Gilly Bate, southern chalk stream guide and Fly Odyssey UK Director…
Peter Quigley and partner Susan have recently returned from Aitutaki, with big Bonefish and huge Giant Trevally landed on the flats…
Susan and I are back from our recent trip to Aitutaki. It was our first trip there and wow, what a fishery, it was hands down the best saltwater Fly fishing trip I’ve ever had.
The first day I found challenging, losing a few fish and needing to change a few things up to counter the conditions. However, with better weather the following day I had a brilliant time out in the lagoon with six bonefish landed between 6-9lb’s on the flats, with the same fly accounting for all of them. After changing flats in the afternoon, I couldn’t believe my eyes when we spotted a huge GT slowly move up onto the edge of a flat in front of us. After switching to the #12 and waiting for it to approach I started the strip and it charged the fly and engulfed it!! It was massive (the guide estimated at around 80-100lbs) and I had it on for a few minutes as it peeled off my fully locked drag until it eventually broke me off on coral around 300m away. A little disheartened but very happy with the day overall, we headed back to the resort, enjoyed the hospitality, and put the feet up.
Day two we headed back out landed some Bones in the morning and then moved to some different water. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it all happened again…we had another big Jet Black GT moving along the flats in front of us. With plenty of time, I had my shot at redemption, laid out the long cast and waited. After a couple of strips to get its attention, the GT charged the fly with its back out of the water, smashed the brush fly and took off. It was exhilarating as it peeled off a huge amount of line and nearly spooled me. This time we had some luck on our side as we managed to keep her near some clean flats where we eventually landed her after a long and tense fight in the shallows.
Looking at the weather ahead I decided to use my contingency day you had reserved for us and go out fly fishing again the next day, and as it turns out – it was a great decision.
We fished from the skiff and positioned ourselves on a perfect flat, the guide holding us in place on the pole as one by one we have several huge Bonefish move through. Over the course of a few hours it was simply outstanding again landing 6 Bonefish but this time the guide was estimating them all in and around double figures. It was incredible.
The weather turned a bit over the rest of the week and the next day out I blanked before having a great last day on schooling bonefish, where I managed around 15 fish between 4-6lb. Not as big as those earlier in the week but great numbers and a whole lot of fun. The staff at the lodge were excellent and we really enjoyed the whole experience including finally hooking a smaller GT out from our bungalow that I had been stalking all week in the evenings.
Our time in Rarotonga at the end of the week capped off a great holiday. I may struggle to ever get back to Christmas Island but will certainly be heading back to Aitutaki very soon!
Thanks again James and to Fly Odyssey Australia for your help, and putting this together for us.
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