The Villages Lodge – 2017 Mid Year Trip Report

THE VILLAGES LODGE ON KIRITIMATI

Reconstruction Progress

The reconstruction has taken a little longer than anticipated due to the lack of materials. This has been rectified with the arrival of the supply ship. The nails for the coil nail gun and the framing gun I took over will also help speed up the progress.

The thatched roof “madonna” meeting house and the adjoining two story building are originals. The building attached is currently the dining room and will eventually be a meeting area when the new dining room is completed. The building at the far end is reception and a couple of offices.

This is the roof structure forming the lobby open area adjoining the reception. Opening off the side is the new dining room with a curved ceiling. The tiles have recently arrived so it should be in use in a couple of weeks. The kitchen is located through the door at the end of the dining room.

 

The plan below shows the final layout of the dining room, kitchen and reception in more detail.

Fishing

The fishing on the full moon and the next quarter was excellent. Weather was kind with only one day with a small amount of rain and some days with a small amount of cloud to make spotting interesting. Lots of bonefish in the 3-4lb range with a number over 6lb landed. Orange (surprise, surprise) was the predominate colour selected by the guides for flies. A light fly with gold or rootbeer krystalflash body with no tail, brown bead chain eyes, tan wing and two strands of flash as over wing worked well on the skinny water sand flats. When conditions are suitable in front of the lodge, that is rising tide in the morning with little wind overnight so the water is clear, bonefish from 3 to 6lb are being caught. Plenty of triggers and trevally around the 30lb were caught at a number of locations around the lagoon but the big GT’s proved to be illusive. Sue Johnson can be seen fishing with one of the new trainee guides. ….great at spotting fish but language is a problem.

 

A few more fishing pics from the groups.

 

   

Luggage

No CXI luggage was offloaded in four weeks. After the numerous representations over the years to Fiji Airways about luggage non arrival and just when we thought that the message had finally got through, it happened again. All was OK until the flight on the 9th August when the luggage for 14 fishermen inbound for the Villages (plus others) was offloaded in Fiji due to supposed weight issues. I have a message referring to information supplied by FJ Ground Operations that says that a total of 94 bags were offloaded. We are told that baggage has a priority over freight, but in light of what has happened, this is hard to believe. When the aircraft is overweight because of the volume of fuel that has to be carried, luggage bound for Honolulu is usually offloaded before anything else. This time, with a number of 94, it appears that the majority of baggage was off loaded. The only people who got bags were those who had priority stickers from business class, Qantas and Tabua Club.

This appears to be a random situation, however to be on the safe side, taking a couple of simple precautions will help. Make sure your luggage is within the weight limits and that it is clearly marked as fisherman’s luggage for CXI. Remember, you are relying on the intelligence of the baggage handlers not to take off the first bags they see. As an additional precaution against the non-arrival of your bags, pack boots, socks, fishing clothes and essential medications in your carry on……no reels or rods are allowed to be carried on and need to be packed in checked luggage. We have been presented with another idea to make sure the group members have rods and reels to use and we will pursue the viability of this option.

Even though this could have been a trip destroying event, Fiji Airways agreed to deliver the bags on a special flight on Friday the 11th. To assist them out for the two days before the arrival of their luggage, the outgoing group hosted by Darren Asquith of Untamed Flies and Tackle lent the necessary gear to tide them over. Great to see a camaraderie display like this between fishermen who don’t know each other.

2018 Dates

These are the dates block booked for 2018 season. If these don’t suit, email me with your preferred dates and I’ll check availability. Bear in mind that the first 6 months of the year are usually fairly heavily booked by fishermen from the US and, as a consequence, vacancies during that period may be limited.

4-11 July – Booked

11 – 18 July – New Moon 13 Jul

18 – 25 July -First Quarter 20 Jul

25 July – 1 August – Booked (but still 6 positions available)

1 – 8 August – Third Quarter 3 Aug

8 – 15 August – New Moon 11 Aug

18 – 22 August – Booked

22 – 29 August– Booked

29 August – 5 Sept – Third Quarter 3 Sep

5 -12 September – Booked

2018 Costs

Cost for a week has risen marginally to $2950. On bookings made through Try on Fly only, we will consider a small discount for clubs and on the second week of a 2 week stay. This still represents good value for 7 days fishing with one guide per angler. Airfares range between $1200 and $1400 depending on how far in advance the booking is made.

 World Championships 2019

It is all systems go for a team to travel to Tasmania to participate in the World Fly Fishing Championships from 29th November to 8th December 2019. It is planned to have the team in Australia by mid-November to do some preliminary training before the competition commences.

The team consists of 5 anglers plus a reserve. The initial team members selected from left are:

Patrick, Ben, Eketi (Team Captain), Tiima (singing dancing and face of the team) Kim and Menty. The last member Tatoa was not available when the photo was taken.

Apart from Eketi, these are all young guides who have been trained over the last couple of years and have displayed exceptional ability and have received good reports from visiting fishermen.

It will be a major commitment for the lodge to raise $4,500 for each member of the team to cover airfares, entry fees and accommodation during the competition. To assist with the fund raising, the lodge will have donation boxes strategically positioned at the bar and reception so that visiting fishermen can make a donation. I will cover Tiima’s airfares from my funds.

An ex-member of the Australian Team has offered to go to CXI to undertake preliminary training with the team. You may well ask what training can be done on the island? There a couple of flats that have channels with strong currents on the run out tide and are suitable for teaching nymphing techniques. The two small fiberglass boats can be used for basic techniques for lake fishing with sinking lines.

It is planned to cover the team’s preparation and participation in the event in a documentary and, as well, some other major promotions are planned so that the island obtains maximum exposure from the teams visit.

Some additional fund raising will be undertaken to assist with transport costs, accommodation/food during the training period, airfares to Tassie for our chef Alfie Kither, casual footwear, bags for their gear, uniforms, equipment, warm clothes etc etc…..the list goes on.

A separate post will follow giving details on how you can assist in this once in a lifetime opportunity for these guys to experience a little portion of the world outside the small island that is CXI.

Cheers

Nial Logan

niall@learntoflyfish.net or Phone 0417 426 282

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