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Let’s be honest, if you are into saltwater fly fishing then fly fishing in Seychelles has probably been on your bucket list for a while. I have been fly fishing for around 30 years now and Seychelles certainly lives up to its reputation as the best saltwater fly fishing on the planet in my opinion.
Table of Contents
- My Experience Fly Fishing in Seychelles
- Why Fly Fish in Seychelles?
- 10 Best Islands & Atolls For Fly Fishing in Seychelles
- Fly Fishing in Seychelles Regions
- Seychelles Fly Fishing – Fish Species
- Best Flies For Seychelles
- Seychelles Fishing Season
- Seychelles Fishing Report
- Best Fly Shops in Seychelles
- Seychelles Fly Fishing Licenses
- Fly Fishing Guide Services in Seychelles
- Fly Fishing Lodges in Seychelles
- FAQs About Fly Fishing in Seychelles
I was lucky enough to get a job guiding with Alphonse Fishing Company and over my three years there I saw what Seychelles fly fishing has to offer. It is a place that is hard to describe.
Between the stunning flats, white sand beaches, and abundance of marine life – it is a paradise. Add to this species like GTs, bonefish, permit, triggers, and milkfish, you are truly in saltwater fly fishing nirvana.
More Fly Fishing Destinations
My Experience Fly Fishing in Seychelles
The best fly fishing in Seychelles is between September and June and for 3 years I was lucky enough to guide this 9 month season. Fishing 6 days per week, every week for 9 months certainly gave me a lot of exposure to this fly fishing paradise.
We would take skiffs around the atolls each day and do a mixture of poling and wading, following the tides to target one specific species after the next. From bonefish to sailfish, almost every player is there and they are willing to take a fly.
I spent the majority of my time fishing and guiding on Alphonse and St Francoise Atolls which are in the outer islands of Seychelles, an hour’s flight from the main island of Mahe. However, there are fish to be found all over this island nation and you can find all the info so that you can chase them yourself below.
Why Fly Fish in Seychelles?
Why fly fish in Seychelles? This is actually quite a hard question to answer as there are so many reasons to go and cast a fly there. For me, it is the huge diversity of species that call the flats of Seychelles home which are all wrapped up in some of the most beautiful environments one could imagine.
You’ll see sharks, turtles, and manta rays while casting to thousands of bonefish, that trophy GT, and lots more. There is nowhere in the world quite like it!
10 Best Islands & Atolls For Fly Fishing in Seychelles
The Seychelles is home to 115 islands in total, all of which are home to fish that would gladly inhale a well-presented fly. However, not all the islands are as good as the next when it comes to fly fishing, and as the story always goes, the best Seychelles fly fishing is on the more remote islands/atolls.
Below, you will find the best fishing spots in Seychelles along with some DIY areas you can catch fish on that don’t involve an internal flight and burning a hole in your wallet.
Mahe is the main island of Seychelles and it is where your international flight will land. It is not the best fishing island in Seychelles, but it is the most accessible.
With a large local population, a lot of the flats fish have been harvested for sustenance, but there are quite a few flats around the island that still hold fish.
Hire a car, drive to the more remote beaches of the islands, and walk the flats from mid-tide going out to mid-tide coming in. You might be lucky enough to see some permit, golden trevally, and more. You can also take a boat out and try catching some GTs, sailfish, wahoo, and more on the fly with a local skipper.
Sitting north of Mahe is Bird Island. This is a private island that you can walk around in an hour and its flats are home to bonefish, trevally, and lots more species. You can get to Bird Island by boat or a short internal flight, and it is a luxury island when it comes to accommodation too.
You’ll need to bring your own fly gear and flies too. A tan or red brush fly will do the trick for the trevally and some white flexo crabs and some small shrimp flies will work for triggers, bones, and permit.
Denis is a private island north of Mahe and east of Bird Island. This island is renowned for its billfish on fly and if you would like to catch a marlin or sailfish with your fly rod, it is an excellent (albeit expensive) place to do it.
The flats around the island are also home to bonefish, permit, and GTs, making it one of the best fishing islands in Seychelles.
To fish on Denis Island, you have to stay on the island and your booking would include the internal flight from Mahe.
Poivre Atoll is a flight away from Mahe and it is home to some of the best Indo-Pacific permit fishing on the planet. However, access is not easy and there is no accommodation. Small to medium flexo crabs are ideal, along with brush flies for the GTs.
To fish here you will need to stay at Desrcohes Island and book some flats fishing through them, take a liveaboard and anchor off the island, or fly in and out on the same day.
Desroches is a private island that is run by the Four Seasons Hotel. It is not a great island for flats fishing but it does have some excellent offshore fishing if you are looking to catch a wahoo or sailfish on the fly.
It is also your gateway to fishing for the hundreds of permit that call Poivre home.
The best way to access it is by internal flight from Mahe or you can make it a stop off while doing a liveaboard trip around the islands of Seychelles.
Alphonse & St Francois Islands
Alphonse and St Francois are in the outer islands of Seychelles, an hour’s flight from Mahe. These islands are home to some of the best fly fishing in Seychelles and are the HQ for Alphonse Fishing Company. You’ll fly into Alphonse Island, stay at the fishing lodge, and be taken fishing on world-class skiffs by some of the best guides around.
You can target everything from bonefish to triggers, GTs, milkfish, permit, wahoo, and sailfish on fly on these islands. Plus, the fishing team looking after you are some of the best.
Sitting even further away from Mahe is Farquhar Island, which is also run by Alphonse Fishing Company. This is a unique island, home to huge GTs, bump-head parrot fish, permit, triggers, and a few bonefish. It is exclusively a fly fishing lodge and has excellent guides, skiffs, and some of the top saltwater fly fishing in the world.
It gets booked up quite far in advance so be sure to make an enquiry sooner rather than later if you want to plan a trip here. Getting there involves quite a long flight from Mahe which often stops at Alphonse on the way.
Astove Island is closer to Madagascar than it is to Mahe and it is another island run by Alphonse Fishing Company. It has a lodge that caters to 8 anglers and you can chase GTs, permit, bonefish, and many more species while staying there.
What makes it quite unique are its huge lagoon and many oceanside flats. Most of the fishing at Astove is wade fishing, and the days are long so be sure that you are fit enough for the challenge.
Cosmoledo, aka “Cosmo”, has a reputation for being the GT capital of the world. When the fishing is hot, one person can land 30+ GTs in a single day! It is not only home to GTs as you can also target bonefish, permit, triggers, bluefin trevally, milkfish, and go offshore for big yellowfin tuna and more.
Cosmo is also run by Alphonse Fishing Company and it is booked 3 years in advance. The camp is idyllic, the guides excellent, and you will be treated to some of the best fly fishing in the world. This is also a place where you can wade or boat fish, so you do not need to be fit as a fiddle to fish there.
Providence Atoll might just be home to the best fly fishing in Seychelles. There is nowhere to stay on this atoll meaning the only way to fish it is by taking a liveaboard yacht there with guides who know what they are doing. It is probably this remoteness that has kept it more pristine than all the other atolls in Seychelles.
The fishing area is huge and it is home to an abundance of GTs, permit, bump-head parrot fish, bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish, and lots more. If you want to tick the best off your list on your first trip to Seychelles, then heading to Providence is my advice.
Fly Fishing in Seychelles Regions
The islands of Seychelles are split into island groups or “regions” and all the islands I mentioned above, where you will find the best fishing in Seychelles, are a part of the Island Groups mentioned below.
Inner Islands Archipelago
The Inner Islands Archipelago of Seychelles are the islands on and around the Mahe Bank, a shallow bank of water around the main island of Mahe. These include Mahe, Denis, Bird, Praslin, La Digue, and many more islands.
The offshore fishing here is excellent and the flats fishing is okay, for great flats fishing you want to look to the more remote island groups below.
The Amirantes Islands begin to the south of Mahe and run all the way to the Alphonse Group. The best fishing islands in the Amirantes include Poivre, Desroches, Alphonse, and St Francois. The flats fishing and the offshore fishing are excellent in this area.
The Farquhar Group is home to Farquhar Island/Atoll and Providence Atoll. This island group might just be the best place to go saltwater fly fishing in the world, although they are very remote, hard to get to, and expensive to fish.
The Aldabra Group is the outermost island group of Seychelles and is home to Aldabra Atoll, Assumption Island, Cosmoledo Atoll, and Astove Island. This is also one of the top parts of the world to do some saltwater fly fishing but again, it is both remote and expensive.
Seychelles Fly Fishing – Fish Species
What makes the Seychelles such an incredible place to go fly fishing is the variety of species you can catch while fishing there. These aren’t just “any species” either, these are some of the most sought-after fish you can catch on a fly rod.
In just one week, you can catch the majority of the list you will find below, and there are lots more that I haven’t listed either.
Giant trevally, aka ‘GT’, ‘Geet’, and ‘gangster of the flats’ is the fish species at the top of most fly anglers’ lists when going to Seychelles.
Growing up to 140+ cm in length, you will find these on the white sand, in the surf, in lagoons, along beaches, and along drop-offs. Big flies such are brush flies, poppers, and sempers are your best bet in size 6/0 or 4/0.
You will find milkfish shoaling up along current lines on the outside of the atolls or inside the lagoons. They grow to over 1 meter in length, jump when hooked, and can take over 1 hour to land. They don’t eat your fly, you have to floss them using an Arnos Milky Dream fly, weighted to unweighted.
The bonefish in Seychelles are about as catchable as bonefish can be, and usually they are on an open sand flat so there is nothing for them to break you off on.
Seychelles bones go to around 75 cm max, which is about 7 to 8 lbs. They will always follow a shoreline or be on the high shallow spots around the atoll. Pillow talks and gotchas are the way to go.
Indo-Pacific Permit are the golden nuggets of the flats in Seychelles and perhaps the hardest of all the species to catch. Use a small tan or white flexo grab with an 8 lb tippet to fool these creatures. You will find them on the white sand or mottled bottoms most of the time but they can also be in the surf too.
Moustache Triggerfish live around coral, whether inside the atoll or close to the reef in the surf. They can’t swim so well and usually avoid strong currents due to this.
On neap tides, they will be spread out around the atoll, close to the surf, and on the coral fingers.
On spring tides, look for them tailing in knee-deep water close to the surf line on the outgoing/incoming tide. Flexo crabs and spawning shrimp flies are excellent for these fish.
Yellow-margin triggerfish follow a similar routine to that of the moustache triggerfish and the same flies work well for these fish too. However, you can also find Yellow Margins on the white sand, especially where some coral meets the sand in a lagoon. Not all the atolls hold lots of these, but there are quite a few that do.
Bluefin Trevally, the GTs little brother, is about as pretty as a fish can get. They love to eat everything from baitfish to crabs and shrimps so you can use the GT flies mentioned above as well as flexo crabs and shrimp flies to catch these guys. You will find them in similar places to GTs too.
Bump-Head Parrot Fish
You can only catch Bump-Head Parrot Fish when they come onto the flats to feed. You will spot their tails from miles away and they can be caught on either Providence or Farquhar atolls.
These fish do not technically “eat the fly” and you are stripping across a feeding shoal hoping for a mistake to happen. Heavy flexo crabs are best for these.
There are quite a few sailfish on the edges of the atolls in Seychelles and they are a ton of fun to catch. A large billfish fly rigged with two hooks and a popping head is needed for these creatures. The crew will tease in the sailfish and once it is behind the boat, the boat should go into neutral and you can cast to it. They are all over the atolls of Seychelles.
While teasing for sailfish in Seychelles you will also raise a lot of wahoo, especially around Alphonse and Desroches. They are a lot of fun to catch and can push 40+ lbs. Use the same fly as you would for sailfish, just make sure it is rigged with wire so they do not bite you off. Expect eats that have you setting the fly while it is 20 ft in the air.
Seychelles sees a lot of small blue marlin coming through its waters in April, especially off Denis Island. This is an amazing place to target blue marlin on the fly as you can raise more than 40 fish in a day. You’ll need a 14 wt fly rod and a big marlin fly to get the job done.
Seychelles is home to a ton of yellowfin tuna and there is nothing quite like casting a fly in a boiling shoal of them.
The biggest I have caught in Seychelles (not on the fly) is 87 kg (191.4 lbs) however the average fish is around 20 lbs. The same brush flies and poppers for GTs will work for these also and you’ll find them in the deep water outside the atolls.
Best Flies For Seychelles
When packing your fly box for a fly fishing trip to Seychelles you want a range of saltwater imitations to suit the species you are targeting at any given time. These include baitfish, crabs, and shrimp imitations the best of which you will find below.
When targeting GTs and Bluefin on the flats you’ll be fishing baitfish flies. It is important to have a range of colors and sizes from 4/0 to 6/0.
- Flaming Lamborghini: A bright red fly with a touch of yellow, this is a deadly pattern to use when walking the surf.
- Semper: A large fly with an excellent baitfish profile, this is deadly in olive, black/purple, and tan.
- Magnetic Minnow: A stunning variation of a brush fly with an irresistible action when stripped, best in tan/white and chartreuse/white.
- EP Baitfish: In black/purple in a smaller 4/0 size, this fly is deadly and easy to cast – it is my go-to in all GT situations
- Salty Clouser: A great fly on deeper flats in tan/gold if you can handle casting the extra weight of the dumbbell eyes.
Everything in the ocean eats a crab and you’ll not only need these for triggers and permit, but all the wonderful reef species that call the Seychelles home too.
- Flexo Crab: You should have at least 15 flexo crabs in your box in tan, white, orange, and olive varying across sizes and weights too, everything eats them.
- Raghead Crab: A great fly for all situations especially when the fish are being off and want to see something new.
- EP Crab: Another great one to have in your box for variation in olive, tan, and white.
- Strong Arm Merkin: A great choice in tan color when targeting triggerfish in deep water
- Chernobyl: If the tailing triggers are being overly selective, present one of these in tan or olive
Having a large selection of shrimp flies is also a must. You’ll use these for bonefish and triggerfish more than anything else, but a permit will also swallow them up too.
- Pillow Talk: In white/chartreuse this is the most deadly bonefish fly to use in Seychelles.
- Gotcha: When fishing for bonefish or permit on the sand, this fly can work wonders when others don’t.
- Golden Knight: Another excellent goto fly for when the bonefish are being a bit selective
- EP Spawning Shrimp: Triggerfish find this fly impossible to resist, fish it before everything else when targeting them
- Spawning Mantis: With its rubber legs and orange egg sack, triggerfish find this one had to resist. Fish it on calm days when soft landings are key
On top of all the flies mentioned above, there are a few more that you’ll need if you want to target all the species on offer in Seychelles.
- Arnos Milky Dream: Green, floaty, and THE fly to use when casting into a shoal of milkfish
- NYAP: A must-have popper when fishing on the outside of the atoll for GTs, best in black 6/0
- Double Barrel Popper: Another popper that needs to be in your box for GTs in deep water and channels
- Sailfish Fly: 24cm long with a popping head and rigged with 2 hooks in black/purple or blue/white – ideal for sailfish, wahoo, and blue marlin
Seychelles Fishing Season
The Seychelles fishing season runs all year round, however, the fishing is focussed between the months of mid-September to mid-May. This is when the north monsoon (the calmer monsoon with less wind) makes the seas calmer and the wind a lot slower for easier casting.
However, this is also when the Seychelles gets quite a bit of rain. The months of November and December can be very wet in Seychelles so I would recommend going there from Feb to April if you want some better weather.
When it comes to flats fishing, Seychelles is consistent all year, however, you need sun in order to see the fish and lower winds to be able to cast well too. This is why the season is between mid-September and mid-May.
Seychelles Fishing Report
I am pretty sure every Seychelles fishing report is quite similar to the Seychelles fly fishing report you are about to see below. The last time I was there, the place was on fire as far as the fishing goes.
There were thousands of bonefish willing to take a fly, plenty of spooky permit to cast to, triggers everywhere, GTs, and lots more.
Something to be aware of when going to the Seychelles is that you are not guaranteed to catch a fish and you do need to practice before you get there in order to make the most of it.
If you can’t double-haul or cast a 12-weight rod then you will spend the first 5 days of your trip working this out, and missing fish while you do – it is an expensive training session and one that infuriates Seychelles fishing guides (even if they still have a smile on their face).
Best Fly Shops in Seychelles
There are very few fly fishing shops in Seychelles, in fact, there are none at all on the main island of Mahe. It is best to bring everything you need with you when doing a DIY trip.
However, there is a fly shop on every island that Alphonse Fishing Company runs which includes Alphonse, Cosmo, Astove, Farquhar, and Desroches. They have rods/reels for hire, fly lines, flies, tippet, and lots more.
Seychelles Fly Fishing Licenses
There are no requirements to have a fishing license in Seychelles when recreational fishing, whether you are on a boat or walking the shore.
Fly Fishing Guide Services in Seychelles
1 paragraph briefly summarizing the types of services in Seychelles. Search google maps for top rated ones, or google it. Link to the service website. Always link to one you’ve used if it’s good.
- Website: https://www.flycastaway.com/
- Phone Number: +27 11 234 1450
Fly Castaway offers a guided liveaboard trip to Providence Atoll during the peak weeks of the season and are an excellent operation to fish with.
Alphonse Fishing Company
- Website: https://alphonsefishingco.com
- Phone Number: +27 60 980 7316
Alphonse Fishing Company offers guided fishing and accommodation on most of the outer islands of Seychelles including Poivre, Desroches, Alphonse, Farquhar, Cosmoledo, Astove, and Providence.
Fly Fishing Lodges in Seychelles
There are not too many Seychelles fishing lodges, well not as many as one might expect from an island nation with such great fishing. However, the operations below all have excellent guides and high-end luxury accommodation for you to enjoy.
- Website: https://www.flycastaway.com/
- Phone Number: +27 11 234 1450
If you want to fish Providence then Fly Castaway are a great operation to go with. You’ll stay on a liveaboard, fish with excellent guides, and have an amazing time!
Alphonse Fishing Company
- Website: https://alphonsefishingco.com
- Phone Number: +27 60 980 7316
Having worked for Alphonse Fishing Company, I can honestly say they run an incredible operation. Their lodges on Alphonse, Farquhar, Cosmoledo and Astove are stunning, and their liveaboard vessel is very comfortable for trips to Poivre and Providence.
- Website: http://denisisland.com/
- Phone Number: +24 8428 8962
For the best chance of a blue marlin on fly as well as sailfish and wahoo, Denis Island is the place to go. However, they are not fly fishing specialists so you’ll need to bring your own tackle.
FAQs About Fly Fishing in Seychelles
Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about fly fishing in Seychelles. If your question isn’t answered below, then please ask it in the comment sections at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Fishing in Seychelles is rather expenisve, especially as you have to fly there first. The most afforable way to do it is to DIY fish around Mahe Island. To stay at one of the lodges, you are looking at around $15k pp for a week of fishing.
Yes, most of the fly fishing in Seychelles is done by wading from the shore. Be sure to follow the tide and try to stay in knee deep water as it goes out and comes back in.
The best flies for bonefish in Seychelles are the Golden Knight and the Pillow Talk flies.
No, you do not need a fishing license in Seychelles to go recreational fishing. Simply rig up and get wading!
This is a very hard question to answer as there is not one single island that is better than all the rest. If I had to choose I would go to Farquhar, Providence, or Poivre.
Fly Fishing in Seychelles is an expereince that nowhere esle in the world can deliver in my eyes. I have never seen an ocean so alive and with so many trophy worthy species on the flats at one time. It is no wonder that it is so well-renowned in the salwater fly fishing world.
Going on a fly fishing trip here is a trip a of a lifetime and it is somewhere every fly fishing finatic should try and get to at some point if they can. The quality and knowledge of the guides and incredible operations on the remote islands truly adds to the already insane fishery.
If there is one place that is worth saving up for a few years to fish, it is the outer islands of Seychelles, without doubt!
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