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Author: Subject: Paradise Revisited
okiplug
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[*] posted on 1/11/13 at 15:21 Reply With Quote
Paradise Revisited



Just returned from another epic adventure to The Villages on Christmas Island! Our two week stay saw outstanding fly fishing with loads of bonefish, plenty of new species, and the occasional shot at full sized GT's. The offshore action for wahoo was also exceptional at times and is untapped IMO. The guides and staff were terrific, the accommodations comfortable, and the camaraderie wonderful.

Flying over some of the flats that we would wade and fish later in the week.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/11024x768_zps742c98d1-1.jpg

All aboard the magic bus with Raymond Ochoa, John Raynsford, Glen Buchanan, and Camille Egdorf of Fly Fish Chick Adventures.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/21024x768_zps889e44ae-1.jpg

We were treated to some great music throughout our trip with Ektis often on lead vocals and Max on rhythm ukulele.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/31024x768_zpsdc31b809-1.jpg

Our warm sandy front porch.....

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Hundreds of fist-sized land crabs welcomed us home every morning and evening

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/3B767x1024_zps4d4231d4.jpg

Our first morning's sunrise was the best of all!

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/41024x768_zpscd460b19.jpg

One of last year's trainees, my first day's guide Patrick was just terrific, here holding my first bone of the trip.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/4A1024x768_zpsa98efd5a.jpg

With their mirrored sides, the bonefish would simply vanish, living up to their title the ghost of the flats.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/51024x768_zps517e5103.jpg

Coral encrusted sections of otherwise sandy flats would house all sorts of cool species such as this hard-tugging Snubnose Grouper.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/61024x768_zpsdb9dd3da-1.jpg

It would take years to explore the world's largest coral atoll's hundreds of flats.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/6A1024x765_zpsea051cfc.jpg

With hopes of seeing massive giant trevally, we visited one of the inland areas where milkfish are farmed commercially in ponds.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/71024x769_zpsf2ab1bf9.jpg

With year's of experience, there was little that Guide Bob did not see. The terrain ranged from scorched coral hardpack to knee-deep mud to hard white sand on this part of the atoll.

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With wing spans in excess of five feet, these Frigate Birds among others would let you know when you were getting a tad too close to their nests.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/91024x768_zpsa4b40969.jpg

Without ground based predators, these red-footed boobies nest right on the coral sand.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/101024x768_zps0ac82f0e.jpg

Red-footed Boobies

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/111024x769_zpsb037d3e2.jpg

These scrappy Bluefin Trevally kept our rods bent between bouts with bonefish.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/121024x769_zpsa16149fe.jpg

Some of the local boys clowning for the camera after a performance.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/131024x768_zpsf4cfab6b.jpg

How the guides consistently see these fish is amazing

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/141024x769_zps827d5685.jpg

Three days after every full moon see the bonefish schooled up for their monthly spawning ritual at Paris Flats.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/151024x769_zps01c1f884-1.jpg

Blind casting at Paris Flats is customary however the sight casting was equally productive this trip as they would slide up onto the coral rubble and cruise hoping to find a crab or shrimp to eat.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/161024x769_zpsf6a46bc2.jpg

If you left your fly trailing behind you while walking the flats you would be occasionally rewarded with species such as this Blacktail Snapper.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/171024x768_zpsdd7a84c1.jpg

One of 9 new fly-caught species, these Titan Triggerfish were a blast to try and fool! once hooked they would scurry across the flat wedging into the nearest hole often cutting your line on the razor sharp coral heads.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/171024x769_zpsee784dcb.jpg

Cook Island, home to literally tens of thousands of sea birds, their lively chatter could be heard a half mile away.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/181024x340_zps9d7946b2.jpg

The tiny yet beautiful Picasso Triggerfish would aggressively pursue your fly.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/191024x768_zpsd0272a1d.jpg

Covered with very sharp spines, these Queenfish would run hard and jump once hooked. They could be seen patrolling the inland areas hunting small mullet and would slam a fast stripped bonefish fly.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/19A1024x768_zps6e67261f.jpg

One of our beautiful Villages staff members presenting a birthday cake to one of our lucky guests.

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Nick, Maria, Cathy, Gerry, and Giovanni taking in the show.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/20A1024x768_zps9cacf390.jpg

You would know it was a good one the second it took off.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/211024x769_zps4486b96b.jpg

Finstripe Goatfish, these little guys would follow the packs of bonefish and often attack your fly if the bonefish lost interest. Great fighters for their size!

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/21A1024x768_zpsd10bc93a.jpg

A nice mid-grade Giant Trevally, this guy came out of a small school and simply exploded on the SF Blend adorned streamer. With their broad sides and bad disposition they pull very hard and never give up.

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Uniformed and barefooted, these delightful elementary schoolgirls were kind of enough to pose for a pic.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/231024x768_zpsffb5b7ac.jpg

Boys will be boys

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/241024x768_zps2774c987.jpg

We about choked when we saw the price of this watermelon. Everything is shipped in via boat.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/251024x768_zpsc79cfc15.jpg

Living right on the edge of the coral dropoff, this hard pulling critter is the Yellowlip Emperor aka Sweetlips.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/261024x768_zps45c9e256.jpg

With eyelashes like Tammy Faye Baker, this Yellow Margin Triggerfish preferred a fly retrieved with short sharp strips. You would miss 75% of the strikes because of those goat-like buckteeth.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/271024x767_zps92f12679.jpg

We used 8 and 9 wts primarily but wind permitting, ultralight fly tackle had its place. This 6 wt outfit accounted for a couple dozen bonefish to 4#, this the very first one.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/27A1024x682_zpsdd230f90.jpg

After trying to chase and make an 80' cast into a 20mph breeze, I offered the rod to my guide T.K. He of course, makes a cast that would make Lefty Kreh proud and the GT crushes the fly! He hands back the rod and says, "You fight?" 10 minutes later we had this stunning 30# GT in hand. I look forward to growing up someday and doing it all by myself.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/27B1024x755_zpsc96e4fd0.jpg

Left by the England/U.S. forces following the conclusion of atomic bomb testing, this runway helped make the two hour truck bed ride to the Korean Wreck a bit shorter.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/281024x768_zps8b4ef525.jpg

With the reef only hundred yards away, you would have to run up the steep coral sand shoreline with rod held high to avoid having your line snagged on coral head or reef edge. Sizable, the bonefish would win at least half the time.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/291024x751_zpsaec9e5bd.jpg

With a disproportionately-sized rudder, the Swallowtail Dart cruised the shoreline edge looking for an easy meal.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/301024x734_zpsccad5bdb-1.jpg

Unlike most jacks, this juvenile Golden Trevally has rubbery lips that extend outward allowing it to more easily vacuum in its prey of shrimp and crabs.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/321024x683_zps7485f758.jpg

We cruised in style when travelling to the distant Korean Wreck and milkfish ponds.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/331024x768_zpse347416e.jpg

Even with handheld VHF radios, we would sometimes need to traverse nasty ankle-twisting terrain in order to find the road. After a 1/4 mile walk, here is guide Ekewera trying to reestablish contact with our truck driver.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/341024x767_zps03df9311.jpg

Not a game fish per se, this Surge Wrasse has to be the among the most beautiful fish of all.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/351024x681_zps14c4937c.jpg

These Japanese-made work trucks are the main mode of transportation.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/361024x768_zps5a2261af.jpg

Guide Menty, taking in a beautiful end to a beautiful day.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/371024x768_zps67811c78.jpg

Good times with great friends!

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/381024x768_zpsd8ca3410.jpg

Though schedule 40 PVC has since replaced the original material, the Bamboo Boys tore it up with their fast paced, enthusiastic style of music.

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/391024x683_zps3c4d3139.jpg

We were fortunate to have been there during the week of the big dance competition!

http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss117/livetoofish/Christmas%20Island%202013/401024x768_zps030cb227.jpg

We are in love with this miniscule atoll, its beautiful natural resources, and caring, generous people. I am not sure when we will return to Kiritimati but we hope it is soon.
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khanley
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[*] posted on 1/11/13 at 15:31 Reply With Quote


Oki I love all the species pics. Outstanding work in the field there boy! Lots of smiles to go around and around and around.

Great looking experience.
Cheers, Ken




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RichardCullip
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[*] posted on 1/11/13 at 20:45 Reply With Quote


Wow. What a trip. Thanks for taking us along in pictures and words.



Life is good. Eternal life is better!

Richard
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Streak
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[*] posted on 1/11/13 at 22:26 Reply With Quote


Great report thanks.
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Dave
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[*] posted on 2/11/13 at 02:04 Reply With Quote


Glenn, Ray

Wow! Another awesome trip. Great pix. Thanks for sharing.

DV
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nmkrbk
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[*] posted on 2/11/13 at 06:51 Reply With Quote


Amazing Glenn thanks for bringing us along on your adventure.

Randy
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kurtv
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[*] posted on 2/11/13 at 11:41 Reply With Quote
WOW



Awesome report Glenn!
How was the milkfish action?

-Kurt-
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okiplug
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[*] posted on 2/11/13 at 14:46 Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by kurtv
Awesome report Glenn!
How was the milkfish action?

-Kurt-


Following the advice of those that had been successful prior, we tried and tried and tried but to no avail. A couple of half-hearted sniffs and follows was all we could muster. We look forward to trying to crack the code on a future trip!
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rvrfish
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[*] posted on 4/11/13 at 07:19 Reply With Quote


Glenn,

what a treat to read this report and see the pictures.

thanks!
Matt
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Steve_P
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[*] posted on 8/11/13 at 13:27 Reply With Quote


Simply awesome Glenn! Fantastic photos, captions and variety of fish!

Steve
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