiÖ so the summer bone bite is apparently still on.  the tides gonna be big this week so plan accordingly.


the lake is the lowest itís been (at least in recorded history)...  the paint on the new low waterline mark is still wet.


other peeps out enjoying the day.


the bank access is great... and the fishingís not half bad either.


at the north bridge the depth recorder says, ďthere ainít much water up hereĒ.


the z-axis passes the ďjujĒ test with this peacock.


this hungry devil devoured stanís popper... way cool.


the ďzĒ racks up another tuc.




the ďflies du jourĒ.


lightly mud battered and extra crispy... mmm nasty.  thanks stan for all the pics.  good times.






bonefishing hawaii:

the brown charlie (e.t. style)


okay, today i thought iíd try something a little different in the blog and if this works out to be not to much of a pain, i will try to do it for the peeps more often and with more complex flies.


so e.t. has been banging bonefish for several months on a simple brown crazy charlie.  itís been a good summer pattern so far.  iíve caught a bunch of fish on it already as have others.  itís not a new fly, itís just pretty much e.t.ís version of a timeless bonefish classic the crazy charlie (which almost all bonefish flies are versions of in one way or another).  itís a pattern that all bonefishers should have in their box and all tyers should know how to tie.  so this may be pretty elementary for many.  but itís a good one for beginning tyers to learn as well as for low tech beginning idiot bloggers to take pictures of and blog about.  also this particular version has been one of the hot patterns these days... so here goes.


keep in mind that, as always, you can alter the size, eyes, wing material, and color.  paint the eye or donít.  add flash or not.  donít put the weed guard... itís all up to the tyer.  this is just the way e.t. likes his.


the materials youíll need are pretty basic.


hook: size 4 standard saltwater hook (mustad 3407, 34007, tiemco 811)

thread:  monothread

eyes: brass eyes

body: medium v-rib tan<

wing: brown bucktail

weedguard:  relatively stiff mono 12-15lb. depending on the brand


start the thread and tie on the brass eyes using figure 8 wraps.  (beginning bonefish fly tyers get used to this,  youíll be doing this about a gadzillion times in your tying careers.)


tie in a piece of v-rib flat side down.  i usually just take the v-rib off the spool and tie in the whole long piece instead of cutting a piece from the spool (chinese thatís why, i no like waste).  make sure to tie the v-rib in from right behind the eye and back to a little past the bend of the hook.  this will keep the body even so your fly doesnít get a big hump butt.


now wind the vrib towards the eye of the hook making a figure 8 wrap around the eyes.  make sure that you are winding the v-rib with the flat side down especially when going around the eyes.  going up and over the brass eye can cause the rib to twist.  if you see hard edges you are probably wrapping it with the flat side up.


cut a piece of mono for the weedguard.  i like to tie it on the top side of the hook opposite the point and through the eye.  it can also just be tied on the same side as the wing which must be done with hooks that have smaller eyes.


flip the hook over.  cut a piece of bucktail and hand stack it.  to hand stack bucktail just hold the piece of bucktail and even up the tips a bit by pulling out the long ones and putting them back in the bunch with the tips more even.  repeat this until you get a nice looking wing.  tip for beginners, when tying itís always better to err on the side of sparseness.  a wispy fly with few strands of material will fish.  a fat glob of animal hair that looks like road kill... not quite as often.  tie the wing in and cut the butts.  i like to cut the butts off before tying it in.  either way is fine but it should end up looking kind of like the pic.


bend the mono weedguard up and wrap thread on both sides to post it up. whip finish or make several half hitches to finish.


trim the weedguard so that it ends in line or slightly shorter than the hook point and add some head cement for durability.  stoked! youíre done.  repeat the whole process six to twelve times and go pound some of dem summer bones. 


none of this would be possible if sean didn't tell me about the flower thing on the camera. thanks and good times.






bonefishing hawaii:

the first of july


i canít believe itís july already... i guess what they say is true.  time flies when youíre having fun.  well to celebrate the first of july e.t. gathered the boyz together (asa, kai, and craig) and headed out to keíehi.  e.t started fishing at five thirty this morning.  greg and josh went out a little later and jay and i (the old guys) got out there about nine or so.  there were fish around but the bite seems to have subsided quite a bit.  when we rolled out there e.t. said that there were tailing fish in the morning but no one had caught any.  the fish were very spooky.  everyone hooked fish but none were landed.  the fish i hooked came unbuttoned pretty quickly.  the takes were very subtle and hard to tell when exactly the fish picked up the fly.  i fished a little with e.t. and a bit with greg and josh.


when the tide came in jay managed to land a small bone that may have been sick as it didnít hardly fight, maybe they were all just sluggish as i saw quite a few that were just sitting on the flat.  we walked several stretches with the same results.  fish there, but not very agressive and spooky.  when we had about all we could take we headed in.  iím not sure how e.t. and the guys did on the falling tide (theyíre still out there as i am writing this)  hopefully the fish turned on more with the falling tide for those guys. 


by the way hope everyone out there in cyber world has a wicked awesome fourth of july... get out there and conk some fish!


since the bones werenít cooperating josh decides to just crack a golden trevally instead.  didi always gets her licks in as well.


no matter how tough the day jay always pulls through for the photo op.




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