Picture of the Month
Picture of the Month
A decent Smallmouth on Kaukonahua - November 26, 2006
12/2 - Palolo Adopt-a-Stream Cleanup. Contact William White
Quote of the Month
"The difference between fly fishers and worm dunkers is the quality of their excuses."
Sea-Level Fly Fishing
2pc 8' 5wt /w Line & Reel - $69
2pc 9' 5wt /w Line & Reel - $69
2pc 9' 8wt /w Line & Reel - $69

Arlen Meline
Okuma Integrity 1011 Reel - $69
2pc 9' 10wt - $99
Rod Tube for 2pc 9' rod - $29
A Kawakoi Rainbow
Arlen Meline

A Note From The President

By now I hope all of you have received our hardcopy letter in the mail. Much of what I would have said in this newsletter has already been said in our letter to the general membership.

There are some things Id like to mention that were not covered in detail that warrant your consideration. As we look forward to the New Year, we see opportunities to develop better working relationships with other organizations, particularly those who are actively involved in conservation issues and improving fishing here in Hawaii. Weve barely scratched the surface, and the opportunities are wide open. Since the trout we are interested in are located on Kauai, it is natural to want to focus our attention on the trout fishery there and enhancing it to the extent possible.

Opinions regarding the trout fishing on Kauai will likely vary. Some may consider trout fishing in Hawaii a mere novelty and not consider it worthy of developing and enhancing further. Many, however, think that the trout fishing in Hawaii could be or is on par with Mainland streams, particularly if habitat were improved and management measures were put in place to foster and sustain a trout fishery that we can all be proud of. I encourage all of our members to take an interest in the trout fishing potential of the Kokee State Park area. Please try to take time to visit this magnificent region and carefully consider the potential for a year round trout season in selected streams under special regulations. Thoughtfully discuss the issues you see with our Chapter membership and share your ideas. This has been going on periodically within the membership that resides here in Honolulu, and weve had some great exchanges. But to move forward also takes political clout, contacts and willingness to go on record taking a stand. A handful of members can and have done much of the ground work. Taking this concept to the next level requires the support of the entire membership, however, and therefore, we ask that you all become conversant with the issues, the potential you see and various pros and cons of improving the trout fishing here.

Finally, as we enter this season of celebration, let us keep in mind the reason for the season. Enjoy your friends and family. Be thankful for all that we enjoy as Americans and especially that which we enjoy here in Hawaii.

Best wishes for a great season and best wishes for health, happiness and success in the new year.

Very sincerely,

Arlen Meline, President of the Waikahe`olu Chapter of Trout Unlimited

In Da Spotlight!

Back of Sage Green Shirt
Front Logo of Sage Green Shirt
Front of Green Cap
Back of Green Cap

Trout Unlimited online store!

As part of our fund-raising efforts, we have started up a new online store for TU members and non-TU members alike. Our initial offerings are our chapter t-shirt as well as a chapter ball cap, both in a variety of colors and sizes! Shirts are running $20 for non-TU members and $15 for TU members. Ball caps are $20 regardless of membership. Prices do not include shipping costs

If the store does well, we may expand the product line. Funds raised go right back to the chapter to cover operating expenses (meeting room costs, vehicle maintenance & registration costs) as well as conservation efforts (sponsoring Katie Cassel's ginger eradication project in Kokee State Park in Kauai, rubbish removal from local watershed).

If you are a TU member and want the member prices, you need to be sure to specify your TU membership number when you are creating your store account. You will be sent an email (generally within 48 hours from the time you create your account) when you have been granted TU member pricing.

The store accepts all major credit cards. Support your chapter by going to http://www.tuhi.org/store/catalog!

We Need YOUR Help!

Much of the funding for local TU projects comes directly from our members. We have an annual banquet which also helps to raise funds, but we really would like to get our members involved - either physically (helping with projects) or monetarily. We are asking for $50-$100 dollar donations (which are 100% tax deductible) or more if you're feeling generous, or less if the budget is tight. Your donations are the primary funding source for TU events and activities (such as providing food for the recent Kokee Discovery Tour).

We have two methods available for you to make a donation.

Mail - Check / Money Order

Mail your check or money order (payable to "Trout Unlimited Chapter #403 ") to:

Deane Gonzalez
336 Kikoo Place
Honolulu, HI 96825

Online - Credit Card

You may make a donation with your credit card on our website through PayPal. Just go to www.tuhi.org/donate or click the nice button below:

You will be mailed back a tax form stating the date and amount of your donation and that it is tax deductible.

As always, if you have a story, picture, event, etc... that you would like to get into the newsletter, please email William White.

Community & Conservation

William White, a local Trout Unlimited member, is organizing an Adopt-a-Stream cleanup of Palolo stream on Saturday, December 2nd, at 9:30am.

The City and County of Honolulu Adopt-A-Stream Program is a litter education and cleanup campaign designed to encourage citizen-based stewardship of our local streams and channels. A few hours collecting litter from a portion of a stream helps establish a link between citizens, streams that serve as the mauka to makai connection, and their watersheds. You see firsthand how your cleanup work improves a stream’s quality and appearance.

The December 2nd cleanup focuses on Palolo Stream, from the 3rd avenue bridge that goes onto the Chaminade University of Honolulu campus to about a quarter-mile upstream. Refreshments will be provided. Participants should meet at the parking lot near the bridge. If you plan on attending, please contact William White (wwhite@chaminade.edu, 739-8371) as you will need to complete a liability waiver in order to participate.

Fishing Reports

Fishing Reports

Playing a hefty Smallmouth on Kaukonahua!
Playing a hefty Smallmouth on Kaukonahua!

Kaukonahua (North Fork)
November 26 - Small group of local TU members (Arlen, Deane, and Will & Malia) hiked back into the stream the "long" route. The water was slightly high and slightly off-color. The smallmouths were plentiful with the biggest at about 15" taken by Malia (her first decent sized smallmouth). Conditions were dry and partly cloudy.

Top Stories

Rainbow State Rainbows
By William White

Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon

Trout in the tropics? Yes. In fact, I just caught a beautiful, plump, healthy, sixteen incher here a few hours ago. It is the most geographically isolated place on the planet. It drains the highest and wettest swamp in the world. It flows into a canyon grand enough to get the title "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". It is in America. It is in, fittingly enough, the Rainbow State. Yes, it is right here in Hawaii.

Kokee State Park to be exact, on the island of Kauai. Fellow Trout Unlimited member Deane Gonzalez and I have spent the last two days on Kawakoi Stream. Deane has been imparting his knowledge of Kawakoi, Kauaikinana, Mohihi, Waialae, Koaie, and Waikoali streams to me. Don't worry if you can't pronounce what I just wrote. It's just part of what makes this place so special.

It's a common misconception that streams in Hawaii are too warm to support trout. The streams in Kokee snake their way through the mountains at around 3500-4000 feet, with an average summer water temperature of about 66-68°F. The last two days have been warm and sunny, which is not usually the case. You see, most of the streams in Kokee drain the Alakai Swamp, which in turn drains Mount Waialeale, which is the rainiest spot on Earth. The usual weather is a chilly perpetual mist and light rain which may or may not burn off by afternoon. But this time Deane and I are lucky, with the sunny weather we can easily see into the tea-colored pools from the high vantage points that trails, which run parallel to both sides of the stream, provide.

Good flies to try
The Kawakoi

I've learned that fly fishing for Rainbows in paradise does not come without its...difficulties. The most important thing I want you to know is that the fish are not plentiful. These streams used to be stocked, but the program was stopped several years ago because of concerns that the trout, an introduced species, were eating a species of rare endangered damselflies, which were native. Even though the local TU chapter teamed up with scientists from the Bishop Museum, conducted a four year study and proved that the trout were not eating the damselflies in significant numbers, the stocking program was never resumed by the State of Hawaii. So what the streams lack in numbers, they make up for in the size of the fish (with some fish upwards of 18 inches). Although there are no native trout in Hawaii, there are some wild trout, which are able to reproduce on a limited basis in some of the streams (Waialae, Kauaikinana, and Koaie).

A Kawakoi Rainbow
A Kawakoi Rainbow
A Kawakoi Waterfall
A Kawakoi Waterfall

This time on the Kawakoi, we are only running into a fish every couple of pools. And pools on the Kawakoi can be the length of football fields. Deep pools tangled with logs and lined with overhanging ginger and ferns. Pools that rest still as a statue, not betraying their secrets. But this is where the Kawakoi trout dwell. You'll find them along the deep cut banks of pools more so than in the foot-deep riffles and boulder strewn pocket-water that separate the pools.

The next thing you should know is not to expect to get to the streams easily. From the airport, you'll need to pick up a 4WD vehicle. If you don't get a 4WD, you'll regret it. I warned you! From the airport, you'll drive about 40 miles to the top of the canyon and experience a 15° drop in temperature.

Another five miles down the bumpy and sometimes downright scary Camp Ten Road and you'll be in the heart of Kokee trout country. Kawakoi has good access via trails running along both sides of the stream for a little over a mile. After that you're on your own. A machete might come in handy. If you're not whacking through the invasive ginger to get to the stream, or figuring out how to scale down a ten-foot stream bank, then you're not trying hard enough!

Good flies to try
Good flies to try

Tip #3 - leave your dries at home. I've never known a Hawaiian trout to rise to a dry fly. I could be wrong, but that has been my experience. And this is coming from the mouth of a religious dry fly fanatic. I've seen dragonflies as big as your fist, but never have I seen these trout tempted by them. The trout seem to prefer imitations that resemble tadpoles, frogs, or minnows. Crayfish are also present in the streams and may yield success. I've done well with modified San Juan worms and green wooly buggers (see pictures). I always add weight to my flies (either beadheads or lead bodies) to get them down to the fish faster.

A Kokee Sunset
A Kokee Sunset

Deane got skunked on the Kawakoi today. But that's just the way it goes here. Even if you don't catch a Rainbow here, it's not a total loss. You get a free serenade from tropical birds. You'll see rare and exotic flowers found nowhere else on Earth. You'll get incredible views you never expected. Every turn of the stream or trail in Kokee brings a new discovery.

After two nights of clear star gazing weather, an evening mist starts to roll in. And I can see a rainbow in the distance. If you've never pursued trout in a place like this, you've definitely got to come and check it out!

For more information, go to http://www.tuhi.org. Aloha!