Kauai in September

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Dipnet, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    So the wife and I honeymooned on Maui 2 years ago. We're going back for our 2nd anniversary in September but will stay on Oahu for 4 days to visit my step-daughter and her husband . The daughter serves in the Navy over there.

    Then after the stay on Oahu we'll fly to Kauai for 5 days and I've never been to that island.

    Although I was a gear/bait fisherman for a lot of years, about a year ago, after a 35-year hiatus, I started getting back into fly tossing and have had fun fishing for SRC in Puget Sound and trout in some local lakes.

    So I'm thinkin' I want to fish over there. I've been using the search function here on WFF and it seems like fly fishing isn't a big sport there but folks who've tried it have had fun.

    I just want to prowl the beaches and sight cast to the various reef fish.

    So would an 8 wt. suffice? Floater or sinker or what? And from what I've seen on the web, clousers, bait-fish patterns and poppers might work well? What sizes should I tie?

    From what I've read, Mingo is the "go-to-guy" about fly fishin' in the Hawaiian Islands so if he'd chime in here I'd appreciate it.

    Oh, additionally, what's the best way to transport gear?

    TIA! :)
  2. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,332
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +276 / 1
    I know the island fairly well, but my fishing success rate isn't high. Reef fishing can be had many places. The best Bonefishing beach is (I believe) Anini Beach on the North end of the island, near Princeville. I Christmas fairly often on the South end of the island in Waimea, and know some great restaurants and an outstanding place to stay if you're interested. I always bring a rod but spend most of my time on family adventures. Snorkeling with turtles is big.

    Little known fact: A world record bonefish was caught in the mid 50s on the South end of the island on the Barking Sands military base. Don't recall the size but the record stood for a long time. After I heard this story I did a fair amount of research and eventually found it listed online. May be lost by now though. If you're a Vet and have base privileges, it could be worth some thought.

    Not sure if Mingo goes to Kauai. He's sure got some other islands dialed in though. I too drool over his posts. Jeffrey Delia knows the island well and would be a great resource. Not sure if he posts here but he is a close friend of Bob Triggs and others likely.
  3. Craig Hardt aka Nagasaurus

    Posts: 193
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +60 / 0
    No real knowledge here but I did travel to Kauai with a fly rod and very casual fishing in mind so I'll put in my two cents. I packed a four piece rod in my checked bag in the aluminum tube and it arrived just fine. My only four piece was a 6wt so that's what I brought. If something broke me off so be it. With no license requirement for ocean fishing there really is no reason not to bring some fly gear with you if you have space to pack it.

    The waves in the surf mess with a floating line too much IMO so a full sinking intermediate works better if you have one. But you'll be enjoying Kauai and not fishing a lot most likely so bring whatever line matches your rod the best and will handle a bit of wind.

    I didn't fish much on my trip and I only landed one fish but was glad I brought the rod just for the awesome experience of fly fishing in the Hawaiian surf. My only change for next time is to bring some light bite leader. I had a nice grab that clipped the line from what was probably a toothy barracuda. For flies I had the most action on a black bunny leach tied on saltwater hook.
  4. dp ~El Pescador

    Posts: 678
    .Renton, Wa
    Ratings: +71 / 0
    I saw bonefish at Anini beach a few years back. I did not have any gear, but they were in the shallow flats. Anini beach is a perfect layout for them. good luck
  5. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,218
    .
    Ratings: +943 / 0
    5 days isn't a lot of time on Kauai but you might also consider throwing in a 3 or 4wt in case the ocean conditions aren't cooperative. You'll be there during the trout season in Kokee and I always thought it would be a blast to pursue trout on a jungle mountain stream. However, you will need a freshwater license.

    http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/regulated_areas_kauai.html
    http://www.midweek.com/rainbow-trout-fishing-in-hawaii/
  6. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,620
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 1
    Tim, you will have a blast. I've fished Kauai many times. if you just want to be efficient with one stick, your 8 wt will be fine. You have the right attitude...just prowl, cast and have fun. Anini Beach, as others have said, is probably the most well-known place for bonefish on Kauai but other spots have them too. If you want to hire a guide, look up Rob Arita. He's a friend of Coach Duff and knows Kauai better than anybody...but you'll probably end up fishing Anini anyway, albeit with a pro's outlook and skills at your side.

    If you choose to totally DYI, you can still have a lot of fun. I do two basic types of fishing when I'm in the islands:

    1. I'll use anywhere from a 7 foot 1 wt through a 9 foot 6 wt with a floating line for the smaller reef fish. I typically use an indicator (nothing fancy, just a pegged corkie is fine) and tiny bonefish flies with 10 lb fluoro tippet, but larger beadhead scuds in olive, tan and brown work too. Other patterns that can be good are small wooly buggers (tie on saltwater hooks if you can) in black, olive (can match seaweed for the omniovre/herbivore fish), orange, red and purple. Just watch for the bobber to dip and SET QUICK when it dives. You can also cast and retrieve doing that, the indicator will sometimes get attacked and acts as a type of attractant. Most of those species really do fight above their weight, especially the wrasse and damselfish.

    2. Casting and stripping with 7, 8, 9 and 10 wts for bigger stuff like trevally, bones and near-shore barracuda. I usually use a floating line, but an intermediate is also good. use what you have. Don't worry about using a cold-water line in Hawaii. The water won't be boiling like in Belize and those lines will work just fine for what you want to do. Bring plenty of chartreuse/white and olive/white clousers and a stripping basket. Use a tapered leader down to 15 pound tippet, or just a 9' or 8' piece of 20 pound mono will also be fine. Also bring some black streamers in your favorite pattern and cast them tight to rocky structure. There are lots of fish like peacock grouper and hawkfish that hide in the rocks and dart out to eat baitfish like a small fish called a "jumping jack" that is black and one of their favorite snacks. You will likely hook some smaller papio, or juvenile trevally, doing this as well. You'll probably also hook some trumpetfish. They are funky and freaky and can swim backwards! All these species fight well for their size. You may also hook into an adult trevally, or ulua. If so, hang on and enjoy the ride!

    Freestone also pointed out the trout fishing opportunity on Kauai. Pretty unique and something I hope to try in the near future myself.The history of that fishery is interesting and I've heard various versions. My favorite version is that pineapple and sugar barons were homesick for trout and shipped some from California in the late 1800s to stock in the colder jungle streams in Waimea Canyon.

    Have fun!
    Jeff Cheng, KevinLS and dibling like this.
  7. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 2,989
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +897 / 1
    I was on Kauai twice and while I had gear with me twice only broke it out on one trip. The rest of the time I was trying to "unlax" from work and slept in every morning. I did see some locals fishing in the harbor and upon checking their catch noted one was a bonefish. I did see lots of fish in the water on a trip to a fishing pier on the right side of the harbor (heading out). Lots of good sized fish.
  8. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 882
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +255 / 2
    The trout fishing has been closed for a couple of years now but for sure stop up at the museum and check it out, they even have a few mounted trout in there. You can order your fresh water license online and just print it out i think mine was 11 bucks for the week. I did a some bass fishing there last month in the freshwater but it for sure more suitable for gear then a fly (flipping plastic under a cut bank).
  9. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,620
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 1
    According to Hawaii Fishing News, they are going to open it up this year for the summer through September.
  10. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 882
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +255 / 2
    Oh sure right after I leave, they were doing a LOT of work up there and had repaved everything.

    Also if you go to the Nervous Waters site and look up the Reef Special that was the fly I had the most luck with in the salt.
  11. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,332
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +276 / 1
    When I first heard about it I researched the Canyon for trout. It appears to be quite an expedition like undertaking. I don't believe it's a walk in from the end of canyon at river elevation. Rather a hike down into the canyon maybe several hundred feet (vertical) and then likely 2 or 3 days camping in the bottom. This is very rough terrain and there are no roads to or along the river. Water purifiers would be mandatory unless you want to pack it all in. I believe you pack EVERYTHING out too.
    I couldn't bite into that but If you go, it would be an epic report.
  12. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,620
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 1
    David, you can also go much easier and just fish Kokee reservoir and the streams near it. But that canyon hike is something I've thought about for a long time. Imagine camping down there and having some of Kamehameha's foot soldiers from the 1700s come "Night Marching" through camp.....talk about chicken skin!
  13. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,332
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +276 / 1
    More likely that a wild boar would rearrange your camp.
    Looking at the canyon walls, I imagine the bottom as steep and mostly wet mud/clay. The water is cloudy in all of the pics I have seen. A more realistic possibility though is the Kawaikoi stream trail, also in Kokee park. Maybe we're referring to the same thing.
  14. jason.allen Member

    Posts: 182
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    I fished last year with Rob Arita on Anini beach. The bonefish there are massive. I would suggest doing a half day with him as they are super hard to spot and he can spot them a mile away. I have also heard the peacock bass there can be a good time too.
  15. Nicolas Eckhardt Member

    Posts: 57
    Seattle
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Anini beach is well worth it. I was there in December and caught a small trevally. I did see bonefish on three different occasions and was able to cast toward them but was unable to hook any. Chalk it up to a lack of experience fishing for bonefish. I am sure I spooked them. Still a great time and an amazing looking beach.
  16. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Thanks for all the help and info, folks! Much appreciated.

    Given that this is our anniversary and we don't have a lot of time on Kauai, I'm not sure how much fishing I can squeeze in but I'd sure like to try a bit!

    If I could catch a bone......!!! :D
  17. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Between sight-seeing, snorkeling (which the wife absolutely loves!) and having funny drinks with umbrellas, I'm thinking I'm only gonna be able to toss a few flies on a few beaches but I'm really looking forward to it! Been researching a bit more about Oahu too and maybe I'll try to find some fishing there (although I think it'll be more family time and not fish time!)

    If I had more time I'd explore the freshwater opportunities on Kauai. Although this report is almost 8 years old, it really appealed to me: http://www.flyfishingconnection.com...y Fishing Trout on the Koaie - Kauai, Hawaii/

    Now that sounds like a great trip!!
  18. Kcahill Active Member

    Posts: 882
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +255 / 2
    When I was there last month it was more of a vacation also, if you are an early riser and up with the sun (or your wife takes 2 hours to get ready to go to breakfast like mine) the fishing can be pretty good, for the first hour or so of daylight I had a lot of action on a popper on the beach right in front of our condo.
  19. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Good to know! Thanks for that!!
  20. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 844
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +344 / 0
    Well, here's the report on my efforts at Hawaiian fly-flailing.

    Although the only thing I caught was one doozy of a cold (fortunately it only started to hit me on our last full day on Kauai) I really enjoyed getting skunked in those beautiful tropical waters!

    I didn't get in as much fishing as I would've liked due to visiting with the daughter and son-in-law, snorkeling, kayaking, sun-bathing and just generally enjoying the tropical life-style!

    On Oahu, the son-in-law and I fished for a couple of hours in Maunalua Bay (between Koko Head and Diamond Head) but neither of us found anything. He had both a bait and a gear pole and I was tossin' my 8-weight.

    On Kauai the wife and I did go to Anini Beach but even tho' I packed the rod we spent the whole afternoon snorkeling.

    I did get in a couple hours fishing the day before we left for home. The onshore wind was ripping pretty good where we were staying in Kapaa so we drove to the south shore.

    I fished off the rocks at the Kukuila Small Boat Harbor Park, close to Spouting Horn.

    When we first arrived we watched a local fishing off a small outcrop of rocks. That guy was amazing in how he balanced and danced on those rocks with big waves breaking over him! The wife said he looked like a ballerina!

    I spoke with him for a few minutes when he came back to his truck as I was gearing up. He'd caught several nenue which, according to my research, are a type of chub. But they were fairly good-sized fish and he said they made good poke (both the wife and I love the ahi poke and had it for dinner 3 or 4 times while there).

    I also learned that one should spend more than 4 or 5 minutes watching the wave sets in order to determine the best place to fish!

    I wasn't about to wade out to the surf-pounded rock-pile he'd been fishing on but a flatter rocky area about 75 feet to the right looked more safe to me.

    Yeah, right!

    After casting for about 5 minutes, two succeeding waves hit me about chest high and it was all I could do to stay upright! I think I was fortunate not to get completely knocked down and sucked off the rocks!

    After that I moved to a more protected area. I did have a few followers, one fish a bright orange/red color and a couple more that were dark-colored fish but no takers.

    All in all, we had a great time! Although I've been to Oahu three times and Maui once, I think I like the laid-back atmosphere of Kauai best!

    Now I'm just tryin' to shake this cold that's had me laid up for the last 6 days!

    Well, I admit I did fish for a few hours last night off the beach near a local Kitsap creek. As lousy as I feel, it makes me feel more lousy not to be fishing! Lots of silvers jumping but I only had one small fish on for about 15 seconds before he came unpinned.

    Edit: Oh, BTW, many thanks to all the folks who replied to this thread or PM'ed me with info about Hawaii fishing! I can't wait to go back!