When you get on the water around Oahu, the first thing you notice is the spectacular views of the lush green jagged mountains contrasting the blue green ocean. for me, that alone makes my day!
Flats fishing crystal clear waters is visual overload in general. Hunting and scanning for signs of quarry keeps the sensors on overdrive.
This is vastly amplified around Oahu when you add in the fact a 15+ lb Bonefish measuring around 40 inches is seen regularly. Capt. Terry Duffield aka Coach Duff prides himself on targeting the next world record on flyrod. His attention to details and drive are second to none. You see it in everything from his custom flies to his ability to teach fishing techniques and fly casting [only FFF certified instructor on the island]. With that said let's get to the meat and potatoes of this week!
Coach Duff started off the week fishing with good friend and Atlantic Salmon fly rod specialist [landed fish over 40 lbs!] Alex Ziklund. It never fails when you get somebody special on your bow, mother nature is less than cooperative. But as the cream always rises to the top, Alex managed to connect with some screamers. Once the tide comes in you are at the mercy of the sun. Strict sight fisherman like Alex may as well go in when clouds take over but he kept the faith and patiently waited for moments of visiblity. His perseverence was rewarded with two wonderful fish in the 7-8lb class!
On friday i had the pleasure of doing a multiboat trip with Coach. The Judge, father and son, trio were seasoned anglers of lakes and streams but had never done any bonefishing. This is where Coach really shines! We started off the day in blustery cloudy conditions diffcult for even a top bonefish angler so Coach decided to pull out and wait for the tide at a different location.
while we waited for tailing depth tides,Coach decided to throw in a complimentary casting lesson something i have never seen a keys guide do. This was very educational for all, including myself.
We took are new found knowledge and headed to some of the most gorgeous wading flats you could imagine! right up there with the most remote BVI locales i have visited. Sure enough the tailers showed uo on cue. I took Charlie and Mark on the inside of the flat while CJ and Coach combed the dropoff. As We neared the channel, I spotted a fish that had to be all of 10lbs and Mark lobbed a custom tied jig over to this beast [We decided to try our luck with spinning gear as time was running out].The fish wheeled around and tailed on the jig. In a flash, line was flying off at mach one! The look on Mark's face said it all. We ended up losing the fish to the channel drop but not before he got to experience a 100+ yard heart stopping run. Coach is a purist and decided to stay with fly tackle [he only does flyrodding]. CJ had never flyfished for bonefish before but listened to Coach's instructions to a T. He was rewarded with a nice 3 lb tailer in the last minutes before dark [yes, we went from sun up to down!]
This is what Coach Duff is known for. Never quitting or accepting defeat are his trademark along with extreme patience and communication skills.
This is why i made every effort to get on his team and i am forever grateful to just have met the guy much less fish with him!
nice report from Oahu. the islands are a special place and anytime you get to fish there (inshore or offshore) take in all the grandeur you can. the memories will last a lifetime.