What is the Best Time to Fly Fish Christmas Island?

Christmas Island is not only one of the most beautiful places on the planet but also one of the most cost-effective fly fishing destinations out there. Anglers are spoilt for choice with big bonefish and often have a shot at some monster GTs.

Located 1200 miles south of Hawaii and just 200 miles north of the equator Christmas Island forms part of the Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas). It is one of the largest coral atolls, so you can imagine the scenery and fishing to match.

Whether you are an experienced saltwater angler or not, and if wondering about the Pacific Ocean flats with a fly rod in hand excites you, you will be blown away by Christmas Island fly fishing. See also our post here on when is the best time for saltwater fishing.

Chrismas Island

christmas island

So what’s so special about Christmas Island? Well, it’s one of the best saltwater destinations in the world!

The endless hard sand flats, where experienced saltwater anglers can have great fishing conditions year-round, separate it from any other saltwater destination.

Know for its excellent bonefish and giant trevally fishing, it has an array of other species, yellow margin triggerfish and golden trevally, to name a few.

For front-range anglers hooking into yellowfin tuna or massive bonefish, Christmas Island is somewhat a fly fishing nirvana with rewarding fish being a regular occurrence.

Whether chasing bonefish in extremely shallow water or you are running through the endless flats after a 100cm Giant Trevally that’s chasing baitfish, Christmas Island offers all the fishing you will need.

Christmas Island has one of the world’s largest coral atolls, making for a fantastic flats fishing experience. So don’t bother bringing your backcountry fly fishing gear because there is no backcountry fishing here!

Christmas Island fly fishing will fulfill your wildest dreams and make lasting memories.

How to get to Christmas Island

Suppose you are an experienced saltwater angler returning to Christmas Island. In that case, you know the drill and routes to take, and you will also be familiar with the Christmas Island travel rules and regulations

Anglers generally spend Monday night in Hawaii and depart for the Island on a Tuesday morning. Upon arrival, after a quick 3-hour flight, you are greeted by the beachfront staff and facilities.

It I here where your week begins. You will find that Christmas Island has all the necessities needed for a great fly fishing trip. A worthy note is that your fishing license can also be purchased on the island.

Best time to fish Christmas Island

best time to fly fish christmas island

Fishing on Christmas Island can be tough that is why it is best to use the Christmas Island outfitters. These guides know the waters like the back of their hand, and this will give you the best opportunity to catch some memorable fish. 

Given the proximity of the island to the equator, the weather holds well, and most days out on the flats are great. The weather is generally great year-round, but the island does see an increase in activity from December to March as this is the winter-to-spring period in the US, and it’s more of a case of the anglers getting away from the cold than it is the conditions are prime on the Island.

Over the summer, the Southern Hemisphere anglers tend to dominate the booking sheets as the US anglers drop off slightly.

Best flies to use on Christmas Island

Targeting bonefish with flashier bonefish patterns works well. Below are some of the most productive patterns for the island.

christmas island special

It is a fly that works well for bonefish year-round. It’s most effective in the fall when the sky is clearer, and the brighter colors are visible from a distance.

The most popular colors are orange and pink in sizes #6-#8. This Christmas Island special is a shrimp pattern designed to target bonefish, but triggerfish and smaller trevally will also eat this fly with vigor.

CXI Worm

CXI Worm

A must in every fly box heading to Christmas Island. Best used on the sand flats where the worms can be found burrowing into the sand. Bonefish live this fly but don’t hesitate to cast it to tailing triggerfish.

The smaller fish with devour it, and their hook-crushing teeth will make short work of it. Make sure you carry a few of these patterns in green, red, and UV tan color combos.

Mantis Shrimp

mantis shrimp

They are used to target larger bonefish and triggers. This larger shrimp pattern imitates the most prominent shrimp in the surrounding waters. Carry a few for when you saltwater fly fishing and see those big bones passing.


Should I bring my non-angling spouse to Christmas Island?

The short answer is no! Christmas Island isn’t what we would deem luxurious, and while it is a very comfy stay for an angler, a non-angler could get a little uncomfortable. It’s best to make the trip with a group who aren’t after the trims but rather the fish.

What fish do you catch on Christmas Island?

Bonefish and GTs are the names of the game, but you should also be ready for a passing school of milkfish or a few tailing triggers.

Does the lodge provide tackle for its guests?

No. Anglers must bring everything they will need with them for the trip.


There is no doubt that Christmas Island is a fantastic fishery, and tremendous fun can be had. Whether blind casting poppers to massive cruising Geets or testing your saltwater flats fly fishing skills on a few bonefish, it’s a fishery that won’t disappoint.

So do things differently next time, choose to spend Christmas on Christmas Island, and you won’t be disappointed. You may just be gifted the best Christmas present ever!

Tight lines!

Photo of author

Kyle Knight

I’m a South African based fly fisherman who has been fly fishing and tying for the past 20 years. I enjoy targeting numerous fresh water species ranging from trout, carp and bass as well as our estuary species Grunter, Garrick and Kob. I have a funny thing that I can only use flies I have tied myself to catch fish.

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