I’m back from a week in Christmas Island on the trip hosted by my friend Shane through The Fly Shop.
It was a good trip with some good people and some tough weather. Conditions were overcast on our first few days of fishing and that’s one reason I was particularly pleased with the trigger fishing.
People say trigger fishing is like permit fishing. That is something I’m not sure I can totally agree on, as I’ve now caught three triggers and have only caught one permit (although I’ve had about 20X the trigger shots than I’ve had permit shots). I think permit get the edge in difficulty and I’m happy to let them have it because that leaves trigger fishing as more enjoyable.
Sure, I blew plenty of trigger shots, but they are pretty easy to find, even on overcast, windy, rainy days. They let you get fairly close, if they don’t spook when you look at them. Also, I had a good sense of what I needed to do when casting at one.
First fishing day greeted us with rain, wind and thick grey skies. My guide (ee went by “T”) and I found some bones, but we found many more triggers. I had caught one trigger in Mexico with Nick Denbow, but these triggers were more colorful and more plentiful. I was happy they were there.
I had maybe 20 good triggers shots on the first day and had three eats that I didn’t come tight to before it happened.
This is still my largest trigger. I was surprised by how hard he pulled.
I had heard the main thing you need to do is keep them out of their rocky/coral homes after they get hooked. That in mind, I put the stick to the fish, knowing I had 20 pound tippet to play with. S/He made a couple of nice runs (not to its hole), but we managed to get it in. Lovely fish. Cool eyes. I was stoked. Day was made.
Now… you’ll notice where my rod is in the picture above. So… when I lowered the fish to the water… well… this happened.
It held on for probably 2 minutes.
Finally, it let go. The rod, a Redington Predator 8 wt., was, to my shock, totally fine. It had bitten the ferrule, maybe the strongest part of the rod. No damage was done. Helped that the teeth didn’t get it bad at all.
So, that was day one.
The rest of the week I cast at several more triggers, but didn’t get any to seal the deal. I had some follows, some interest, maybe some eats, but no more triggers to hand.
On the last day we had GLORIOUS LIGHT. Despite the light I was having a crisis of confidence as I went 1/25 on bones in the morning. I was seeing them very well, often before the guide (thanks, 6’3″ frame) but I just couldn’t get it to them how they wanted it. I was dejected. After lunch, I had some redemption, going about 5/15 with two coming unhooked and one lost to coral. Then… the second and last trigger of the trip.
I loved it. One cast and it was on. The cast was perfect and I needed a perfect cast to help salvage some dignity.
(Yes, that’s what passed for great light on this trip)
This guy even ate a bonefish fly. Go figure.
I’ve grown quite fond of triggers. They’ll hold a special place in my heart for a while.
More to come on the trip.
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