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FISHING TESTIMONIAL BY: Daniel Ontiveros

 
Un viaje distinto
Junio 2017 - by:: Daniel Ontiveros

Christmas Island, June 2017

Hi Daniel,
I came back from the trip very satisfied. Hereby please find some comments about the trip, hope I have covered every aspect.

The lodging is very simple, I highlight the comfort of the beds and the personnel service, they change the sheets every day and the cleaning is well done. The bathroom is basic as well, and the water is only for bath use, you must not drink it nor wash your teeth with it, bottled water is available in every room for this purpose.
All rooms have AC but if you open the window at night there's a great breeze coming in, which I found very pleasant. Electricity is turned on once you get back from fishing, so if for any reason someone stays at the lodge or arrives earlier they'll have to tell the staff.
The same with the water.

As for the gastronomy, the amenities are very primitive nevertheless I have congratulate them for the amazing job they did and effort they put with the scarce elements they have.
We've eaten fresh octopus, taken from the beach in front of the lodge, lobster, tuna, red snapper, sashimi every day, chicken and pork with rice, smashed potato and salads as side dishes. Fruits, mango and desserts every day.
To be honest, it's a privilege to be able to enjoy such dishes despite the poverty of the island!
The beverages are sodas and beers, but if you want alcoholic drinks then you?ll have to get them yourself. There are some local markets.
The breakfast is fine and abundant, and the lunchbox for midday has 2 sandwiches which were enough for me. All the snacks I carried with me I never ate them and gave them to the guides and lodge staff.

The fishing operation was something new to me, since it was different from the other saltwater experiences I had.
They wake you up at 5 am, breakfast is served at 6 and at 7 the guides arrive in their truck vehicle to take you to the small marine were the boats are waiting. I enjoyed the truck trip because you can appreciate the rest of the island and see how locals live.
Each boat carries 4 anglers, 2 guides and 1 captain. Each guide chooses a different flat to fish, the wading is not particularly easy since the bottom has seashell and after 2 to 3 hours of wading you can get physically tired.
Some guides and boats have radio and others don't which I find not very handful for any inconvenient or emergency that might occur. Those guides who don't have radio, communicate with the boat by lifting their arms... and it's a while until the boat arrives to the anglers. If there's someone who had an accident or doesn't feel well, this might not be a pleasant wait, which can be solved easily with a radio. We were lucky and didn't have any inconvenient.

The head guide Bita, is quite calm and laid back, in my opinion his presence could have been more frequent. Besides the initial talk, which in particular didn't add more to what we already knew, he dropped by every night to write in a board the next day's fishing couple, guide assigned and captain.
In my opinion he should be in the lodge at 7am checking everything is on time and check after any angler's need or concern. He's a very good man and easy going, which might seem easy for other guides to jump him over.
We had an experience one day, that we wanted to fish in a specific place, the Backcountry, that's far away so we were recommended to depart early in the morning. We agreed with the guides about that and the next morning they were all late and said we couldn't go there because it was too late to depart... and Bita wasn't there to assist us.
I wasn't very affected by this situation, but indeed wanted to fish there because we were told that many GT gathered there due to the big amount of food in the zone.

The guides in general are quiet and respectful, and if you shoe them interest in talking about their island, people and traditions they come more friendly and can offer a gentle conversation. I had 2 very good guides, Iliu and John, both very educated and very good guides. The other guides weren't much different but these 2 I must highlight.

I dedicated some time in learning some word of their language, I practiced with Kikibon the girl from the bar. I enjoy doing this in order to establish a better relation with the guide and make him understand they way I like fishing.
HELLO WELCOME = MAURI
THANKS = KORRABPA
YOU'RE WELCOME = TERRAY
DELICIOUS = KANKAN

For me it was a nice experience, both in the fishing aspect, even though it wasn't much, and getting to know how the island people live? the seem very happy.

Hugs!
Daniel



Flyfishing Go to flyfish destination: Christmas Island

Testimonial More testimonails about Christmas Island

Plenitud / Plentifulness
August 2017 - by:: Gabriel Baier

Dear Daniel,

After a great effort of planning and setting up the trip together and making it a reality, I must say that it was a total success! A year long coming back and forth planning the perfect air combination and suitable connecting destinations in order to make profit of absolutely everything.
The day finally came, the anxiety was overwhelming and little by little everything was falling in its place, all together at Ezeiza's Airport we departed to Houston, second scale was Honolulu and last destination Christmas Island.

As a group of schoolboys, we enjoyed every second of it, from renting a mini van and go out shopping to visiting every fly shop that came along. We successfully received the order we made to your friend Chris from Caddisflyshop, thanks to your recommendations we ad all the necessary gear for the adventure.

Once in Honolulu, already in short pants we went to the only fly shop on the island just for details and accessories. The next day we caught our flight, Fiji Airways, to Christmas Island only 3 hours far form our final destination.
A mix of feelings and sensations came as an invasion, we had landed in the so wanted and far away place that we all once dreamed of. The most important component was the group of friends that traveled sharing the same passion, fishing!

Already in the island, we were transferred to the lodge in an amazing natural environment, hosted by humble and very respectful people who made a great effort in making us feel comfortable. We unpacked and the meal schedule and fishing times were explained, after that we went to prepare our gear for the big day!

The next morning we woke up at 5 am, ready for breakfast with a tremendous anxiety wondering how the place was going to look like, and how was the day going to develop.
We divided the fishing groups and went to the marina where local boats awaited with the guides.
After a long day wading, we shared our experience once we were back in the boat, and my personal experience was successful since I fished 7 GTs, not very big, only one of around 7 kg. The rest of the group some fished GTs, other bonefish and other nothing at all.

Days went by and we fished all sorts of species, bonefish, GTs, ladyfish, barracudas, bluetrevally, among others... but I developed a personal thing with the triggerfish, since it's a very difficult species to fish and its way of taking the fly is similar to the permit. Such was my fixation that all I looked for when I was wading was their movement, their way of feeding and tailing.

After fishing various GTs my aim was to confuse the triggerfish, a jealous and slippery fish, with my crab. The guides weren't much enthusiastic about it since they know how hard they are, nevertheless with my scarce english I tried to communicate my interest to the guides, who watched me cast and set the fly over and over again with no success.
After walking many kilometers with water above the knees we saw some tailing, the adrenaline immediately rushed into me. In my mind I knew that I had to do my best cast and set the fly with no sound at all in order not to scare them. There were 2 of them, but as we got near only one was left with beautiful colors and a prominent tail. I positioned myself strategically with the wind on the tail and after a quick glance to the guide I performed my cast and landed the fly 1 meter in front of its mouth. The guide quietly indicated to start stripping, and stop... when I realized that the fish was attracted by the my fly my heart stopped, I saw perfectly how the triggerfish followed every movement I made with my fly. After following my fly a couple of meters the fish opened its mouth and finally ate, while standing still. In that precious moment of tailing and immediate rush, the triggerfish ran taking out half of my backing line, I was happy and felt plentiful. My screams and the guide's could be heard from far far away and after 10 minutes of fight I had it in my hands, and that was the moment I felt realized in this trip. The day continued with landing another one but smaller without the guide, and I was able to catch a third one of 13/14 lbs on the second day also without the guide. My joyfulness was inexplicable; I went back to the lodge completely satisfied but with the image of the tailing repeating in my mind over and over.

It was an extraordinary trip, full of joy and emotions, we met amazing people and to you Daniel what can I say that I haven't said before... thank you again, always willing to improve, solve and more important be one of us in the trip!


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