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Fly fishing for Giant Trevally in Seychelles and St Brandon’s Atoll

Dubbed “the gangsters of the flats” and for good reason. The Giant Trevally is arguably the most exciting fly-fishing target found on the shallow water flats of Seychelles and St Brandon. Encountered in a multitude of fly fishing scenarios including wild surf zones, white sand and turtle grass flats, the species has earned a reputation for being one of the most sought-after saltwater gamefish the world over.

A happy angler with a Trophy Giant Trevally

A trophy fly caught Giant Trevally from the flats of Providence Atoll, Seychelles.

Fast facts:

  • The Giant Trevally is the largest of the trevally species with the all-tackle world record weighing 72.80kg caught in Japan. We typically encounter the species in the range of 70 – 130cm on the flats and consider a GT of 100cm plus to be a trophy that weighs in the region 19kg.
  • The species is an apex predator and opportunistic hunter that will prey on a range of food items including small fish, crustaceans, squid, birds, small turtles, and even juvenile dolphins.
  • The most popular fly patterns for Giant Trevally represent small baitfish, squid, or crustaceans. The most important ingredient to a successful fly pattern however is the quality of the hooks used. Poor quality hooks will open because of the pressure applied to the fish during the fight and is done in an attempt to stop the fish before it reaches the numerous coral heads found on/near the flats of Seychelles and St Brandon’s Atoll.
A trophy flats caught GT on fly

St Brandon’s Atoll is renowned for its population of trophy GTs.

Rigging up for Giant Trevally

  • The best fly rods for Giant Trevally are 9-foot 12wt fast action saltwater fly rods. – We recommend 9ft 12wt G.Loomis NRX.
  • The best fly lines for Giant Trevally are 12wt Tropical/Warm water fly lines to match the recommended rod – Our choice is the Airflo Tarpon Taper 12wt fly line.
  • The best reels for Giant Trevally should have the following features: fast line retrieval, a drag system designed to handle wet wading in salt water, and a minimum backing capacity of 300 yards of 80lb gel spun or casting braid. – Our top pick is the WADE Caranx which was designed to handle fish of this nature effectively.
  • Leaders for Giant Trevally are a simple 8-9ft of 130lb or 1mm soft monofilament. The leader is joined to the fly line with a loop-to-loop connection, the perfection loop is our knot of choice on the leader end. Our preferred knot to the fly is the Improved Homer Rhode Knot which is a non-slip loop knot.
  • The best flies for Giant Trevally include GT Tan brush fly, GT Black brush fly, Olive Semper, and Black & Purple Semper. All tied on size #6/0 Gamakatsu SL12S hooks.

The ultimate fly fishing setup to take on Giant Trevally on the flats.

How to catch more Giant Trevally and make the most of your time on the flats

At home

Prepare – Practice casting with a 12wt before your trip

One of the most important elements of a successful fly fishing adventure to the wild flats of Seychelles or St Brandon’s Atoll is your ability to deliver the fly to your target species at short notice.
Practice your casting at home or with a casting instructor before your trip with us. 12 weight fly rods and large flies make casting challenging at the best of times. This single yet hugely important thing you can do before your trip will add huge value to your fly fishing experience on the flats.

On the flats

Presentation

Fly casting to Giant Trevally in Seychelles

A FlyCastaway guest casts a fly towards a free swimming Giant Trevally in Seychelles.

Fly fishing in saltwater exposes anglers to a world of moving targets. Few fish will stay stationary for very long. Giant Trevally are often found while on the move and the trick here is to imagine that you’re trying to throw and hit someone running across your garden with a tennis ball. After one or two attempts you’ll realise that you need to aim a yard or two in front of your moving target to hit it. The same principle applies while fly fishing for GTs. You will see the direction the fish is moving and you want to land your cast 15ft in front of the fish. You must factor in the speed at which the fish is moving to complete this correctly. The ideal presentation is completed when you have given yourself time to allow the fish to swim onto the fly before it recognizes it as a potential prey item. You can then begin with a long slow/medium retrieve while watching the fish’s body language. The moment the fish begins to speed up towards your fly, you should speed up your retrieve to long and fast. When done correctly you will notice a far greater success rate fly fishing on the flats for Giant Trevally.

Get into more successful positions

Improve your skills fly fishing for Giant Trevally

A FlyCastaway guest moves to intercept a school of GTs.

Fly fishermen who catch a lot of fish all have one thing in common. They do what they can to limit the number of variables in the process of catching a fish to a minimum. The KISS principle or (Keep It Simple Simon) should be applied to your fly fishing and especially while on the hunt for Giant Trevally. If you have spotted the fish in time and the angle of the wind or the distance to the fish is too great, move your position so that you either close the distance between you and the fish or change the angle of the wind so that you’re able to complete the correct presentation. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of steps to your left or right to make the cast that little bit easier.

Line management

Line management while fly fishing for Giant Trevally

A FCA guest clears his line following a successful hook-up.

Be aware of where your line has gathered on the sand, in the water, or on the boat. It may seem like a chore to continually manage your fly line but after a while it will become second nature and you will find yourself doing it without giving it much thought. Making sure your fly line is free of potential snags like your feet, coral, or a latch in the boat is often the difference between completing your dream catch or watching it swim by.

Explore

Exploring the wild flats of Seychelles

A FlyCastaway guest picks a trophy Giant Trevally from a large school of GTs on the flats of Providence Atoll, Seychelles.

One of the greatest things about flats fishing in the Indian Ocean is the freedom to explore some of the most pristine and abundant fisheries on the planet. For most of the day, you will be on foot, on the flats, or an island; use your intuition, your guide has chosen the area that you are fishing at that time of the day for a reason. He knows fish will be about, if you see something that looks good or “fishy” move to it, watch it, and make a cast or two if you are not sure. The number of trophy Giant Trevally landed by guests who have had a “feeling” and wandered off to investigate is high and proves that those who have the intention to explore catch the big fish.

Remember to have fun

Happy anglers fly fish for Giant Trevally

Red hot GT fly fishing action on Providence Atoll’s flats.

The unique fly fishing targets available might have been the major reason you’ve traveled halfway around the world to visit a particular destination but it’s important to remember that you’re going to spend 6 full days in some of the wildest environments on our planet. The sights, experiences, heartbreaks, and successes are better shared with a good friend or like-minded angler. We love the outdoors and that is why we have chosen to spend our time in these settings. We challenge you to have fun, enjoy a drink with your fishing buddy and look around; you are going to experience the rarest of resources – ecosystems fully intact and undisturbed by man.


Where is the best Giant Trevally destination for you?

Several destinations offer anglers the opportunity to cast a fly at a Giant Trevally. As the business that pioneered fly fishing in Seychelles and St Brandon’s Atoll we’ve come to learn which venue is best for your needs and what time of year will most likely provide the experience you are after. If you are looking for the best venues on earth to catch GTs then consider the following:

Providence Atoll, Seychelles

The best saltwater fly fishing destination on earth – Providence Atoll and its mind-blowing diversity will provide you and your fishing partners multiple opportunities in front of hungry Giant Trevally. The atoll, which has received fewer than 1000 visitors in written history is possibly the last true saltwater fly fishing wilderness. For a detailed perspective of what to expect on the flats, read our week-by-week catch reports here, visit our website for more information about Providence Atoll or get in touch with us via email – info@flycastaway.com

Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles

Most famous for its bird-eating GTs – Farquhar Atoll is host to some of the very best fly fishing for Giant Trevally in the world. Its diversity and land-based island lodge make it one of our most popular fly fishing venues. For a detailed perspective of what to expect on the flats, read our week-by-week catch reports here, visit our website for more information about Farquhar or get in touch with us via email – info@flycastaway.com

St Brandon’s Atoll, Mauritius

Better known as home to the best bonefishing in the Indian Ocean – St Brandon still provides opportunities for GTs on the flats. Although its numbers don’t compete with the fisheries of Seychelles, the specimens landed are rarely under the meter mark. If fewer opportunities but the real potential of landing a true giant of the species is more appealing, then consider St Brandon’s Atoll. For a detailed perspective of what to expect on the flats, read our week-by-week catch reports here, visit our website for more information about St Brandon or get in touch with us via email – info@flycastaway.com

We’d love to hear from you

Choosing the fly fishing destination that caters to your preferences isn’t easy. These venues are often in the far-flung corners of the world and require a great deal of time and energy to get to. FlyCastaway has run successful fly fishing trips with the best guide teams in the Seychelles & St Brandon since 2003. Our knowledgeable team works day and night to ensure you have the trip of your dreams. If you’re planning to visit Seychelles or have any other fly fishing travel-related questions, get in touch with us via email – info@flycastaway.com or stay up-to-date with the fishing action on Facebook & Instagram.

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