Fishing Christmas Island, Part II

Doug Rohn of Tucson, Ariz., with guide Matt on a typical flat.

The fishing on Christmas Island the main reason so many anglers chose to come to this remote atoll. Anglers can choose to fish the flats, back-country ponds, ocean shoreline or even blue water fishing. Fly-fishing and conventional tackle guys are both here.

Our group of young anglers and me, the lone senior, chose to hunt the GT (Giant Trevally), as well as other species of Trevally. These are big fish that can be aggressive if you get the fly in front of them.

While walking the flats, these fish come up from the deeper water onto the flats to feed on small baitfish. They appear to have a symbiotic relationship with the Triggerfish. We would see the Triggers tailing while feeding on the shallow rocky areas of the flats. When we would see that, the guide would search the area for the Trevally. The Triggerfish feeding would dislodge baitfish from their hiding places, as well as attract them to feed on remnants of whatever the Trigger’s are feeding on, typically crab.

Read More: Part I of Bruce’s column

Each day, a pair of anglers is dropped off at a different location by the boat or truck. The first day we were dropped off and had about a mile and a half trek to the location that we began fishing. It was a pond that is created when the tide goes out.

Author Bruce Ajari with his first Christmas Island fish.

As soon as we got to our location the guide spotted a fish tight on the bank and had me cast. It was about 50 feet and the cast was a good one and the fish began to follow the fly. Upon getting the take and applying a strip set, the fish surged off. It did not feel like a bonefish. The guide said, “It is a GT.” He then asked what size tippet. Twelve pounds was the reply. The look said it all (you have little chance in landing that fish). Fortunately, the gods were with me and I managed to get that fish to hand thanks to my smooth drag on my Galvan T-8 reel. Later in the morning, I would break a larger fish off with 40-pound tippet the guide put on.

My first Christmas Island fish was a GT on my light bonefish set-up. Not bad and a great battle.

The rest of the morning we stalked GT and occasionally stopped to catch bonefish when the GT action slowed. Compared to the GTs, the bonefish were easy. We had many doubles and ended up with more than 30 each at the end of the day.

The rest of the week our group caught and released more GT, Blue Trevally, Black Trevally, bonefish and triggerfish. Because we targeted the GT each day, our numbers were not great, although one angler managed seven GTs on the last day. The last day I concentrated on bonefish the last two hours of fishing and it was so much fun.

The bonefish make some terrific runs when hooked, but nothing matches the pull and power of the GT. Still, on a 7- or 8-weight rod, an angler can have a ball just fishing for them.



Boca | The road over the dam is closed until further notice. Inflow is at 85 cfs and the outflow is 22 cfs. Powerbait, nightcrawlers and lures are all working. Fly-fishers have been catching some fish near the inlet with nymphs, streamers and dries.

Donner | Fishing has been fair to good. Kokanee fishing has been fair to good. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Mackinaw fishing has been good. Fly-fishermen are catching some fish with streamers.

Lake Tahoe | Tributaries are open until Sept. 30. Fishing has been fair to good for mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair. Most shore fishermen use inflated nightcrawlers.

Little Truckee River | The flow is at 85 cfs. The flows have come down. Nymphing and dries should both work at this level. Dry dropper rigs are also recommended. Hatches similar to the main Truckee.

Martis Lake | Zero kill. Catch and Release only with barbless artificial lures or flies. Fishing is the best early in the season and again the fall. There are still a few nice fish in this lake that has severely declined.

Prosser | Fishing has been fair. Anglers using bait, lures and flies have all caught fish. Fly-fishermen have done well near the inlet areas. Bass fishing has been fair.

Stampede | The road is closed over the dam for construction and will continue into next season. Access to the boat ramp will be through the Hobart Mills side. Fishing has been fair from shore. Nightcrawlers, Powerbait and lures have all produced from shore. Fly-fishermen have been doing well near the inlets with nymphs and streamers. The Kokanee fishing has slowed. Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair.

Truckee River | The flow out of the dam in Tahoe City is at 250 cfs. The flows through Truckee are at 571 cfs. Flows are coming down, but still high for this time of year. Fishing has been fair for those working hard. Lots of bugs are appearing now. Golden Stones and Green drakes have been seen. Caddis, PMD and Little Yellow stones should also be on the menu. Still mostly a nymphing game, but there should now be more fish looking up for dries. Streamers are also good this time of year. This is special regulation artificial only with barbless hook water. Catch-and-release fishing is encouraged in this section, but an angler may keep two fish with a minimum size of 14 inches during the regular trout season (last Saturday in April to Nov. 15).

Other Waters | Davis and Frenchman are full. Boat, shore and fly anglers are catching fish. Reports from Davis are only fair at best. Blood midge, Callibaetis and small midges are the main insects to imitate subsurface. Damsels are now on the menu at both lakes. Frenchman fishing has been good. Water temperatures in both of these lakes are beginning to get hot at 70+ degrees. Suggest not fishing here again until the fall when the water cools.

Bruce Ajari

Bruce Ajari is a long-time area fly-fisherman and past president of Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers.