Destination Information

Reefs & Flats

Hawaii fly fishing offers perfect waters with as much variety as you’ll find anywhere. Enough to satisfy the most ardent Bone fishing enthusiasts and just about any other serious angler! Keehi Lagoon on Oahu, Aina Haina along Oahu’s Eastern Shore, and Kaneohe Bay are all areas that offer expansive reefs and flats conducive to fly fishing. The islands of Hawaii are abounding with a variety of fish that dwell in the flats. Aside from Bonefish, you can also find angling opportunities for Bluefin Trevally or Omilu, Giant Tevally or Ulua, Ladyfish or Awa Awa, Golden Trevally or Budaguchi and Barracuda.
 The Kona Coast is a rich and diverse coastline with bays teeming with inshore species like Travally or Triggerfish. These hard-fighting game fish hunt in the rich shallows of the Kona coast, and you can catch them from the shoreline or on a kayak. Sandy reefs produce an abundance of Weke and Moana (goat fish). Fly-fishing in flats for Bonefish is especially productive when there is an incoming tide during the early morning before the swimmers spook the fish away. You can find large Bonefish up to twelve pounds in Hawaii flat waters. Oahu is home to bountiful populations of Bonefish. The island has gentle sloping flats that start at the shoreline. The flats often extend for a mile out from the shore, allowing you to wade through the waters and cast fishing lines. However, fishing the Hawaiian flats for Bonefish is different than typical tropical flats fishing. While Oahu has many flats, they all aren’t sandy with a bit of sea grasses. Oahu flats are beset with coral beds, some live, most hard as rock. Between the coral outcroppings lay the deeper sandy channels in which the Bonefish travel. Traversing the coral platforms and deeper channels requires balance and agility. The coral can be razor sharp and can snip a standard mono leader with just one brush-by. Open Ocean Fly Fishing Like any sport fishing destination, Hawaii offers the opportunity for offshore fly fishing targeting Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Sailfish and Wahoo. In addition, small boat operators offer fishing just outside of the surf zones where medium-sized game like large Trevally are plentiful. Freshwater or Saltwater Fly Fishing… Your Choice! The island of Kauai, with the heaviest rainfall and the most rivers, probably offers more freshwater fishing than the other islands. On Oahu, locations like Lake Wilson, a very large irrigation reservoir in Central Oahu, offers Tucanare, Bass, Perch, and other freshwater fare while other areas like the Nuuanu Reservoir are well known for Catfish and Tilapia. You do not need a marine recreational fishing license to fish in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources. Most of the shoreline areas in the islands are open to flat water fishing unless otherwise prohibited. Before you start, look for posted prominent signs that indicate any restrictions on fishing. However, freshwater fly fishing areas in Hawaii that are worth anything require fishing licenses which although easy to obtain are another step to clear before getting out on the water so most look to the ocean’s reefs, flats, and deep water zones to pursue their targeted game fish!

Species & Tactics


Albula vulpes is one of about 15 different species of bonefish found in the world, but is the most prolific in the Caribbean and surrounding Atlantic. The information here can be applied to nearly every species.

The members of the Albulidae family of fishes, or Bonfish, as they are more commonly known, are one of, if not the most sought after species on the flats with a fly rod. The silver torpedo shaped fish with variably colored vertical stripes ranges in size from 2-19 pounds, with the average fish caught being between 3 and 16 pounds (depending on location).

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Giant Trevally GT

The Giant Trevally a fish of many names is quickly becoming a premier target to hunt on the flats. It is an incredibly strong and ferocious reef fish that is aggressive and deliberate when hunting and takes no prisoners. It is a large member of the jack family and is also known as the Giant Kingfish, Pacific Jack Fish, Goyan Fish, Lowly Trevally, Barrier Trevally, Ulua in Hawaii, Mamulan in the Marianas, Rōnin-aji in Japan and just plain GT for short.

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Mahi Mahi

Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) (aka Dorado, Dolphin, Lampuga, Lampuki, Lapuki, Maveriko) If you're interested in catching super-strong, beautiful, not-too-choosy, leaping fish, here ya go. These are the saltwater equivalents of bluegills, except they jump, and they get big. Like as big as your aging retriever. The common English name "dolphin" causes much confusion and lots of hand-wringing. Let's be clear: this fish is not related to the marine mammal also known as dolphin (family Delphinidae).

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The Milkfish is a lesser known species primarily because of its appearance in the world but is gaining popularity as a fly fishing target species for its fight, willingness to eat a fly and feeding habits. Milkfish is an Indo-Pacific ocean species that is vey similar to a bonefish in many ways. They are a little skittish, very fast, very strong and they eat flies.

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False Albacore

Looking to test your 12-weight rod? Want to check out the acoustics of your new reel? Head to Jupiter for false albacore. False Albacore are more accurately called little tunny (latin name: Euthynnus alletteratus). They are often referred to as bonito, but albies are not the same fish as the true Atlantic or Pacific bonito.

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General Information If not already fishing for tuna on the fly, we'll just ask....Why not? This is a serious Saltwater fly fisherman's target. It's big, hits your fly at 40 mph (75 kph) and is found in just about every fishing destination you could possibly think of. Tuna are incredibly beautiful and powerful predators that come is many many different flavors too: Bluefin, Blackfin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, Longtail, Dogtooth

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This is the fastest fish in the ocean!
Individual Sailfish have been clocked at speeds over 70 mph which is the highest speed reliably reported in any water creature. Sailfish are two species of billfish, the Atlantic Sailfish and the Pacific Sailfish and live in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world.

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There is no fight like the fight of a Marlin. This is the prized fish of most saltwater anglers all over the world. They span almost all of the waters of the globe and can be caught by a variety of methods at various times of year in many diverse places. Marlin fishing is considered by some game fishermen to be the pinnacle of offshore game fish, due to their power, size and the relative rareness. It is an expensive hobby, requiring considerable money to pursue on a regular basis, single day of Marlin fishing can cost over $1000. They are possibly the most well-known fish in the entire world which probably accounts for millions of dollars in commerce spent hunting them. The novel by Ernest Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea" chronicles the struggle of a Marlin fisherman who after 85 days of failure, ventures out to sea to change his luck and catch a Marlin. Hemmingway frequently fished for Marlin, quite successfully with his family. The Marlin is the largest of the billfish and comes in many variations: Pacific Black Marlin Pacific Blue Marlin Atlantic Blue Marlin White Marlin Striped Marlin

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Barracuda may be the most underrated saltwater species to catch on a fly. After hooking one, imagine this scenario: the fish is on the end of the line thrashing and running, suddenly the line goes slack. You think the fish is off but he's not because you stand in amazement as you watch a 5 foot barracuda leap 15 feet into the air like a missile being launched from below the surface of the ocean.

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Spinner Shark (& other shark species)

One of the best kept secrets in all of salt water fly fishing is the Spinner Shark migration in late winter through early spring in. It happens in a place where you least expect it...West Palm & Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Really, we aren't kidding. This is spring break for sharks. They migrate to the beaches off of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach chasing fish (snook, blues and false albacore & other tuna species) that are breeding & feeding in the surf or just beyond the surf. You can sight fish for a 100+ lb. powerhouse in just 8 feet of water. Flyfishbonehead had so much fun that we went out twice in 2012, hooked 9 and landed 5 on our first trip and landed 5 of 6 on the second. Considering the fight and how hard it is to subdue this beast that was pretty darn good.

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What To Bring

Bonefish and smaller specie

Bonefish can be caught on a 6-8 weight. Most commonly used an 8 weight because most people own one but many prefer a 6 weight because its more fun to use little tackle in general. Again as long as wind is not an issue this is certainly ok. Use a floating line with at least 200 yards of backing on your reel. Leaders should be 9-15 feet with at least a 10 lb tippet. (we use 12-15 lb) The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular flies:
Try crab & shrimp patterns like: Turneffe Crab, Bonefish Bitters, Cognac Crab, Crazy Charlie

flyfishbonehead is fly fishing in saltwater.  We make Tail Fly fishing Magazine & saltwater fly tying videos too. bonefishing flies & bonefish flies


Fishing for Mahi requires a 10-12 weight rod. We almost always use a 12 weight.. You don’t want to miss fish because the fight takes too long. Why take a chance. The extra lifting power of a 12 weight will also give you an advantage when trying to keep a hooked fish from getting too far away from the boat and will enable you to hold the fish attracting the rest of the school so that other anglers may get some chances. Use a floating line and at least 300 yards of backing on your reel. We prefer the gel spun backing which allows for more than 300 yards (you just might need it) Leader should be 9-12 feet with at least 20 lb tippet or even a 60 lb shock, this fish aren’t shy. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which simply means a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular Flies:
Baby Dorado, Mackerels & other baitfish flies

Offshore: Billfish & Tuna species

Offshore fishing for billfish & tuna usually involves a 12 -15 weight. Here you will have a chance at blue & white Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi-mahi & Tuna. We prefer a 14 weight and there are some which even have a butt suitable for gimbel use. Again because we are all about control of the fish and landing the fish quickly which decreases mortality and injury after release. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular flies:
Tuna: small minnow patterns like surf candy & eat me
Marlin/sailfish: Poppers, Baitfish. Trey Combs style double hook mackerels & sardines

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Giant Trevally

GTs are not a common sighting in Hawaii but they present in good enough number to plan for them. While the 12 weight is plently of rod for a GT that is 25-30 lbs (11-14 kg) you need some reinforcements to land them successfully. Use a 12 weight floating line made for GT and larger species that has a 50 lb core rather than a 20 lb core for starters. Your leader should consist of at least 60 lb mono but we highly recommend fluorocarbon in this situation because of the elasticity, strength and invisibility. It’s worth the money for fluoro if you are spending thousands on your trip! The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular flies:
Poppers and baitfish.

Preferred Guides
Get Your Business Added To The Guide List

Hi Tide Fly Fishing Oahu, Hawaii USA

O'ahu is world renowned for its breathtaking beaches, amazing surf and awe inspiring mountain ranges. However, one thing the most isolated island chain on earth is not well known for is its trophy bone fishery. The island of O'ahu, which means the gathering place, is home to some of the largest bonefish or "'O'io" on earth. We have amazing flats on both the eastern side of the island and the southern side that present the visiting angler opportunities to wade or pole around in search of these elusive giants. Our bonefish average 4 to 8 pounds consistently, but come prepared for shots at some in the 10 pound plus range. Additionally, it is not uncommon to have shots at three different types of Trevally, including Giant Trevally, or "Ulua;" Blue Trevally, or "Omilu;" and Golden Trevally, or "Pa'o Pa'o." Unlike other exotic bone fishing destinations, a good day out here means we see 15-40 fish and have excellent shots on about half of them. Conditions on O'ahu can be extremely challenging with heavy winds and finicky visibility, but for those willing to accept the challenge the returns can easily yield the bonefish of a lifetime. HI Tide Fly Fishing also offers guided trips targeting Butterfly Peacock Bass. These bass were first introduced to Hawaii in the early 1950s and offer the visiting fly fishermen or bait caster another wonderful opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the island. The best time to target Peacock Bass on O'ahu is during the summer months from May through August, during their spawn. Captain Jesse has over 15 years of fishing experience in the islands, and combined with his 16 foot Action Craft flats boat he can get you on the fish. Whether you are vacationing in the islands or just stopping by on your to Christmas Island, let HI Tide show you what Hawaiian fly fishing

Hawaii on the Fly Oahu, Hawaii

Captains Mike Hennessy, Collin Huff and Kendrick Karas are ready to put you on big bonefish. Guides have 100 ton masters licenses and a set of crazy good eyes for spotting bonefish on our beautiful flats. CAPTAIN MIKE HENNESSY Global fishing specialist, guide, and waterman Capt. Mike Hennessy caught his first striped marlin with his Dad in Cabo San Lucas at the age of 10. Catching that fish shaped his destiny and marlin fever was in his blood. Soon after he was charter fishing in Newport Beach, California on half day and full day boats. Fly fishing in the High Sierras was also a passion that started early in his life and continues today. His love for fly fishing and the pursuit of the big fish grew while he was a teenager. But the draw to find the "slobs" had him on a plane to Hawaii. He started exploring the waters outside of Kewalo Basin on Oahu. And at 19 years old earned his 100 ton master's license, competing with seasoned peers at the fish scales. Since then he has been following his dream to chase the biggest and best fish and experiences around the world. His biggest blue marlin to date weighed in at 1,245 #s while running Maggie Joe, a 53' sportfisher and winning the 2010 Bisbee's Black and Blue Marlin Tournament Always looking for adventure and to broaden his fishing knowledge, Hennessy headed down to Central America to the southern zone of Costa Rica in 1995. For 12 years, he led "Cabo Matapalo Sportfishing". On a 28ft Carolina Classic they released hundreds of big blue and black marlin and thousands of sailfish taking home some of the areas top tournament trophies on conventional tackle as well as on the fly. Fly fishing inshore for snook and offshore for big game on the fly kept the fly fishing bug going in the tropics. His pursuit of his passion has taken him to 5 continents to track down many species of gamefish. While Mike only speaks English and Spanish, he has interpreted the fishing waters around the world-from fly fishing for monster brown trout in Slovenia, to sail fishing in Indonesia. Every October he is recruited to Cabo San Lucas to try his luck at the famed Bisbee's $5 million jackpot, the Offshore and Billfish tournaments. Hennessy is a worldwide fly fishing adventure specialist in fresh water and saltwater species from brown trout to marlin. Contact Information: Mike Hennessy Hawaii On The Fly 1045 Koohoo Place Kailua, HI 96734-3274 Phone: Mike@HawaiiBonefishGuides.com http://www.HawaiiBonefishGuides.com