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2019 Dates: December 3rd-10th

2020 Dates: January 7-14th, January 14-21st, February 18-25th, March 24-31st, April 21-28th, May 19-26th, & December 8-15th

Contact Front Range Anglers Adventure Travel Team to book your trip!

[email protected]

Christmas Island Fly Fishing partnered with the BEST Lodge – IKARI House

Catch Giant Trevally*Milkfish*Golden Trevally*Bonefish and more!

Christmas Island fly fishing has historically had a reputation as an incredible international bonefishing destination. What most people don’t realize is the sheer number of specific opportunities that a fly angler can expect during a week, resulting in racking up an astounding number of species on a fly. From big bonefish to three different species of trevally — golden, bluefin, and everyone’s favorite, giant or geet, to a myriad of triggerfish, and even milkfish, there is something for everyone to check off their list. The interior, backcountry islands, and ocean-side flats of Christmas Island are a mix of hard white sand, coral, and turtle grass, making Christmas Island truly a saltwater fly anglers nirvana.

Christmas Island Fly Fishing Offers Anglers a Rare Gift

“They usually frequent deeper water, though at Christmas Island they will cruise the abundant shallow water flats in search of prey; it’s the unique opportunity to stalk GTs in the shallows that makes Christmas Island a much sought after venue.” – Wall Street Journal Article featuring Christmas Island Fly Fishing 8/21/2015

Join Front Range Anglers’ owner Steve McLaughlin, along with the legendary guide Capt. Mike Hennessy from Hawaii on the Fly for an action-packed six fishing day hosted trip to one of the most productive saltwater fisheries on the planet; Christmas Island and the best place for Christmas Island fly fishing- Ikari House!

“We look forward to fishing with you and sharing our experiences and skills on the flats with you.  We will have some good laughs and make lifelong friends and memories on this trip.”

“Hope to see you soon!”

Capt. Mike Hennessy and Steve McLaughlin


This piece was written by Randy Hanner and Steve McLaughlin and was published on the Orvis Fly Fishing Blog Here:  The Magic of Christmas Island


Christmas Island (Kiritimati) is a destination that inspires adventure, and it is a mecca for anglers around the world. The fishing on Christmas Island is like no other saltwater destination on the planet, with nearly two dozen different species of fish to catch.  Located 1200 mil,es south of Honolulu and 120 miles north of the equator, Christmas Island has stable weather and fishing conditions year-round.  With more that 240 square miles of hard sand and coral pancake flats inside the lagoon, you never have to fish the same flat twice.

Except for fishing the blue water, all the fishing on Christmas Island is done while wading the flats. Many of the named flats–Orvis, Paris Texas, Nine Mile, Y Site–are legendary, and they seem like they are endless. There are many others called “pancake flats,” as most of them are roundish in shape and seem to erupt off the bottom of the lagoon, making perfect reefs for fish and fishermen.

Multi-Species Bonanza
Christmas Island offers arguably the best fishing for bonefish in the world. Experienced saltwater anglers can land 100 bonefish in a week, and 10-12 per day is a good average. It is rare to cast farther than 40 feet to these fish, and they are usually very eager to eat your offering. Typically, the bonefish on Christmas Island travel as singles or doubles and average three pounds. Bones in the four- to six-pound range are very common, you’ll occasionally see fish up to ten pounds–though these bones are seldom landed.

Triggerfish offer another fantastic flats-fishing experience, and there are several different species to target on the flats of Christmas Island: titan triggerfish (also known as Mustachios), yellow margin triggerfish, peach face triggerfish, and Picasso triggerfish.  With their hook-crushing teeth, landing one is a feat in and of itself. If you can get one to eat your fly without crushing the hook, keeping it from making it back to its hole is the most important step in landing a triggerfish.  If everything comes together, you’ll be rewarded with one of the prettiest and most rewarding fish on the flats.

Bluefin trevally, bar jacks (trevally), and golden trevally are all found on the flats, as well. They can be found on the edges of the flats sometimes, even mixed with bonefish or milkfish schools. Bluefins and bar jacks are usually extremely aggressive and will chase a well or a very misplaced fly and smash it aggressively. They tend to like smaller, flashier bonefish patterns. While goldens are much rarer, they tend to behave more like a permit. Even if you see one, feeding a golden is a different deal. Lately, golden success has been on larger crabs and mantis patterns.

Offshore opportunities are plentiful, as well. When offshore conditions are right, anglers can spend the morning fishing for yellowfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, and giant trevally, then fish the flats in the afternoon. \There are also twelve- to thirty-five-pound milkfish available on outgoing tides in the morning, which put up an incredible fight.

The Gangsters!
The main attraction for many of the anglers that travel to Christmas Island is the giant trevally (GT). Christmas Island offers the best, affordable, closest-to-home opportunities for anglers to try for a monster GT.  Weighing in at up 100 pounds, GTs are the apex predator on the flats. Many times, they appear out of nowhere, charging onto and though the flats with lightning speed. It’s not uncommon to see one with its entire back out of the water, chasing bonefish, mullet, snapper, and milkfish in extremely shallow water, with baitfish flying everywhere!

GTs come in many sizes. The five- to fifteen-pound “baby” GTs can be tremendous fun, as they almost always are in schools, chasing baitfish and throwing all caution to the wind. These smaller fish can be a blast on an 8- or 9-weight rig. But most GT fishing is done with a special 11- or 12-weight setup. The perfect rigging for these big Gangsters would be an 11-weight Helios 3 with a Mirage V spooled with 400 yards of braid backing and a Scientific Anglers GT 475-grain line, finished with a straight nine-foot, 100-pound fluorocarbon leader. You never quite know what size GT will be cruising through!

When they are terrorizing the flats, GTs feed on anything that gets in their way. This is the best opportunity for anglers to present their offering and hook up. If there is no action on the flats, blind-casting poppers into the channels on the side of a flat can be a great way to create action. Often if one angler is throwing a popper, it is a good idea for a second angler to cast a GT streamer in the same area. When GTs come in to chase the popper, the second angler can cast the streamer toward the popper with a high chance of both anglers hooking up.

Backcountry Fishery
The backcountry fishing is something that all anglers who fish Christmas Island should try to experience. The backcountry is a mixture of sea-shell-lined beaches, channels, and short flats that has been fished by truck, historically, but they are accessible by boat on proper high tides. In the backcountry you’ll encounter GTs, bonefish, triggers, and goldens. This area is very close to nearly landlocked milkfish ponds in the middle of the atoll. The milkfish are raised as a source of protein for the islanders. On higher tides the ponds tend to over flow, which allows milkfish to escape and GTs to get in. This can create interesting stealth-fishing scenarios for anglers who get the chance to get to the backcountry.

What to expect fly fishing Christmas Island

According to Capt. Mike, “Christmas Island is legendary for fly fishing and remains one of the most consistent fisheries in the world.  I have fished some amazing places on this earth and can safely say CI is one of the most amazing saltwater fly fishing destinations for all skill levels.  Adrenaline packed runs of 100+ yds are happening every few casts when you’re in the zone and making good casts.  Whether you like fly fishing for Bonefish and Triggerfish or GT’s up to 100+lbs, you will be challenged and rewarded for your efforts and time put into this great fishery.”

Please keep in mind that your daily schedule will vary in accordance with tides and your fishing desires.  The Typical Daily Schedule:

  • 6:00 AM: Wake
  • 6:30 AM: Breakfast
  • 7:00 AM: Depart for flats
  • 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM: Fishing
  • 5:30 PM: Back at the lodge
  • 7:00 PM: Dinner

General Information
The full-time guide staff of Ikari House is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to their fishery, applicable angling techniques, and the atoll’s many species of fish. They also have a pretty solid grasp of the English language and love their jobs.

Bonefish are the main target species on Christmas Island, and they are found all throughout the flats and shallow waters of the atoll. This is an excellent destination for beginner saltwater fly anglers due to the sheer numbers of bonefish that are available. The average bonefish throughout the ecosystem–fish that are always available and catchable–run two to three pounds in size. That said, the guides do have areas where larger fish may be targeted. These larger fish can range anywhere between three and seven pounds. Some of the ocean reef flats do hold even larger fish. While fish in the six to ten-pound class are occasionally landed, these trophy fish are not the norm.

One of the things we really love about fishing Christmas Island is the pure diversity of species you can target with a fly rod. The triggerfish are numerous and large and the atoll is home to three different and unique species of triggers. They are not easy to fool and they feed in the coral gardens and patches of the flats, which means landing them can be a challenge. That being said, they are one of the most rewarding and certainly most beautiful fish you can catch on the fly. The waters of the atoll are also home to three species of trevally: bluefin, golden and giant. The presence and availability of trevally for the flats angler definitely makes this destination special. Trevally can be found feeding on the flats at any tide, but incoming tides and periods of high tide are the most productive times to focus on these hard fighting gamefish. The guides know where to locate them and anglers must be ready to make quick presentations to these aggressive, fast-moving creatures. When trevally are feeding, a well-placed fly will get it done.

There are small milkfish on the flats, but the larger milkfish are in the channels and deeper water around the island. These large schools are fished from the boat as they surf the swells. Milkfish feed on small clumps of algae and are very tough to fool on a fly, but if you are lucky enough to come tight on one while fishing an algae fly, they are one of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean!

The offshore or bluewater fishing that surrounds Christmas Island is worth exploring as well. You may easily do this for a few hours in the morning before hitting the flats. There are typically abundant tuna and large barracuda, and giant trevally, wahoo, mahi-mahi, sharks, and occasional marlin also inhabit these waters.

Boats and Equipment
There are two modes of transportation to the flats when fishing from Ikari House. Most time will be spent aboard a center console 18-foot v-hulled boat or a locally-crafted outrigger-style transfer boat. These boats are used to transfer anglers to the flats, where you then wade the shallows for bones, triggers, trevally, and other species. When fishing the flats on the north end of the island, a van is used to access the beach and shallow reef flats. With either scenario, it is worth mentioning that Christmas Island is a wade angler’s paradise. Most of the flats are easy to wade, as the bottom consists of solid white sand. You will occasionally need to navigate some coral outcroppings, rock shelves, and deeper channels, but overall the wading is very easy and solid. When using the boats for transportation, the boat drivers will pick you and the guide up at the end of your “wading lap,” which means that you will rarely need to make long walks back to the boat through waters that you have already fished.

Ikari House: The Best Fly Fishing Lodge on Christmas Island

christmas island - accommodations

Lodging Overview

The Ikari House is rustic for world standards but 4 star for Christmas Island.  Each simple-yet-comfortable room has A/C and a nice trade wind blowing through to make sleeping easy. Each cabin, shared by two anglers, is equipped with two single beds and your own private bathroom. Rod racks are available and safely store all your fly rods day and night.

Ikari house sits on the waterfront and is also conveniently located close to the main marina in London, making access to the fishery a quick and easy 5 minutes. The lodge even recently completed a new wing to accommodate more anglers and added additional covered outdoor dining and lounge areas.

In addition to meeting some of the nicest locals you will ever encounter, the food is very good for a tropical island, where for locals the staple is mostly fish and breadfruit.  Fresh tuna/wahoo sushi, grouper, and lobster dinners are accompanied with a local fair for a basic but fun culinary experience.

Lodging Details
Located in the small community of London, the Ikari House is a single-level lodge overlooking the water and facing the prevailing ocean breezes. All double occupancy bedrooms feature private bathrooms with good water pressure, plenty of storage space for gear and tackle, comfortable single beds, and ice-cold A/C units. The dining and social areas are outside and covered, letting you take full advantage of the cooler evenings. While this is not an upscale lodge with pillow service and flat-screen TVs, it is a very comfortable base of operations for fishing this remote atoll. We have visited all four of the existing Christmas Island operations and we’ve found Ikari House to be the nicest option on the island for overall accommodations, cleanliness, service, food quality, location, equipment and guide team. The staff and management are always accommodating and work hard to make your visit pleasant and relaxing.

Food and Beverages
All meals at Ikari House are prepared on-site and feature a mix of local cuisine and American menu items. Appetizers vary over the course of the week and include chicken wings, tuna sashimi, and grouper fingers. Various seafood, chicken, pork, pasta and vegetable dishes are the main dishes each night, and all dinners are usually served buffet-style. Breakfast each morning includes eggs, toast and often a side meat like sausage, ham or bacon. Lunches are cooler-style and packed for each fishing day with a sandwich, chips, fruit, candy and plenty of cold beverages. The lodge offers an endless supply of clean ice, bottled water, sodas, and cold beer. Spirits and wine should be purchased in Hawaii and carried to the island with you.

Typical Length of Stay
Since the flights to Christmas Island’s Cassidy International Airport (CXI) through Honolulu’s International Airport (HNL) are only offered once a week on Fiji Air, the standard Ikari House package is seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
Christmas Island is primarily a fishing-focused destination and there are very few organized non-angling activities. The birdlife is amazing and the snorkeling is fantastic as well. Bringing your own snorkel gear will allow you to enjoy the vast coral areas loaded with unique fish species and dazzling collections of colorful coral. Snorkeling and birding may all be done during your guided fishing day or before or after a day of guided fishing.

Internet/ Communications
Ikari House does offer free internet access, but it is fairly slow. You can easily check and send emails, but downloading large files will jam the system. The island does have a cell phone tower, so check with your provider to see if coverage is available for your plan.

Where in the world is Christmas Island?

Not to be confused with Christmas Island off the coast of Australia, the Christmas Island we take fly fishing anglers to is also know as Kiritimati Island, which is coincidentally the world’s largest atoll. It is actually part of the Republic of Kiribati and has been known to fly fishing anglers for years as a great bonefish destination.

Kiribati’s Christmas Island sits half-way between Hawaii and New Zealand. A quick three and a half hour flight from Honolulu and you’ll be on one of the most remote islands in the South Pacific.

Once on the island, you will go through customs and purchase your fishing license. This is payable upon arrival at the airport and is $50 US dollars, as well as Australian dollars, are accepted. A departure tax of $20+/- is payable at the airport upon departure. There are no credit card facilities on the island, and a single ATM is at the ANZ Bank in the village of London, so it is advisable to carry some cash.

Once outside of customs you will be met by Jacob Teem (owner of the lodge) who will take care of your transfer to the lodge (about 30 minutes). Once there you will receive a brief orientation from Jacob, then check into your room and get ready for fishing the next day! Note: When entering the country you will need to fill out a customs form. This form will ask for the name of the place where you will be staying. The name of the lodge is “Ikari House”.

How to Get There
There is only one flight per week to Christmas Island/Kiritimati Island’s Cassidy International Airport (CXI) on Fiji Air, which departs from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) every Tuesday morning. That means that you must fly to Oahu on Monday at the latest (we suggest Sunday to allow for any delays since there is only one flight per week to Christmas Island/Kiritimati Island) in order to make the Tuesday morning Fiji Airlines flight to Christmas Island Airport (CXI).

You will overnight in Oahu around the Waikiki Beach area and we suggest fishing in this area for the huge bones if you have a day to spare. This Honolulu area bonefishing is some of the best in the world when it comes to legitimate trophy-sized bonefish, and a day or two on the flats of Oahu is a great way to warm up for your week on Christmas Island.

Documents Required
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, de-laminated, or damaged in any way.

Travel Arrangements & Insurance
Front Range Anglers will assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for trips to Christmas Island. Contact us at 877-935-2975 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance. FRA REQUIRES all anglers to have Medical Evacuation Insurance- we recommend Global Rescue, and we HIGHLY recommend Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

At the time of booking 50% of the trip is due and payable. At 90 days the remainder plus all VAT and taxes are due. Cancellation greater than 90 days from the date of trip, all monies refunded less $100 fee if a replacement angler is found. if within 90 Days, no refunds are provided unless a qualified replacement angler is provided. No refunds are provided for trip cancellation due to Weather, Acts of God, Airline/Travel issues. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance is strongly advised & recommended.

Details about fly fishing on Christmas Island

Our Hosted weeks are $3,695 to $3,995 US and

Our non-hosted weeks start at $2,950 US.

Upcoming Christmas Island Hosted Dates Available

  • December 3-10, 2019: Partnered with Hatch, $3,995 Hosted by FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin and Hawaii on the Fly Owner Capt Mike Hennessy

2020 Dates: Prices Subject to Change

  • January 7-14, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin and Hawaii on the Fly Owner Capt Mike Hennessy
  • January 14-21, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin, Hawaii on the Fly Owner Capt Mike Hennessy, and Soaring Eagle Lodge Owners Mike Lyons & Jeff Massey
  • February 18-25, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by Flyskinz Owner Jonathan Kiley and TBD
  • March 24-31, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • April 21-28, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • May 19-26, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • December 8-15, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD

Packages Include: 7 nights lodging and 6 days fishing, round-trip transfers between the airport and the lodge, 3 meals per day and hors d’oeuvres, daily laundry service, bottled water, juice, coffee and tea, all guided fishing (2 anglers to a guide) all daily boat/truck transfers, internet access at the Ikari House. You will fly from HNL Hawaii on Fiji Air. We encourage you to book this flight early as prices can jump quickly, and there are limited (once weekly) flights that go to Christmas Island from Honolulu.

Packages do not include:

  • VAT
  • Mainland to HNL & International flights to Christmas Island/ Kiritimati Island Cassidy International Airport (CXI)
  • Beer and sodas at the Lodge(spirits and wines may be purchased in Honolulu at the airport duty-free)
  • Gratuities for the guides and staff ($250-400)
  • Accommodations and meals in Honolulu (We have a group rate at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel Waikiki Beach on Oahu)
  • Republic of Kiribati VAT payable at checkout
  • Fishing license $50
  • Christmas Island departure tax of $20

Extended Option: For those wanting to take advantage of being in proximity of some of the largest Bonefish on the planet, there is also an option to come in early and spend a few days in Honolulu with Capt. Mike before heading over to Christmas Island, or after you return from CXI. Just let us know that you would like this option when booking and we will be happy to discuss the details with you. Additional guided fishing days on Oahu can be added for $600/day- includes lunch, snacks, drinks and a great time!

Hawaii on the Fly offers a guided fishing program that focuses on targeting Hawaii’s super-sized bonefish. The island of Oahu is home to Hawaii’s most extensive flats  – many of which are literally teeming with bonefish (if you know where to look). If you’re on your way to Christmas Island, we suggest that you stop over to practice your casts and catch a seriously large bonefish.

2019 Dates

Upcoming Christmas Island Hosted Dates Available

  • December 3-10, 2019: Partnered with Hatch, Hosted by Steve McLaughlin and Capt Mike Hennessy

2020 Dates

2020 Dates: Prices Subject to Change

  • January 7-14, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin and Hawaii on the Fly Owner Capt Mike Hennessy
  • January 14-21, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin, Hawaii on the Fly Owner Capt Mike Hennessy, and Soaring Eagle Lodge Owners Mike Lyons & Jeff Massey
  • February 18-25, 2020 – $3995 – Hosted by Flyskinz Owner Jonathan Kiley and TBD
  • March 24-31, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • April 21-28, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • May 19-26, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD
  • December 8-15, 2020 – $3995 – Host TBD


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Front Range Anglers is committed to providing you with the best Colorado fly fishing guides and guided fly fishing experience possible.

  • Craig was very helpful with the preparation for the trip.FRA has a well thought out gear and clothing list. a good job of explaining the nuts and bolts of the trip and providing realistic expectations of the lodging, food, guides,and fishing

  • FRA and HOTF are experts in organizing a smooth trip to meet the needs of beginner and veteran flats fisherman alike. The experience and knowledge base of HOTF is invaluable and provides an opportunity for all to enhance their game.

  • This trip was a thrill; much better than it sounded. The stark beauty, as well as the simple life was a much-needed break from "everyday life" here. Can't wait to get out there again! Thanks Randy and Craig!