Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hawaii Part 4 | My Feet Hurt

I was up at first light again and off down Waikiki beach. I had to be out there before the beach goers. This was the information told to me by all of the locals. I jogged down the beach to cast in the fishy looking spots. The hotel guests were pouring out of their beach front lobby's to watch the sunrise. It was amazing how many people were drinking that gross coffee with the green straw. The jetty was filling up and I had to pick up my pace to cover as much sand as possible before it was covered. It was barely past 0600.

I hate sand as I always say. So I ran through the gritty stuff as fast as I could to get see if this was the spot worth getting up pre-dawn each day (I won't not call this vacation. I was working.) to fish. I didn't see any tailing bones or other signs of fish. I managed to pull one more lizard fish from the ocean. This one was rather creepy with its bloodshot red eye. The fish took a tiny Clouser pattern of chartreuse and white. It was about the size we throw for shad on the Potomac.

By now I have reached "The Duke" statue and there are all sorts of people swimming. There are pavilions with all sorts of people playing cards and hanging out. Lots of homeless people and an odd amount of morbidly obese people with stolen grocery store scooters and they all have some of the worst edema of the lower extremities that I have ever seen.You want a picture of that? I'll spare you.

So I get to the pier thing where THW watched the pooch boogie board the other day. I walk out and see a man with an armful of those tiny pigeons. He is feeding them bread. He is on the open water side. I leave mr. soon to have bird SARS and head over to the other side, the enclosed pool side (where I caught fish yesterday) and see people feeding the fish.

Lots of people have gathered to watch the end of the sunrise and the hungry fish. Its probably 0700 something by now.
I chat up the guy fishing with bread. He is using a Tenkara style rod or 'telescoping pole' as they are called here. There is no reel, nor guides. The rod is a set of continually smaller in diameter sections that pull out from one another, like the toy light sabers at Target. They are compact in that they all fit inside the largest section. It is a rod and fishing technique developed in the Japanese mountains where there is no room to cast and no need to reel in the fish. Simply throw the bait or fly and wait for them to eat, then lift the line and fish out of the water. This is becoming more popular now around here.

He is using bread and catching all sorts of fish. Really cool tattoos on him too. I don't think I have see so many tats before. All body parts have ink around here. Faces, arms, hands, legs, rib cages etc. He is fishing for breakfast. Tells me that the lizard fish I caught is good bait. Tells me to go fish down the shore, but to watch out for the police, its all a sanctuary. I take off down the beach.

There is a rainbow back toward the hotel. You can see the concrete walls that form the swim pools. The waves come in and to fill and drain them.

So this sign is to the left of the next jetty. It is the middle white bar sticking out into the turquoise water below.

A tourist is there and he is feeding 2' long needle fish. There are all sorts of fish splashing the surface when I notice two pale green/blue fish along the bottom. Bonefish. Bonefish that are eating the bread balls sinking to the bottom. The local the other day was right, there are bonefish that eat bread here. The guy uses up all of his bread and takes off. I head down the jetty. There is a local lady there with a bag of white bread. She sees me holding my rod and says the following - I don't want to be mean but this is how it sounded: "you get outa here ri now! you go now. you no be near me wit fishing pole. illegal, dis is park. you go now. police on way, someone call dem by now. dey tink I wit you I now wan to get arrested you go now. get a way from me, go, I leaving, police on way, you go."

I got the hell out of there. This lady was tiny but scaring me. I continued down the park -to the left in the picture above. I decided to walk along the road toward Diamond Head (DH) where I had ended my trek the day before. I walked up the rod to DH and passed some beautiful houses. Lots of them had ornate copper gates on the driveways. There was a park between the houses do I went down there and found beach access, I clambered down the algae covered steps and got my feet wet. I started fishing the reefs.

Lots of pretty water and big houses but no fish. I come out to the next spot which I can't believe I don't have a picture of. There is a shallow reef with a big sea wall. The sea wall descends to the beach in a 3:4:5 shape triangle. Its a road. I see the tops of parked cars and a guy fishing from up there. I hop up and we start talking.

I'll summarize: he is local, fishes every day for food. Caught a bone that morning on bait and was going to toss it back but it got bashed up on the reef. its in a cooler. Its about 18" long. it is beautiful, silvery, big eyes, rubbery ventral mouth, forked tail. dead. His friend caught one the other day that was waist to toes. He measured, said about 15lbs. He was shocked. He lost his fly rod a few years ago, used to fish Oregon for steelhead. Tells me to use shrimp flies. Points to tailing bones just off the sand in the shallows of the reef. Says a school is moving through. A local walks up and offers to buy the fish. He says its free and the guy insists. Gives him $5 and walks off with breakfast. Says they are tasty. Guy tells me to walk down beach along DH where the reef drops off just off the shore. Lots of fish cruising by. He is packing up to head to Magic Island. Its 0830 and he wants to get a bigger fish. His minivan is packed with fishing gear. He tells me to use my tiny Clouser patterns to look like the tiny bait. Says my pink shrimp patterns will do too. We discuss the shape of the reef and how the fish come in with waves and then back out. He packs up and drives off. I head back to beach.

I fish the reef drop off for a while with no luck. I continue down the beach. Lots of old dudes just hanging around. One of them is behind a wall of  coral and lava chunks. He has an umbrella set up as if he is selling stuff. I see an old man with a dog in his backpack. He nods.

I see one guy bait fishing from a drop off. I continue and pass some surfers while casting. No fish. I settle into a nice drop off and after a few casts see an orange looking fish chase my fly. Not a bonefish but I'll go with it. I cast out again and it aggressively shoots out from under the reef ledge and takes the fly. The fight is on and I wrestle the fish to my feet. It is beautiful. Some sort of wras. All colors of the rainbow, like a schmear of rainbow sherbert.

I take my pictures and release the fish. I have a few more casts and realize I have planned to head to the fly shop today so I start fishing my way back. I head back down the beach, up the angled access road, and down the road along DH. My feet are starting to hurt. Too much walking. I have been walking for 4.5 hours straight now. its hot. I have to teak breaks to rest my feet on benches. I get back to the hotel around noon.

From the hotel I change and put on my flip flops. I pack the backpack with camera, audio recorder, and water bottle. I head out of the hotel using my map function on my phone. GPS did not work out there so I walked up to the canal which was full of those bug-eyed fish and shopping carts.

The feet are really hurting now. Maps said it was a 2.2 mile walk from the hotel. I take break from the heat in a kayak shop. The cold air welcomes me. I head up Kapahulu ave. I have not had anything substantial yet to eat. I pass a used aloha shirt store. So tempted but its not on my agenda. I pass Ono Hawaiian foods and want to stop but its a sit down. I hold off for plate lunch. I pass stores, streets, benches (where I sat to catch my breath and rest the feet) I go under the highway and am now officially out of tourist areas. This is Oahu that I would not have seen if not for the fly shop being up here. I head up the mountain. I pass schools, recycling centers, and a drive in. The drive ins here are more like walk up counters.

After an  hour or so of walking and checking the addresses with my map, I am there. Covered with sweat and dirt.  

Nervous Waters is tucked behind some small stores, just a tiny sign indicating its location.

3434 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, HI  
(808) 734-7359

I meet Sean Niesz who is behind the counter. He is talking to another person in town who wants to fish. His wife is there on business too. His name is Brent. The shop walls are covered with all sorts of materials. Every color of the rainbow. Pictures adorn the walls.

Here is one of a Kevin who grew up down the street from me. Fill in the blanks as to your reaction _______________.

There is a bookshelf covered with dusty books that I would have loved to sift through. A folding table occupies the center of the room. A vise and chairs surround the table. A shelf under the photos has plastic boxes of flies.

Sean takes out the flies and goes over them with us. Brent has some awesome looking patterns. He wants to throw huge crab flies. Be both start to realize that the flies we had tied might not be specific enough for the area. Sean talks alot about shrimps. We start our own piles of tying material. I go with a peachy colored super hair, some pink crystal flash, and lead eyes. I go with Mustad signature hooks. I had planned to use Sean's vise to tie my flies but we are talking too much.

Sean and Brent are discussing fly eye weight and sink rates. From bead chain to lead to other metals. I am so beat I just sit down and listen. We talk fly fishing locations, gear, companies, etc for more than half an hour. I exchange info with Brent in the hopes to meet up with him later in the week. I had wanted to get a podcast of what Sean was talking about but it was not the right time or conversation. I pay for my materials and hobble out the door.

I head down the mountain. I pass the drive in again and have to stop. Its now around 3ish and I have yet to eat. Kids are stuffing their face trying not to spill on their school uniforms.
I love me some plate lunch. I wish we had them around D.C. Meat of your choice, 2 scoops rice, 1 scoop mac salad. I order the teryiaki plate lunch and listen to the others order. This is a local place. It is not one of the tourist traps down by the beach. Love it.

My box of chow arrives and I have the lady fill  my water bottle. I as always take pictures of my food and start to eat it while walking.  It takes my mind off my foot pain.

I could lick this photo it looks that good to me. I LOVE PLATE LUNCH.
I head down the mountain, under the highway, and off to Safeway. I need some beer. That is my cure for the foot pain. Its unbearable by now. I get a 12 of cheap but strong stuff and go to the checkout. There is an option for Spanish at the register. Strange.

I pour 3 cans into my water bottle and decide to learn to use the bus system. I sit and sip my beer at the bench. 5 min and no bus, 10 min and no bus. 15 min and I say screw it. I can hobble a bit easier now and can pick up the bus down the road. I start walking. I come to a recycling center after about 8 blocks. I drop of my empties and hand a beer to the guy working there. With .20 in my pocket I call Tom to check in. He helps me pass the time on my walk. I now pass the canal and head to the beach. I take a break on the curb and realize that bus never passed me. Good thing I didn't wait for it. I have to be back at the hotel by 5pm to meet THW. Its now 4:30ish. I follow the road along  the beach and eventually make it back to the hotel. She is delayed so I start tying my flies.

Remember, I have no vise. I take a pair of hemostats, clamp the hook, and start wrapping material. I come up with this pattern.

THW shows up and we head to the place that was grilling with garlic yesterday. We order and sit down. She gets the garlic shrimps. I get the garlic chicken. If I burp I can still taste it. Awesome meal. I hobble back to the hotel to watch the sunset and finish my flies. I named them garlic shrimps.

I'll take Sean up on his advice and fish it in the morning.

I walked for almost 13 hours straight !


  1. ever figure out what kinda fish that rainbow colored one was?

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