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fly fishing hawaii:



for me, the year 2014 came quickly then started off extremely slowly.  i got sick a day before new years eve.  that cold sidelined me pretty good.  no fishing. no blog.  unless you want to see nyquil zombie selfies of our superhero getting his ass kicked by the evil nasophyringitis...  i thought better not.  i finally kicked the cold to the curb and got back to the business of being me this past week.  the fishing has been hanging on though winter is making its presence known through inconsistency. 

i took matt out on the lake on thursday.  the water level in the lake was surprisingly low given the wintry constant threat of rain we’ve been having lately.  just goes to show you never know unless you go.  with the state’s superb “management” of the water level, fishing the lake is akin to pulling the lever on a slot machine.  still it is one of our only venues to fish and put a bend in our “trout” gear so we should  be grateful for that i guess.

i decided to give the five weights (the lake workhorses) a break and used my 4wt. g loomis glx classic  and 6wt. sage vxp, which was the reincarnation of the infamous rpl and to this day one of the best rods sage has ever put out.  i paired the 4wt. with a classic peerless model no.1a reel and an abel creek 2 reel on the six.  matt went with his tfo professional 5wt and scientific anglers concept 2 58 reel.

despite the lakes low water level, there were almost zero red devils in the visible spectrum of the shoreline maybe because of the cooler weather.  we spent most of our time probing the deeper structures to get bit.  it was far from epic by lake standards.  with some pounding, we got into a few pods of “schoolie” peacocks that were willing to play.  members of the generation created in the summer remember all those tiny guys.  they are growing up quick and keeping winter rods bent on the lake.  we got a few devils, but there is just something a little universally imbalanced to me when tucs are easier to catch than red devils.  we also got some larger creatures that can "rear their ugly heads at anytime"  when fishing the lake.

clay's 2014 starts out with a "schoolie" peacock.

matt's first peacock of the new year.  it would be far from his last.  the boy had the hot hand that day.  of course, having a decent lake guide never hurts.  right matt?

matt and a nice bucket mouth.

our only double of the day.  clay's first devil of 2014 and matt's largest peacock on a fly rod ever.  just shy of three pounds.

the schoolies provided bursts of action throughout the day when we were able to locate the "on" ones.

in between finding pods of schoolie peacocks was a ton of bombing with an occasional critter like this bleug.

...or this five barred general.

creamsicle.  for those who remember, shortly after the "introduction" of the red devil to the lake.  the devil population exploded.  for a while there was mostly these creamsicles.  the population of red devils has somewhat balanced out over the years from its initial bloom.  nowadays these creamsicles are pretty rare.  this is the first one i've caught in a long time and it doesn't look like it's doing too well.

these days the red and red/orange variety are more common.  now that's a healthy devil.

then yesterday, i got my first chance to fish the salt in 2014 and a tougher day i could not have chosen.  the weather was okay. it bombed rain all around us but only drizzled for a little while where we were.  when we got out the tide was not good for the area we fished and the wind blew from the north almost the entire time (never a good thing around here).  the upside, which i really liked, was that we had the entire joint to ourselves.  i’ll take poor fishing and solitude on the water over epic fishing with everybody and their grandmother any day.

i decided to open the 2014 bonefishing year with the sage 691-4 method and abel classic hoping that the hot rod would break the the fish losing streak i ended 2013 on.  i had lost the last seven bones i have hooked.  as with all slumps, sh_t like that happens in our game and you just gotta fish through’em.  looking out on the barren flat before me, i thought i may not even get to the point of losing a fish today because you can’t lose them if you don’t hook them first.  it would be difficult at best, but the fish gods work in mysterious ways.

i played the hand i was dealt, fished hard, and finally got bit.  the bone did it’s bone thing and ran.  i stopped it and gained some line before it ran again.  then the line went limp.  crap.

a few more hours of fishing hard with nothing before i hook a small whitey (trevally).  the little guy fought well on the six weight doing its broadside dogging thang.  i got the best of it and was about to land it happily thinking that at least i would have a picture to show for this day.  while digging for my camera the fish wrapped itself around my wading staff.  i looked down and saw that it was barely hooked the instant before it gave a shake and came free.  i watched the fish (and my picture) cruise happily off the flat into the deep. 

more fruitless fishing before i hooked a larger whitey.  this one spared me the suspense, bolted into the deep and parted company a few head shakes later.  the streak was now up to eight bones and two trevally.  what's going on?!? lost in all of this fish losing business was the mere presence of trevally in january.  not a common thing for this largely summertime fish.

later in the day i did manage to end the fish losing streak.  i caught the next whitey that bit and a few small rats.  a bit of an anticlimactic ending to this fish story, i know, but that’s how slumps end.  you don’t catch or you lose fish seemingly over and over and then, for no reason, you catch... until the next slump.  i’ll see you on the water.

the "slump buster" whitey.

...and a few small rats.

overall an okay start to 2014.  not the biggest of fish or a lot of fish, but you know what they say, "beggars can't be choosey." especially when it comes to good times.


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