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Shopping: Tie One On

A look inside Nervous Water, the only fly-fishing store in the Islands.


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Nervous Water offers custom-tied saltwater flies, as well as fishing reels and fish tales. photo: Daeja Fallas
Fly-fishing is still a novelty in Hawai‘i, so the owners at Nervous Water often serve as teachers; they’ll show you how to put all those bucktails and feathers together and give you advice on how to use them. The shop carries an astonishing number of hand-tied flies, as well as the arcane materials you need to tie your own. (For those of you who don’t fish, “nervous water” refers to a subtle change in the surface of water, a sign that fish are stirring below.)

Stan Wright, the Hawai‘i fishing personality from Let’s Go Fishing, gives a tongue-in-cheek warning in his slow Texas drawl, “Never let these guys give you a fly. Naturally it’s going to catch a fish and you’re gonna have to come in and buy all the stuff that goes into making it.” Nervous Water has become a gathering place for characters like Wright, with their preposterous (but perhaps true?) tales of saltwater fly-fishing. Between the fanciful flies and the old-timers bellying up to the bar, there’s something for everyone. Nervous Water; 3434 Wai‘alae Ave., 734-7359, or visit www.nervouswaterhawaii.com.

Did you know that Hawai‘i has both fresh and saltwater fishing?

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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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