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bonefishing hawaii:

winter bones... you just gotta chill.


hope all had a swank christmas.  man this year blew by quick.  i can’t believe another year of fun in hawaiian waters is in the books and gone forever.  for all those who visited our little fishery in the pacific this past year, i hope you had a great experience.  for those who picked up a fly rod for the first time this year, welcome to the wonderful world of fly fishing and best of bites in 2013.  overall it has been a pretty good fishing year and it appears that the trend will roll right into the new year.  there is definitely fish around.  the cooler and ever changing winter weather has made fishing a little inconsistent from day to day.  some days fish seem to be everywhere while on others (sometimes the very next day) they can be pretty hard to find.  somedays, like the day i had yesterday, it just takes patience and persistence.  in these instances, ones mindset can make a big difference in how the day turns out.


yesterday i decided to fish my beulah classic 10’6” 5/6 switch rod.  abel switch reel (what else?), beulah full line elixir 325gr., and a 16ft mono leader.  this has become my favorite non-sketch reef sight/bomb combo where ridiculous uber long casts are not necessary.  light but lethal.  when i got on the flat i made a few “warm up” casts and hooked a nice omilu (bluefin trevally).  always stoked to hook any trevally as these guys are a bit tougher to come by on a fly around here than bones.  after the trevally the flat went dead and i got that familiar “this is going to be a tough day” feeling.  usually when that happens, i bear down,  concentrate extra hard on the task at hand, and try to bring out that  “a” game i like to talk about.  the “a” game, to me, involves full focus and attention to spotting fish or likely areas to bomb, every single cast, and every single strip.  this is often times the key to my success on the water.  often times... but not always and it wasn’t the key on this day.  i fished hard for a few of hours with no success both sight fishing and bombing.  having fished my “a” game with no results i began to get the feeling that there was just not a lot of fish around and it was going to be one of those “test of will” days.


fishermen tend to react in different ways when they reach this "test of will" point during a tough day on the water.  some get frustrated and actually fish worse.  others try to try harder and also end up fishing worse.  by definition there is no better than your “a” game.  still others will just bag it and go home and chalk it up as a “bad” day.  when i reach this point, which i have many times before, i go to plan “b”.  instead of giving up, getting frustrated, or trying harder than my hardest (yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either, that’s the point), my plan “b” is always to try less and, the fish gods willing, let the fish come to me.  i’ll just get into a rhythm of looking for fish or casting and kind of forget that i’m even fishing.  usually this involves some dancing and singing and the ipod is an important piece of equipment.  i apologize to anyone who has actually witnessed my plan “b”.  like everything else, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.  yesterday, it did work and i ended up hooking a bunch of fish, in one relatively short period of time during the day, that i might not have hooked if i had gotten frustrated or if i kept on trying to figure things out.  i certainly would not have hooked them if i had just bailed and gone home.


moral of this blog.  we live in a world where, for some reason, everyone is out trying to figure everything out.  what are they eating?  when do they come up and when do they not?  what fly? what color? what spot?  what tide? why is that guy hooked up and i’m not?  what should i do now?  what will work here, what will work there, and when?  sometimes, especially when fishing,  these things just aren’t made to be figured out by feeble human minds.  you gotta forget all that stuff and just go with the flow and be.  be one with the bone i like to say.  using your head can be a good thing, just don’t let it get in your way.  i think that makes my fishing more productive than any fly, spot, tide, or technique that i fish.  i’ll see you on the water...  i'll be the guy being one with the bone.



brilliant blues and yellows of a live (not dead) omilu (bluefin trevally).


here on oahu, you don't get these guys everyday so i'm always super stoked when one comes around to say hi.


after the "a" game failed, i went with plan "b"...







plan "b" works for me.


as does the beulah 5/6 classic switch rod.  light but lethal.


sometimes you just gotta chill.  i dare say i catch more fish now when i don't really think about things and just fish than all those years i have spent trying to figure out the hawaii bonefish fishery.  it certainly makes fishing more fun.  just fish.  good times.



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