Salty Saturday - First Time Aitutaki

The Cook Islands is a wonderful place to try saltwater fly. A multitude of colorful species are available in the lagoon and the GTs and Bonefish will pull harder than any trout you have caught.

Aitutaki (one of the outer islands) has a deserved reputation for worldclass bonefishing. No matter how many times I have gone I always book with Itu and apart from the wonderful opportunity to have a day out on the water with true local watermen, I get the best chances possible to land the fish I have travelled 1000s of kilometers for.

Recently I was asked what are the three key things I do before heading over…

  1. Casting practice.

Practice casting …practice practice practice.

Not standing in a park hucking a flyline thinking you’ve got it sorted because you can see the backing loop out of your top guide…..

  • Practice casting with weight (chop the hook off a clouser – tie it to the end of your tippet)
  • Practice casting with a cross wind
  • Practice out to 80 feet if you can and practice on your knees… (imagine that’s how deep you are wading)
  • Can you cast over your back shoulder?
  • How quickly can you change direction? Pick up roll cast and then change with the minimum of false casts?
  • Can you cast short, quickly, with a minimum of false casting and land a heavy fly without too much “plop”

  1. I practice tying my knots and changing flies quickly. However, I don’t take too many patterns anymore –I do take a variety of weights.

  1. Did I mention casting….??
  • Accuracy
  • Presentation to a MOVING target
  • Weighted flies
  • Wind
  • If wading, you may be deep…
  • Direction changes
  • Wind
  • 60-80 feet is better than 30

Have fun. It’s a magical place and you will have all the opportunities to make something special happen.