Fishing Through Traffic
I recently read a news article stating that Honolulu was rated 2nd out of ten cities in 2014 for having the worst traffic in the country. It also said that Honolulu drivers spend on average nearly 60 hours a year sitting in their cars. As for me, I count myself fortunate since I commute in the opposite direction of the major traffic flow, but I do catch my fair share on occasion. The incident that made me think about the significance of traffic was when I visited Sean last week at the fly shop. I had stopped by to see how his outing went on his day off and was pleased to see that Ed, Ed’s roommate Todd, and their neighbor Ezekiel was there. Sean and Ed reported seeing significant numbers of small trevally all over the flats. We chatted at length regarding the huge recruitments of juvenile fish in Hawaii’s waters. The numbers have been so large; it even made the local news (see news report). One striking comment that Sean made (which I thought was really funny) was how while sight fishing for bonefish, the trevally would barrage the fly and eat it before the bonefish got a chance. Ezekiel also fueled the conversations with his fishing stories as a child on his home island of Houk; in the State of Chuuk (part of the Federated State of Micronesia). He said that on his island, there would be huge schools of juvenile trevally that made the water black. He would find a piece of seaweed, lash it onto a hook, and swish it back and forth in the water. The fish would bite the "fly" and with a simple flick of the wrist, he would fling them onto the beach until he had enough for dinner. With the stories stored in the back of my mind, I could hardly wait for the weekend.
The morning of my outing finally arrived and I decided to get up extra early to take advantage of the low tide. It had been a while since I fished my two handed rod and I was looking forward to a fun, relaxing day of practicing my long casts. The morning was perfect with light winds, glassy water, and I even caught a spectacular sunrise… just another start of a day in paradise.
Right off the bat, while walking out on the flat, I ran into several packs of tailing bonefish. Not wanting to pass them up, I gave it my best shot with my two handed rod. I already knew the deck was stacked against me when I tried to make accurate, delicate casts to the spooky fish but ended up blowing all my shots. The two handed rods are not the ideal tool to make casts to spooky fish and I vowed to return another day with a light single hand rod. After I was done messing around with the tailing bonefish, I found a fishy spot and began casting. Immediately I felt light pecks on my fly and hooked a small trevally.
It never ceases to amaze me how aggressive those little guys can be! I fished for about two hours with no bonefish to hand. I caught a bunch of little trevally but as time went on, Sean’s comment regarding the challenges of catching a bonefish due to trevally intervention kept growing in my mind. I started to wonder if the fly wasn’t getting down to the bonefish due to all the trevally traffic. I fished for another half hour before I finally got a decent sized tug on the end of my line that turned out to be a bonefish.
After I released it, there was a cloud of trevally buzzing around me so I decided to swish the fly around in the same manner that Ezekiel mentioned in his story. I ended up hooking five fish and landed three of them before the school lost interest.
It just cracked me up! I decided to call it a day after landing another bonefish that was slightly bigger.
While heading in I thought to myself: "It’s so much better dealing with trevally traffic than sitting in rush hour traffic" so I should stop complaining and count my blessings. Before I know it, those little guys will be much bigger so I better start cranking on the vise now and get my flies ready.