This resort on Christmas Island is a fly fisherman’s paradise.
A sailboat in the front welcomes you to the only Kiritibati lodge catering to the DIY fly fisherman. Great service, meals and a bonefish flat out back. You can’t beat it!
Located in the South Pacific equidistant between Hawaii and New Zealand sits Kiritimati Island – the largest atoll in the world that today is known to anglers as Christmas Island. It takes a bit of time to get to this Christmas Island fishing lodge, but once you arrive, you find a saltwater wilderness area that is absolutely massive: an area that is home to impressive numbers of bonefish, milkfish, triggerfish, giant trevally, golden trevally and numerous other species. The interior and exterior flats of Christmas Island are a mix of hard white sand, coral and turtle grass, creating the ideal setting for wade fishing enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a great first-time flats trip or a destination that will deliver impressive numbers, then a Christmas Island fly fishing trip should be high on the list.
- Species include bonefish; trigger fish; 3 species of trevally (Giant, Blue and Golden); tuna; wahoo; milkfish; sweetlips; red bass and snappers.
- Bonefish are the target species, and they average two to three pounds.
- The presence and availability of giant trevally for the flats fishing angler makes this fly fishing destination special. The guides know where to find feeding trevally on the flats, and, a well-placed fly will get it done most of the time.
- The consistent weather of Christmas Island allows anglers a year round opportunity to fish miles and miles of wade-able sand and coral flats. The best fishing is January through mid-April.
- The air conditioned bungalows are just a short distance from the beach and have private bathrooms and showers.
- Diving and snorkeling are optional activities at Christmas Island and are separate from the fishing package. Payment for these activities is done at the Island during your stay. For diving bring your certification and your own mask and regulator set. Diving must be done in pairs. You must have a buddy.
- Gilbertese is the official language of the island, however, the family at the lodge all speak English.
- The Australian dollar is the recognized Kiritmati currency, although the US dollar is accepted as well. Plan on bringing cash for anything you may need.
Resources for this fishing trip:
- Fishing Reports and Lodge Reviews (coming soon)
- Lodging and Accommodations
- Gear List
- Travel Information
- Booking Your Trip
Lodging and Accommodations
Located on a beautiful white sand beach, your bungalow is nestled among the palm trees overlooking the ever-changing aqua colored waters of the atoll’s lagoon. It is only a short 10-minute boat ride to several large, shallow easily-waded flats teeming with bonefish.
The bungalow has six double twin-bed bungalows, comfortably accommodating 10 – 12 anglers at a time.
- There is a private bathroom with shower in each room and a porch with views of the lagoon. There is also a mini-refrigerator in each room.
- Breakfasts and dinners are served in the dining room.
- You make and pack your lunch each day from the choices on a small sandwich buffet and it will be put in the coolers assigned to your skiff.
- The lodge has liquor, wines, beer, soft drinks and bottled water that will be charged to your bill and your tab is payable at the end of your stay.
- If you require special dietary meals, please let us know in advance of your trip.
The head guide will schedule the daily fishing, according to the tide, water, sun position and weather conditions.
A 3 to 5 minute truck ride will get you to the docks in London and your skiff. A short boat ride brings you to some of the best bonefish flats. Christmas Island offers the largest white coral and sand flats on Earth. In most cases a guide will assist each angler. All of the bone fishing will be by wading and the flats will vary from 6 inches to 3 feet deep. The guides will select flats according to the wind and sun position, whenever possible, in the anglers favor. The guides and the anglers will always be in sight of one another for safety on the flats. Both Boatmen and guides have VHF radios for safety and convenience. The boatman moves the skiff to follow the anglers and guides, so you’ll be within easy walking distance from your skiff if you want to get to your tackle, food, snacks or water.
South Pacific style skiffs are used to transfer anglers to the many productive bonefish flats and reef drop-offs.
The pick-up trucks will be used for the short trip from the lodge to the docks and when fishing the “Korean Wreck” or other sites that can only be reached by using land vehicles, they will be used. The head guide will discuss these special areas when they are fishing well. If any angling guest has a problem with a guide or boatman, please report it to the head guide as soon as possible, so the matter can be resolved immediately.
- Guide preference: one guide per two anglers.
- Boat capacity: 4 anglers and two guides plus a boatman.
- Fishing duration: all day all depends on the fisherman or fishermen.
Suggested Gear List
Remote beauty has it’s trade-offs, and Kiritimati is no exception. No real shopping is available on the island. A few, small “stores” offer a limited supply of groceries and misc. supplies. When visiting, bring everything you need! There is usually working Wi-Fi, but most will find it very slow and at times, sporadic. Medical facilities are primitive at best.
There are very few biting bugs on Christmas Island. Bring your bug spray, but you will rarely need it!
We suggest that each angler bring as much tackle to fit their own needs and requirements. You will be fishing the flats and, if you want to, the inshore blue water for larger game fish such as Tuna, Trevally, Wahoo, Rainbow Runner, Barracuda, Bonita and Rockfish. Anglers might want to fish the flats for Bonefish in the morning and then boat out in the afternoon and challenge the inshore species. The guides are all selected veterans of both flats and inshore fishing and can and suggest the best methods for each fishing area and species.
Most of your Bonefish flies should be size 6 and 8 with small 5/32 and medium solid brass eyes. You should carry a few in size 4 with heavy eyes (for deeper waters like flat edges and deeper flats. and some size 8 for when the fish get picky. Guides really like solid brass eyes and then gold bead chain for tailing fish.
- Flats: Bonefish, Trigger Fish
- Gotcha’s – both bead chain and brass eye (very good)
- Crazy Charlies – gold/tan wing with orange accent, silver/white wing
- Christmas Island Specials – Orange, Pink, Pearl. Orange seems to work best.
- Gotcha Clouser – for “Korean Wreck” & blind casting
- Moanas Chili Pepper
- Wired Charlies
- Flats: Trevally
- Enrico foam poppers in 3/0 and 1/0. A variety of colors
- Crease flies in green/white, blue/white 3/0
- Cut Bait flies
- Cruisers in tan/white
- Reef: Trevally, Tuna, Sweetlips, Red Bass and Snappers
- Big flies are the answer, 3/0 – 4/0
- Large Crease flies
- Big Clouser Minnows
- Cut Bait and Cruisers
Conventional Gear for Reef Fishing
For casting over the reefs just outside the lagoon mouth, the best outfit we have found is a 7 foot, 3 piece spinning rod, like the Adams Built Trevally series,with a stiff butt for fighting large fish and a tip that will cast 2-4 ounce plugs and lures. Spinning reels should have high-speed retrieve. Serious anglers will consider strong reels like the Diawa Saltist or Van Stahl. The new braided lines in 50-80lb should be used for casting distance and overall toughness. These are big fish and they need to be stopped before they reach the coral, whether you are talking about Giant Trevally, big Red Bass, Sweetlips or other tough reef species. Pelagics like Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish or Wahoo will spool you in an instant unless you have sufficient quality gear. Mono leaders should be around 50lb-80lb test; and when around Wahoo or Barracuda, wire leaders will be necessary.
You will need to bring an adequate supply of plugs and lures. For casting, popping lures like the Yo-Zuri Surface Bull and other 5”- 8” lures that create lots of surface disturbance in bright shiny colors work best. Red/white, green/gold and blue/silver are all good colors. Change hooks to a single Gamakatsu 9/0 4x stout. Bring extra hooks and split rings as these fish really tear up tackle. You should have split-ring pliers for working with tackle and saltwater pliers (e.g the Abel #4) for unhooking fish. Wahoo Marauders in Purple Pink work well for trolling. In most cases your guide should handle these large fish.
What else is there to do besides fishing?
The island is an unexplored wonderland offering diving, surfing, spear fishing, birding and uninhabited beaches. As with everything on the island, you must bring your own gear.
Christmas Island is one of the most unique angling destinations on Earth.
This giant atoll sits 1,300 miles south of Hawaii and 100 miles north of the Equator. One great thing about Christmas Island fly fishing is the consistent weather. It allows anglers a year round opportunity to fish miles and miles of wadeable sand and coral flats.
The nation of Kiribati, pronounced “Kir-ee-bahs,” is located in the Pacific Ocean along the edges of the Equator, includes the Gilbert, Phoenix and Line island groups. The isolated location of the Kiribati islands prevents tourism from flourishing and becoming a major business, even though the weather is consistently warm and the shallow water flats are teeming with bonefish, trevally, triggerfish, and numerous other game fish.
It is important to note that Christmas Island is definitely not another Tahiti or Hawaii where you can go to relax and have nothing to worry about. It has few visitors, and they have to be prepared to “rough it.” That said, there aren’t many countries where the people are friendlier.
Fiji Air flies every Tuesday between Honolulu and Christmas Island.
You cross the date line, so you leave on Tuesday and arrive 3 hours later on Wednesday. You come back on Wednesday and, 3 hours later when you land in Honolulu, it is Tuesday.
- It will be necessary for you to overnight in Honolulu the night before your trip to Christmas Island. We stay at the Honolulu Airport Hotel, which has free shuttles. If you want snacks, liquor or wine, purchase them at the duty free shop at the Honolulu airport before you depart for Christmas Island. You are allowed 1 liter of liquor, wines or spirits.
- The flight leaves Honolulu at 12:00 noon. You need to check in at 9:00am for the international flight.
- On arrival to Christmas Island, you will clear Customs and The Villages staff will be there to meet you and transfer you to the lodge. Once you arrive at the lodge, unpack and settle-in, then you will be briefed about the week’s fishing program with the guides on hand.
- Coming back you leave the island at 7:00am and arrive back at approximately. 10:30am.
- Do not plan connections without at least a 3 – 4 hour layover, as sometimes the flight is a little late and if the Honolulu airport is busy. Customs, Agriculture and Immigration can take a while.
- The flight is surprisingly nice, the seats are comfortable, you are served a snack, and there is a movie on board the 3-hour flight.
- It is necessary to have a Passport that is valid for 6 months from your date of departure from Christmas Island.
- U.S. and Canadian citizens no longer need a tourist visa to visit the Island.
The old rule of travel is to bring less stuff and more cash. You can always put it back in the bank when you get home. Take an ample amount of small bills (US $5.00, 10.00 and 20.00) for tipping and purchasing small items. The Australian Dollar is the currency at Christmas Island, but US Dollars are accepted at the exchange rate of the day.
- You will need to bring $50.00 cash for your fishing license and $50.00 cash for your exit fee keep this aside in your passport).
- Bring sufficient cash for your bar tab. Bottled water and beer are sold for a few bucks per can. The bar has a limited selection of spirits for sale by the shot. Mixes like tonic, soda water and coke are all available.
- The resort does not take credit cards and travelers checks are levied a huge fee.
- Guide and boatman tipping are done daily.
- Suggested guide tip is US $30.00 per person per day.
- Anglers can tip their guide more (within reason) for exceptional service.
- Tip for boatman is US $5.00 per person per day.
- Staff tips are US $10.00 – 15.00 per person per day and can be placed in the tip box in the dining room at the end of your stay.
Voltage at the lodge is 110V and “most” of the plugs are the same as in the U.S.A. 2 vertical blades.
Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considered finalized until agreed upon deposit is received. This ensures agreed upon dates and current pricing. Quality outfitters are in high demand so let us know right away, as some trips do book years in advance.
Fishing Package Includes
- Boat, guide and fuel
- All meals and standard accommodations
- Room service
- Airport pickup and drop off
- Includes pretty much the same things as the fishing packages.
- However, you still can go fishing but on pay as you go basis.
- Trip Insurance
- Charter Airfare to and from Christmas Island.
- Diving and snorkeling are optional paid activities.
- Staff gratuities. *They work hard for you, so please be generous.
When you’re ready to book, if you haven’t already ask your Outdoors International Consultant for updated pricing. If it looks good, your consultant will write up a booking agreement for you.