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Christmas Island Recap, Tying the Poison Tung, The Fly Fishing Show, & Winter Guiding Special

I write this blog as we are preparing for the Edison, NJ, Fly Fishing Show this weekend. I remember the days when we did most of the major shows, both east and west, and when I think back to those days wonder where we found the energy and stamina. For about ten weeks we were continuously on the road, often traveling with the Sage booth, moving from one show to the next, east and west. I get tired thinking about it. These days, we are happy to do the Edison show, and then leave town for a warm climate.

 

Speaking of warm, we had a sold-out dorado trip scheduled for January but Mother Nature changed our plans with a drought and then a flood in northern Argentina. We looked around and found a week available at Christmas Island Lodge, so instead of going south for dorado, we went west for bones and giant trevally.

 

Our group met in Honolulu and spent the night in Waikiki. Spirits were high with anticipation and it was a fun evening at the Aoki Japanese Steak House in the Hawaiian Village. The next day we flew FiJi Air to Christmas Island, about a 3 hour flight. Once through Customs, very similar to the Bahamas, we were met by Tyler Erickson, assistant lodge manager, and the guides for the short transfer. At the lodge, we quickly unpacked and met under the shaded canopy to assembly fly rods and tackle.

 

The landscape on Christmas is beautiful. Miles and miles of wadeable flats, most often edged by the reef. The atoll, in the Northern Line Islands in the west-central Pacific, is the world's largest coral atoll and there, roughly 1200 miles south of Hawaii, lies Christmas Island, with a population of about 5000. Christmas Island Lodge is located on the beach with a constant breeze coming off the surf and non stop breakers in front of the rooms. The view is mesmerizing.

 

In our circles, it's fishing that comes to mind when we hear mention of the island. With more than a dozen species of fish including bonefish, 5 species of travelly, 4 species of trigger fish, and lots more. It had been almost 10 years since we last visited Christmas Island, or Kiritimati, and it was good to be back. We fished six days. Some days we took the trucks to the flats and other days we went by boat to more distant flats. All of our fishing was wading except for one afternoon when a couple of us tried trolling.

 



We took our bonefish flies from other trips and some Christmas Island specific patterns and found that the “generic” patterns worked – gotchas, sili-legs, etc. The weight of the fly was often more of a deciding factor than the pattern. We used 15 lb. Fluoro for the bonefish and small trevally and up to 100 lb. Shock for the big trevally. While most of us were content with bonefish and smaller G.T.s, a couple of giant trevally were hooked on the reef, but not landed, both times the fly line broke.

 

The weather was amazing with lots of sunshine and a continuous breeze off the ocean. Lunches were on the boat but otherwise we ate and socialized ocean-side under a mesh canopy, like the courtyard in the center of our room arrangement. The rooms were air-conditioned, modest, comfortable and spotlessly clean. Food was good and plentiful, lots of lobster, and coffee was out by 5:30 each morning (appreciated by us from the east coast!).

 

Everyone loved the Christmas Island guides and thought they were some of the best anywhere. They were professional, knowledgeable, polite, and lots of fun. If you've thought about Christmas Island, be sure to keep it on your to-do list. Frontiers arranged our flights and all of the trip details from the moment we left home and everything went smoothly. For more information on Christmas Island, visit https://www.frontierstravel.com/christmas-island/saltwater. We think you'll agree that it's a very special place.

 

Check out our Christmas Island Album, a collection of photos from us and our guests.

 


 



 

 

Tying the Poison Tung

 

See Tim Flagler at Edison this weekend!

 

I came across Charlie Cravan's Poison Tung, tied by Tim Flagler, a very effective winter pattern. I don't know that anyone has a good explanation on why blue and white are good winter fly colors, but for whatever reason they certainly work. The Poison Tung is an easy pattern to tie and watching Tim tie the pattern makes it easy to follow, and the tippet organizer at the end of the video is pretty darn interesting for when cold fingers don't want to work!

 

 



 

Edison, NJ, Fly Fishing Show

 

The Edison Fly Fishing Only Show is January 26, 27 & 28, 2024. There is a lot of buzz in the industry about show season. A lot of big names in manufacturing are coming back to the shows and we are told it's a sold out venue.

 

Barry will be doing a PowerPoint presentation and Cathy a casting demonstration on Friday and Saturday, and a women’s casting class Sunday afternoon. We hope to see you there for a fun weekend!

 

 Check out the show schedules, times, costs, location and mark it on your calendar!

 

 

Winter Guiding Special

 

It seems like we have a cold spell followed by a warm spell. We are now bouncing back from the deep freeze with moderate temperatures once again headed our way.

 

We are offering our winter guiding special from now until March 1, 2024. $75 off each guide day, whether one or two anglers. Our calendar is wide open and dates can be easily rescheduled if the weather turns nasty, but when the days are pleasant, it's a perfect opportunity to get out and fish.

One angler/one guide $320, two anglers/one guide $375. 9:00-4:00. Includes lunch. Come and see for yourself our beautiful winter trout! Call or email to schedule: 570-925-2392. info@barryandcathybeck.com.



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