Monday, August 3, 2015

Not a Fluke - Site Fished Bonefish 8/2/2015

For Sunday, I decided to head back to the Ewa side of the flat and see if I could coax some of those snobby bonefish into a game of tug. I had tied up an Orange Nom Nom Mantis fly using lead dumbbell weight and rusty dubbing to simulate the mantis shrimp I've seen while wading on calm wind days. I also tied up a tan version with a striped rabbit fur tail and tan maribou to cover the white leather on the underside of the rabbit strip. I had the tan one on the line to start with, and I got lots of interest from the first few bones I saw, but none sealed the deal. I brought out the Helios and the Hatch 7+ that I had used last time. I ended up seeing some really big milkfish and a medium sized blacktip shark cruising around, but they didn't show interest in the tan nom nom fly. At that point I figured I should change out the tan fly for the Orange Nom Nom - if you ain't catching, you need to change it up. With that fly swap, everything changed. This first one was hooked out at 35' - I saw it change direction and hover over the place where I thought the fly was, strip set and it took off like a funny car at the gun. This one went back and forth three times well into the backing before calling it quits. The hook was set in it's tongue. Nice fish and I was stoked to the core! After that I went out to the drop off figuring I'd try my luck with this fly on some papio. Nothing - so I started back towards the mangrove stand (I wanted to see if there were any oama - baby goatfish - hanging around). I ended up seeing a bunch more bonefish hanging around drifting with the current, so I thought 'what the heck - might as well keep swinging the fly". I'm glad I did. I had seen a fish moving towards me, so I cast out 15 degrees over from it a well forward - maybe a 25' cast. I striped in all the slack line and made the fly move just a bit to get the fish to notice it. Before I could do anything else, a second fish I did not see before had pounced on the fly and was wrestling to keep it from the first fish. I did a slight strip set and I felt the weight of the fish. It didn't know it was hooked until I started moving - it saw me and took off. On the third run it had found a rock sticking out of the water and was trying to wrap the line around it to get a leverage point to break off. I managed to get the line out from under the rock and the fish tired out shortly after. I was close enough to an old piece of debris to place the gopro on for some in fight shots. I saw several more o'io but never lined up nicely for a clean shot. I'll stick with the two solid fish I was privileged to have hooked up with and call it one of the better days I've had out on this side of the flat. Even though I've caught three o'io now in a relatively short period of time, I do not consider myself a guru on the topic. This is just the beginning of the next chapter in trying to better understand this fishery.

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