maui fly fishing guide

Maui Fly Fishing Guide: Tips, Locations and Species

You should consider Maui as your next fly fishing destination for its unique experience and favorable year-round fishing conditions.

Best Maui Fishing Charters

Experience the ultimate Hawaiian fishing adventure

  • Book now, pay later: Secure your date now and pay the the captain when you arrive.
  • Expert local guides who know the best spots.
  • World-class fishing in stunning Hawaiian waters.
  • Best Price Guarantee – Book today before it’s sold out.

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Fly Fishing in Maui – Key Takeaways

  1. Maui offers diverse saltwater and freshwater fly fishing opportunities with year-round favorable conditions.
  2. Popular fish species in Maui include bonefish, triggerfish, bluefin trevally, goatfish, barracuda, and olua (giant trevally).
  3. Best fly fishing locations in Maui are Kihei, Lahaina, and Kaanapali. The nearby island of Molokai has world-class bonefish fishing grounds.
  4. Essential gear and equipment include dry floating tropical line, flies with larger dumbbell eyes, and 15lb fluorocarbon tippet.
  5. Casting techniques include matching fly color to the bottom color, using strip set technique for bonefish, and practicing casting in the wind.
  6. Prioritize morning fishing sessions and pay attention to tide conditions for optimal success.
  7. Recommended fishing tours, local guides, and resources include Nervous Waters Fly Fishing Guide, Local Fishing Knowledge Fly Fishing Tours, Hawaii Fly Outfitters, and Keawe Adventure.
  8. Safety precautions involve using protective footwear, avoiding dangerous marine life, and snorkeling the beach to identify structure and observe fish activity.

Maui, known for its breathtaking landscapes and golden beaches, also offers an unparalleled fly fishing experience that draws angling enthusiasts from all over the world. Thanks to its unique blend of ecosystems and year-round favorable fishing conditions, this island paradise provides limitless opportunities for anglers to pursue a variety of fish species.

Nestled within the Hawaiian archipelago, Maui experiences consistent weather and water temperatures throughout the year, allowing for optimal fishing conditions. By taking advantage of specific local knowledge, tide patterns, and fishing techniques, anglers can capitalize on these favorable conditions to maximize their chances of success while fishing in Maui waters.

Reasons to Fly Fish in Maui

Reasons to Fly Fish in Maui

Diverse Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Opportunities

Maui offers an array of saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities, presenting anglers with the chance to explore various habitats and target a diverse range of fish species. From wading the flats in search of elusive bonefish to casting into the tranquil streams inhabited by vibrant peacock bass, Maui’s unique array of aquatic environments cater to every angler’s preferences.

Unique Habitat and Species Diversity Due to Volcanic Activity

The island’s volcanic origins and distinct biogeographic features have given rise to a flourishing marine ecosystem with a striking array of fish species. These unique conditions not only contribute to Maui’s extraordinary fish diversity but also provide an exceptional angling experience for those seeking to challenge their skills amidst the island’s pristine waters.

Excellent Chances of Catching Desirable Fish Species

Besides the sheer beauty of its landscapes, Maui is also home to an abundance of highly sought-after fish species prized by sportfishers and fly fishing enthusiasts alike. By employing effective fishing techniques, selecting the appropriate gear, and leveraging local knowledge, anglers can improve their chances of landing a memorable catch that will be the envy of their peers.

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Popular Fish Species in Maui

Popular Fish Species in Maui

Maui’s rich marine ecosystem is home to various alluring fish species, making it an ideal destination for fly fishers. Below are some popular species that anglers can target while fly fishing in Maui.


Maui is an excellent destination for bonefish enthusiasts, who can encounter both juvenile and mature specimens in the island’s shallow flats. Bonefish are known for their lightening-fast speed, making them a challenging and rewarding species to target on the fly.


Triggerfish, a striking and unique-looking species, inhabit the island’s surrounding waters. They are well-known for their striking coloration and powerful jaw strength, which allows them to feed on various crustaceans and small prey. Anglers will enjoy the challenge posed by these feisty fish when targeting them on the fly.

Bluefin Trevally

Among the many trevally species found in Maui’s waters, bluefin trevally are a favorite among fly fishers. Known for their stunning electric blue fins and powerful fighting abilities, these fish provide an exhilarating experience for those skilled enough to hook them on the fly.


Goatfish are a relatively common sight in Maui’s coastal waters, often spotted searching for food with their characteristic whisker-like barbels. While they may not be the most popular target for fly fishers, their unique appearance and fascinating feeding behavior can make them an interesting addition to any angler’s catch.


Barracuda, known for their razor-sharp teeth and explosive strikes, are a thrilling target for fly fishers in Maui. These predatory fish inhabit a variety of habitats, from shallow flats to deeper waters, often stealthily stalking their prey before launching a swift and powerful attack.

Olua (Giant Trevally)

Olua, also known as giant trevally, are the ultimate apex predators of Maui’s shallow water flats. These powerful and aggressive fish are highly prized by fly fishers for their incredible strength and intense battles once hooked. Anglers who pursue olua will find themselves facing one of the most exhilarating challenges in the world of fishing.

Best Maui Fishing Charters

Experience the ultimate Hawaiian fishing adventure

  • Book now, pay later: Secure your date now and pay the the captain when you arrive.
  • Expert local guides who know the best spots.
  • World-class fishing in stunning Hawaiian waters.
  • Best Price Guarantee – Book today before it’s sold out.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase

Best Locations for Fly Fishing in Maui

Best Locations for Fly Fishing in Maui

Maui’s diverse coastal and freshwater environments provide anglers with numerous fly fishing opportunities. Here are some top fly fishing locations on the island:


  1. Good flats to find bonefish: Kihei’s coastal flats offer prime territory for anglers searching for bonefish. The sandy bottoms and shallow waters make for an excellent stalking ground, allowing anglers to sight cast for these elusive fish.
  2. Favored spot for abundant fish species: Kihei’s waters are home to a wide variety of fish species, from trevally to goatfish. This biodiversity makes the area particularly attractive for fly fishers seeking a diverse and rewarding angling experience.


  1. Unique underwater structure: The coastal waters of Lahaina boast remarkable underwater structures that provide excellent habitat for many desirable fish species. The unique blend of sandy flats and rocky outcrops allows anglers to target different fish in a relatively small area.
  2. Plentiful fishing spots: Lahaina offers an abundance of accessible fishing spots along its coastline. Whether casting from shore or wading into the shallow waters, anglers can find numerous opportunities to pursue their target species throughout the region.
See also  Best Lahaina Fishing Charters: Kaha Loa & Maui Spearfishing


  1. Prospects of catching various fish species: Kaanapali’s clear waters and diverse marine life make it an ideal location for fly fishers eager to target a variety of species. The area’s underwater topography and fish species diversity can result in exciting action for anglers casting a fly.
  2. Best fly fishing locations during certain tide conditions: The angling success in Kaanapali can often be linked to favorable tide conditions. By understanding and utilizing local tidal patterns, fly fishers can improve their chances of hooking into a prized catch in this picturesque coastal setting.

Alternative location: Molokai – world-class bonefish fishery

For a change of scenery or an additional challenge, consider making a trip to the nearby island of Molokai. Boasting a world-class bonefish fishery, Molokai provides anglers with an unparalleled opportunity to catch this highly sought-after species in a pristine environment.

Fly Fishing Tips for Success in Maui

Tips for Fly Fishing

Enhance your fly fishing experience in Maui with these useful tips and strategies.

Gear and Equipment Essentials

  1. Dry floating tropical line: To optimize casting and presentation, choose a dry floating tropical line suitable for Maui’s warm waters.
  2. Recommended flies with larger dumbbell eyes: To ensure your fly sinks quickly in the water, use flies with larger dumbbell eyes that will help them reach the target depth faster.
  3. 15lb fluorocarbon tippet: Improve your catch rate by using a 15lb fluorocarbon tippet, which provides a balance between strength and invisibility underwater.

Casting Techniques and Strategies

  1. Matching fly color to bottom color: To increase your chances of attracting fish, match the color of your fly to the shade of the seabed, making it appear more natural to your target species.
  2. Use strip set instead of trout set when catching bonefish: The strip set technique helps maintain constant tension and reduces the risk of losing hooked bonefish, unlike the traditional trout set used in freshwater fishing.
  3. Practice casting in the wind: Since wind is common in Maui, it’s essential to practice casting in windy conditions to improve your accuracy and avoid casting difficulties while fishing.

Timing and Conditions for Success

  1. Prioritize morning fishing times: To make the most of ideal light and wind conditions, aim to fish during the morning hours when the sun is at your back.
  2. Favorable tide conditions for fly fishing: Understanding the local tide patterns and scheduling your fishing activities during optimal tide conditions can significantly improve your chances of success while fly fishing in Maui waters.

Fishing Tours, Local Guides, and Resources

Fishing Tours, Local Guides, and Resources

Discover the best fishing tours, local guides, and resources to enhance your fly fishing experience in Maui. (recommended local store)

  1. Buying tackle: Visit Nervous Waters for all your tackle needs. Their experienced staff can help you select the appropriate gear and supplies for your fly fishing adventures in Maui.
  2. Fly tying materials: With an extensive selection of high-quality fly tying materials, Nervous Waters ensures you have everything you need to create the perfect fly for your target species.
See also  Best Maui Spearfishing Charters: Species, Costs and Tips

Local Fishing Knowledge Fly Fishing Tours (guided tours)

  1. Jon Jon Tabon – experienced fishing guide: Entrust your Maui fishing adventure to Jon Jon Tabon, a knowledgeable and experienced local guide operating under the company Local Fishing Knowledge. Jon Jon has been recommended by many anglers who have traveled to Maui for fishing.
  2. Kayak fishing options: For another unique angling experience, consider booking a kayak fishing tour with Local Fishing Knowledge. Explore hidden spots and navigate shallow waters where larger boats can’t venture.

Hawaii Fly Outfitters (sight fishing for bonefish)

Join a guided tour with Hawaii Fly Outfitters, specializing in sight fishing for bonefish in Maui’s crystal-clear waters. Their experienced guides will provide invaluable local insights and ensure a memorable fly fishing experience.

Keawe Adventures (fly fishing tours)

Keawe Adventures offers tailored fly fishing tours led by knowledgeable and passionate guides. Their expertise will increase your chances of success and help you make the most of your fly fishing excursion in Maui.

Remember to Take Safety Precautions

safety precautions

Fly fishing in Maui’s unique environments requires adequate protection and care. Follow these safety precautions and make informed footwear choices for a safer, more enjoyable experience.

You Should Protect Your Feet

Protective footwear is essential when wading through Maui’s flats, rocky shorelines, and coral reefs. Sturdy wading boots or reef shoes can provide essential grip on slippery surfaces and protection against sharp or edged marine hazards.

Avoid Dangerous Marine Life (such as urchins)

Exercise caution when wading and be mindful of potentially dangerous marine life, like sea urchins. Getting too close or unintentionally stepping on these creatures can result in painful injuries. Treading slowly and carefully can minimize the risk of encountering such hazards.

Snorkeling the Beach to Identify Structure and Observe Fish Activity

Snorkeling along the beach you plan to fish, particularly during windy hours when fly fishing is more challenging, can provide valuable insights into the underwater structure and fish activity in the area. This knowledge will significantly improve your fishing tactics and help you identify productive spots when casting your fly.

Best Maui Fishing Charters

Experience the ultimate Hawaiian fishing adventure

  • Book now, pay later: Secure your date now and pay the the captain when you arrive.
  • Expert local guides who know the best spots.
  • World-class fishing in stunning Hawaiian waters.
  • Best Price Guarantee – Book today before it’s sold out.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase


Fly fishing in Maui offers unique opportunities to indulge in a diverse range of angling experiences, thanks to its fascinating marine ecosystem and year-round favorable fishing conditions. By selecting the right gear, practicing effective casting techniques, and relying on local knowledge, you can maximize your chances of landing an unforgettable catch.