Thursday, May 31, 2012

Squid Eyeballs

For an upcoming gyotaku - photos by Dante Cruz

New Flies for this Weekend

New flies I tied and some lingering lures. Teetering on the weekend - stay tuned for the results (on whether the fish like these or not). We're past the waxing gibbous phase so the fish should be hungry...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Other Notables

Some of the other fish I caught today. I also hooked up with a hawkish, another few grouper and some small snapper. The small BFT was tons of fun too, but the threadfin was pure luck - I've been trying to catch one of these for a while now. I snagged this one by the belly (so I couldn't let it go - it would have died) - and brought it home to print. Best two hours of flyfishing I've had in a while.


This was the most exciting fish I've caught in a very long time! I saw the pack running back and forth, cast a gummy minnow and just like before - I got a hook up. This guy pulled me into backing three times before the next series of events. There was a Blacktip Shark patrolling the flats - maybe four foot in length. When the shark saw me, it bolted out towards the reef - right into the path of the BFT I had on the end of the line. The fish turned and the shark changed to "eat" programming. The BFT changed tactics and swam straight for me - and was able to get away. Heart pumping, adrenaline based flyfishing action - two fish in the circle of life running through waves where you can see them - it doesn't get better than this!!! And yes, the BFT was caught and released safely - just in case you were wondering...

Memorial Day on the Flats

Pretty cool camo pattern on this guy. It took the clouserish fly I tied long ago - that fly has caught more fish than I can remember!

These are Birds

Noddies doing a little fishing

Not a Bird

But it does fly -

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mixed Plate Gyotaku

This is going to be a big one. Pretty ambitious, but hey - why not! Should be awesome when it is done!

Mixed Plate Preparation

Flyfishing a nearby flat. TONS of parrotfish, but they weren't interested in the flies I cast. I might try to "spike" some flies tomorrow with some squid... I did catch this hodge-podge - two Two Barred Goatfish (chunky ones), a bunch of small snappers (I only kept one), a Dart and one of these really colorful wrasses. I saw a bunch of pinfish and some bonefish - but just like most of the fishing right now, the New Moon is in effect (the fish aren't biting...). Check the next post for what I am doing with these fish.

Ama Crab

I cornered this guy underwater (no swimmer fins). These guys are faster in Hawaii.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bonito Food

When we boated the second Bonito, it protested by sharing some of it's stomach contents. This is most likely what the Noddies are eating as well.

Fins and Wings

Two groups of specialists out fishing with us - Spinners and Noddies. Normally you want to stay away from dolphin - they distract the fish, and you want to gravitate towards the birds - the same bait fish they are feeding from are the fish the bigger fish go for.


I got SKUNKED yesterday - not one fish on the offshore rod or the flyrod - an extremely rare event indeed. I am okay with this - 3 of the 4 fish landed on the boat yesterday (one yellowfin and two bonito) took the lures I offered, I just didn't get to reel them in. Everyone needs a little humility every now and then to keep them humble - Saturday was my humble pie eating day.

Authentic Battle Damage

In preparation for the Saturday Offshore trip, I re-skirted several lures. The first few of these I did a while back were really tough - particularly getting the skirts on. Now, having the right size skirts and a bit more experience makes this an easier evolution. The newly skirted lures paid off (for some, not all) - more details in the next post...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three Varients

I worked three versions of the GT I posted up this past weekend. The first one has a home with Mike Chucran (top picture). The middle one will stay with me and the third one will go to Lloyd Hiromoto back on Oahu. I learned how to effectively fill in void space while working these prints. I also learned how to use just accent coloring (on the fins) to make parts jump out better. Three weeks left to go - I can still make a bunch of gyotaku before I get to go back home.


How appropriate -

Monday, May 21, 2012


So I'm still in the mode where I am learning how to make these gyotaku proficiently. Part of that is getting rid of the ones I don't need to keep. I gave this one to Nelia since she gave me the barracuda to print. Jimmy - I've got another of this fish that I will be sending to you shortly.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More small fish

Egg fly with the barb crimped down, fast stripping and WHACK!!! Tarpon-like action (just scaled down to micro sized) - this isn't much bigger than the smallest dart I've caught. The biggest approaches dinner plate sized.

More Sharks

I saw this blacktip as I was leaving the flats. You'll have to look closely, but the shark is in the picture. Back at the room, I saw another shark swimming in the lagoon - a big nurse. The nurse had some good sized remora accompanying it. With the big bull hanging around yesterday, this was a real toothy weekend.

Rounding Out

Several Darts, a few more hawkfish and a few bones - two of which took the fly, but spit the hook. I finally landed this guy. This is when my rod broke. Don't ask me how... this fish couldn't have weighed more the 3 pounds. Like I said before, good thing there's a good warranty on the rod! I stuck around and studied the place for while after the rod broke. Next post will show what I found -

Smallest Blue Fin Trevally

These are the smallest BFTs I've caught to date. I thought they were darts while I was pulling them in. It was neat to see the juvenile stage - I'm more accustomed to seeing the 5+ pound individuals. I forgot to mention I caught a pinfish in the previous post - when I got to this new spot, I walk out to ankle deep water, set up my camera on a portable tripod, pressed play and went casting. With in 3 minutes and 8 seconds, I was back at the camera pressing the stop recording button - that's how active this place was.

Small Fry Flyfishing

I found a new flyfishing spot today - it was full of fish grazing on the flats during low tide. I caught a lot of small fish - goatfish, young Bluefin Trevally, hawkfish, darts, young bonefish and a snapper. I saw some vibrant blue parrotfish and some of the bright green wrasses, but they wanted nothing to do with the flies. The next few posts will have more pictures of the fish I caught. One bad note about the fishing trip - one of the fish I hooked into broke my new rod. Good thing Orvis has a 25 year repair warranty!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not What It Looks Like

No I was not flyfishing for this Bull, but the thought did cross my mind. There were tons of smaller fish in the water and I was going after them. I landed a dart and was trying for a bonefish, but this Bull was hell bent on staking his claim on the area. Obviously he wins by the gross tonnage rule.

Heavy Price for Fishing

I paid up today - two lures lost to big fish. They have to win sometimes too huh? Well it didn't stop there - in total we lost another two hookups. I felt like a complete loser today. So here we go - "SHAKE-IT-OFF" - and with that, we started catching and you can see the total for the boat in the picture. Not a bad day (for us - for the one yellowfin, it was a really bad day - bitten in half by a shark is not enviable), but not as good as last weekend.