I had a great chat with Captain Rick Lee to talk about Hawaii Fly Fishing with a focus on bonefish.  Rick breaks down some great tips if you are heading to Hawaii and more specifically, the island of Maui.  We talk about casting tips for the wind, how to strip retrieve and how you can put together a DIY trip of your own.

We also cover the best flies and why dumbbell eyes are key, where bonefish live 80% of the time and how you can maximize the time while you are out there.  We dig into the best places to find bones including specific areas where flats are available.


Click below and listen to the Hawaii Fly Fishing Podcast with Captain Rick Lee:

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Show Notes with Captain Rick Lee

11:22 – Here’s a photo of a Triggerfish which has a unique looking face and teeth that are somewhat human looking from the backwoods.

12:44 – The bluefin trevally and the goatfish are two other species you can find in Maui.

14:00 – Peter Morse was on the podcast in episode 111 to talk about the diversity of Australian fishing.  One of my favorite quotes was Peter talking about the biggest challenge being which rod to choose.

31:00 – The AirFlo bonefish lines are discussed here.

43:20 – Rick describes what an Atol is and how it relates to the Hawaiin islands.  The lava section erodes over time and leaves more habitat perfectly suited for bones and other species.

50:50 – You can call Pete at SSFlies out of Maine for great salt water flies.   Enrico Puglisi flies are another good resource on finding high quality custom flies.

53:20 – Hareline is a great resource for fly tying materials.

1:00:16 – Nervous Waters is a local shop you can check out if you are heading to Hawaii.

1:01:30 – Stick with the Crazy charlie in dark brown or olive or orange.  Lead eyes are a must.   Terry Duffield came up with the Spam and Eggs along with Puglisi.

1:06:15 – I noted the Landon Mayer episode and the foam noodle tip for holding your rigs.

1:11:30 – FishChristmasIsland.com is another good resource for that area.



You can reach Rick at BonefishHawaii.com


Top Tips for Hawaii Fly Fishing:

  • Use a dry floating tropical line
  • Find Knee deep to thigh deep water
  • Shoot for low tides in the am to avoid wind
  • There are good flats near Kihei
  • There are good flats between Lahaina and Kaanapoli.
  • Use 15lb flourocarbon tippet
  • Use flies with larger dumbell eyes so you can get down quicker.
  • Look for sandy channels between breakers
  • Don’t walk fast and avoid making noise and crunching corral.
  • If on dark bottom, use dark fly and if on light bottom use light flies.
  • Make sure to have a deceiver pattern in your box if blind casting
  • Mornings are better because you have the sun and wind at your back.
  • Remember to strip set, no trout set.
  • Make sure to bring good footwear shoes or boots to protect your feet.
  • Rubber legs


Resources Noted in the Show

We talked about two great areas to find bonefish including near Kihei and over between Lahaina and Kaanopoli (See maps below).

Red dot marks location at Lahaina

Lahaina fly fishing map
Good flats here between Lahaina and Kaanapoli.


Red dot marks location at Kihei

kihei fly fishing

Videos Noted in the Show

A Christmas Island Video

Bonefish on fly fishing in Christmas Is. /Sony FX-1000 from Masanori Sarai on Vimeo.



rick lee fly fishing
photo via: https://bonefishhawaii.com/


Conclusion with Captain Rick Lee

Rick Lee breaks down a ton of tips for fishing Hawaii with a focus on Maui.  He also walks us along the rest of the hawaiin islands and christmas island.  Rick shares some great tips on places to start, flies to use, techniques and how to find your first bonefish in hawaii.