The Global FlyFisher
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Bones and GT's
Lured (pun intended) by the promise of uncrowded waves I spent a week on Christmas Island (Kiritimati) ... one of several in the small island chain of Republic of Kiribati. Instead of waves I found bonefishing meca, a fact apparently known by the well geared flyfishing 'tribe'.
'Tribe' is the communal word that I often use to describe the world of surfers, but it fits equally well in the sphere of fly fishing enthusiasts. Like surfers, they are a well traveled, animated bunch and are dead serious about their addiction. They often speak of their pursuits in a language foreign to those outside their tribe (bones = bonefish, gt = giant trevally) and spend hours at the end of the day meticulously re-enacting the triumphs of the day (usually over numerous cold beers). Like the height of the waves ridden, the length of the fish caught seems to increase with each subsequent retelling of the story ... an infectious tribal practice I can totally identify with.
Like surfers, fly fisherman travel well equipped with full quiver ... better to bring too much than not enough. Exterior wear is critical ... the buff to fly fishing is the equivalent to the leash to surfing - better bring several just in case!
Christmas Island is a short 3 hour flight from Honolulu. Google Earth will help one appreciate the uniqueness of this coral atoll and massive interior lagoon. Its jaw dropping beauty (a serious compliment from one that resides on Kauai) will hypnotize visitors as they get the sunburn of their life. The Kiribati are a photogenic people, full of smiles and seem to be quite comfortable living only a melted ice cap away from sea level. They share their island paradise with fairy terns, boobies and sweetlips (I won't explain!)
Although disappointed about the lack of waves, in retrospect I felt content having been exposed to a new a paradise and new tribe - more universally, new friends that share the common passion of adventure travel.