Providence Blog: 5 – 12 Dec 2023

Before we knew it, the final week of the Providence October – December 2023 season was here.
Fate would have it that we welcomed back our friends from AOS, Alex and Stephan. They were hosting a full house of guests from Austria, Marco was staying on for another week and our friend from South Africa, Peter, joined the group. A few first-timers to the salt and some guests on their 10th trip to the Seychelles. We were set to finish the week and season strong.

On the first day, we had some patchy light and low winds. Manuel, Gernot, and Chris’s team got straight into the action when they came across a mob of nurse sharks with about 200 GTs with them. Chris and Manuel landed a few GTs immediately, but the day went to Gernot, who landed his first GT and 3 others, including a 112cm. Well done Gernot The husband and wife team of Klaus V and Christina teamed up with Peter. Peter got off the mark early with an excellent GT on a crab. They all landed 1 bonefish each, and Christina got a sizeable yellow margin trigger to hand. Klaus V also landed a nice-sized Napoleon. The new team of Freddy, Klaus and Lucas landed their first GTs for the trip. Alex, Stephan, and Marco also got into the gents and brought 6 to hand. Bring the first day to a close with 17 GTs landed and signs of good things to come.

Sadly, as we often experience on the atoll, the weather can change on a dime, and we woke on the second day to 360 degree glare and rain all day. The teams thus set out to find a few bonefish; Lukas and Klaus landed their first 2 bones each, whilst Freddy caught his first and five more for the day, plus  landed his first ever sailfish. Well done gents! Christina and Peter landed the only 2 GTs for the day.

We rose to beautiful weather on day three and set out to try to make up for the previous day’s bad light. Freddy, Klaus, and Lukas kept their momentum going with 1 each and 5 more bonefish. Peter, Christina, and their husband Klaus landed 8  bonefish—five for Peter, 2 for Klaus, and 1 for Christina. Alex, Stephan, and Marco found five lovely bones in the morning, and Stephan landed the first and only bumpy for the week. But the day’s fish went to Marco, who hooked and landed a GT measuring 114cm after a stressful fight involving some coral heads and a few swims. Well done, Marco!

On the 4th day, we had much of the same momentum. The teams kept the GT tally steadily ticking over with many more memorable catches. The trio of Alex, Stephan, and Marco landed 8 GTs, but the most memorable was 1 of Stephan’s fish that ate spectacularly after a long follow-in; the fish also measured 97cm—well done gents! Klaus, Freddy and Lukas also landed 5 GTs, 2 for Freddy and Klaus and one for Lukas, including a nice GT caught by Klaus V. This brought the day’s tally to 13 more GTs.

For the 5th and second to last day of the season, it looked like we would have excellent light and low winds. Peter got off the mark first with an absolute cracker of a fish, which after a short chase and another swim, the fish measuring 115cm was landed. His fishing partners Klaus V and Christina sadly ost a bumpy each shortly after. The other teams used the light well and caught many more GTs. Freddy, big Klaus and Lukas landed 7 GTs between them. The trio of Alex, Stephan and Marco matched this number. Emanuel, Chris and Gernot landed four more, whilst Chris ended the day off with a sailfish. Well done to everyone!

The season’s final day was here and thankfully the weather was going to play fair. We set off with blue skies and high hopes. Big Klaus landed his final GT for the trip which was spotted sitting in a white hole. Marco, Stephan, Klaus V and Peter also finished with a final GT each for their trip. Gernot and Manuel also landed a fish each, but it was Gernot who topped the teams with a second fish in the afternoon. Well done to all on a great week fo fishing and fun to close out our season!

This brings the week tally and the season to a close as follows:

  • GT – 63 (3 > 112cm)
  • Bonefish – 33
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 1
  • Triggerfish – 1
  • Sailfish – 2
  • Napoleon – 2
  • Other – 112

Till next season,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 28 Nov – 5 Dec 2023

For the seventh week of the Providence October-December season, we welcomed back some new and old faces, along with great friend Tony who was staying on for his second week. A team of 5 from South Africa, including Andy, Andrew, Mark, Hilton and George joined us, whilst Dan and Charles from the USA made their first trip to Providence and Marco returned for another crack at what the atoll has to offer.

We rose on the first day to almost no wind and bright blue skies, an absolute relief given the conditions we experienced the week prior. Hilton got off the mark early with his first GTs of the trip and the guys got stuck into some excellent Bommie bashing to stretch the lines and see what their gear was made of. Andrew managed to get a GT for himself, but the rod of the day was Tony who made up for the terrible weather the week before. He landed 5 GTs, 2 over a meter (107 cm and a 103 cm) as well as a fish of 97 cm. It is an excellent example of making it count when it matters. Well done, Tony.

We had the same beautiful weather on the second day including some severe heat. There was zero wind but amazing blue skies. Tony landed a nice GT, whilst the team of Hilton and George landed a GT each for the day. Andrew landed a beautiful GT of 93 cm in a big drainage and Mark simultaneously hooked a giant Bluefin, making a great double-up of the photo. The trio of Charles, Dan, and Marco got 6 GTs to the boat between, during which Charles landed 3 and Dan landed his first of 101 cm. Well done Dan! Charles landed an exceptional fish of 109 cm as well.

We went to a completely different weather conditions on the third day: gloomy grey skies and all-day rain awaited us. We waded out into the gloom with high spirits. Andy landed his first triggerfish on his first trip to the Seychelles, an excellent achievement that can often take many trips to achieve. Andrew landed a beautiful sailfish and Marco landed another GT for the day.

On the fourth day, we hesitantly peeked out the window hoping that the weather had gone! To our joy we were back to beautiful blue skies and low winds. Tony kept his momentum going by landing a GT and a sailfish in the morning. Hilton also managed to bring a sail to hand, however George was the hot rod on his boat by landing 2 GTs before the end of the day. The ever-steady Marco landed yet another GT for the day, whilst Charles and Mark found a few bonefish and brought 6 to hand.

The 5th day held more incredible weather and the teams were well into the swing of things.
George caught his first trigger of the trip….well done George. Hilton and Andrew landed 1 GT each and Tony also kept his average up by getting yet another GT. The ever-consistent Marco landed two GTs out of a drainage, 1 of them measuring 90cm.

For the final day, it almost felt like the weather might be too nice in that warm water might play a part. The trio of Andrew, Hilton and Mark found some GTs, and Andrew cashed in by landing 3 by himself. Hilton also snagged one to bring his Prov trip to a successful close. Andy caught his second trigger for the trip. Well done. Tony did exceptionally well to land four triggers for the day, a personal record for himself. Well done, Tony. The trio of Charles, Dan and Marco landed 2 GTs and Charles and Marco landed their first triggers of the trip. Well done gents!

This brings the week’s tally to:

  • GT – 32 ( 4 > 1m biggest 109cm)
  • Bonefish – 6
  • Triggerfish – 7
  • Sailfish – 4

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 14 -21 Nov 2023

We welcomed a full group of anglers from our friends at Yellowdog for the 5th week of fly fishing during our end-of-year season. Most of our new arrivals had never been to the Seychelles before, while a few others had recently spent limited time fishing another atoll in the region. Eager to show our new visitors our office for the next 6 days, we quickly got their gear ready and set off for an afternoon in the deep blue, hoping to catch a couple of edibles for the week ahead.

We got off to a great start on the first full day with 14 GTs shared between the group. Matt, John, George, Jarret, and Jud all opened their Providence GT accounts during the day, Jud’s fish a special catch breaking the fabled 100 cm mark. The top rod of the day however was Andy who landed 4 GTs, both impressive fish measuring 105 and 97 cm respectively. These 2 fish were caught in as many casts and within a minute of each other! Exciting stuff, well done, Andy!

With good weather conditions and energy levels that matched that of the day before, we headed to the flats excited about the fly fishing potential that lay before us. Pete got off the mark early with a nice GT, while Andy kept his good form going with another GT. Jud got off to a flying start as well with 2 GTs early during the day. On the tailing species front, John C got his and the group’s first bumpy to hand, as well as a Napoleon in a busy afternoon session somewhere deep in the atoll. Well done, John! In the deep blue, the team of Jay, Jeb, and George experienced some extraordinary fishing for speedy sailfish; landing three and hooking many more!

On the third day, the light continued to play ball, but the wind had other ideas, cranking up several notches. Jay got his first GT of the trip, while Matt and John landed their first-ever Bumpies. Well done, gents! The late afternoon Bluewater run produced a very respectable yellowfin tuna for John C, something that was greatly appreciated by everyone on board the Maya’s Dugong!

On the 4th day, we focused our attention on the tailing species and our guests made quick work of the opportunities that presented themselves. John D and Andy landed their first trigger each, as well as 5 bones and 1 small GT, resulting in a slam for John D. Ian and Rob also managed a GT each for the day while Jud added a triggerfish, bumpie, and greater barracuda to his growing list of species landed for the trip. Elsewhere on the atoll, George, enjoyed a purple patch of action landing his first bumpie, 2 GTs, a triggerfish, and a large barracuda. His boat partners, Pete and Jay, chipped in with a bumpie each bringing a busy day of flats fishing action to an end.

The 5th day had us dealing with bad light and strong wind, which resulted in very challenging fly fishing conditions for our guests to contend with. Despite the conditions, Jeb and Jarrett both enjoyed success, each landing their first bumpies, a colossal achievement! John C managed the only GT of the day, while his boat partners, Andy and Rob got stuck into the bones landing 16 between the pair. Ian, Pete, and John D landed 5 bonefish as well as several shots at Big Permit between the bonefish action. The anglers that caught fish on day 5 should be proud of their efforts considering the severity of the weather conditions.

We woke on the sixth day to clear skies, and we thought that we might be in luck, but shortly after breakfast, the clouds closed in, and the wind blew gale. Despite this, the teams did very well. Jud and George landed some bonefish and got some shots and truly massive GTs. John C and Jeb each landed bonefish of 10 lbs. Well done, guys! Andy, Matt, and John D landed 13 bonefish for the day. John D also added a giant barracuda and another triggerfish to his collection, which is a perfect way to end the week.

The week’s catch tally was as follows (tough light and strong winds made it difficult, but we still managed to record some great catches):

• GT – 27 ( 2 of 1m ) biggest 105cm

• Bonesfish – 56 ( 2x 10lb)

• Triggerfish – 5

• Barracuda – 3

• Sailfish – 3

• Napoleon – 3

• Total tally of other fish landed for the week – 356

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

St Brandon Blog: 30 Oct – 9 Nov 2023

Our 9th week brought us back to the neap tides with a slightly higher water level and less current  throughout the week. Unfortunately we had little to no wind the entire week, which kept the warm water on the flats for most of the week which made the fishing challenging at times.

The bonefish schooled up this week which made it a bit tougher to find them in skinny water and on the flats. We did however still manage to land some good fish, with Peter landing a beautiful fish of 9lbs. Well done Peter!

Jim, who was busy with his third week with us, was in full Permit hunting mode. His sights clearly set in, he landed another 5 during his final week with us, including another 14lbs fish. Congrats Jim on some great angling!

The trevally were still around in good numbers …most notably the Bluefin. Mike however managed to spot a school of GTs during one session and despite hooking up, it was the smaller fish measuring 85cm which got his fly first…oh what could have been!

Our catch tally for the week was: 

  • Bonefish – 104
  • Permit – 6
  • GT -1
  • Bluefin – 6

Yours in fishing, 

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

St Brandon Blog: 23 Oct – 2 November 2023

Our 8th week on the atoll and we were back into the spring tides which provided some early morning skinny water and midday highs. We had 6 clients this week with 3 boats exploring the atoll.

The mornings provided some good bonefishing, with a couple of very nice fish caught. We unfortunately didn’t get any double-digit fish during the week but we got some double-ups on fish which is always fun.

The permit were around this week around the western sand spits, with Jim managing to land 3 permit in one day and topping it off with a big fish of 14,5 lbs, all before 12pm.  Well done Jim on a great day of fishing.

The trevally tides were in full swing with many bluefin around keeping those rods bending and smiles all around. We managed to land one GT this week, with angler David hooking into a fish of 101cm which was landed after an intense 20 minute battle. Congrats Dave on an epic fish!

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • Bonefish – 55
  • Permit – 4
  • GT – 1
  • Bluefin Trevally – 27

Till next week,
The FlyCastaway Team

Fly Fishing for Bonefish in Seychelles and St Brandon’s Atoll

Bonefish are well known as one of fly fishing’s most famous saltwater targets and are responsible for most anglers’ introduction to the world of fly fishing travel and the thrills of sight fishing. The species’ tendency to feed in shallow water, its fondness for well-presented flies, and its lightning-fast runs make it the perfect fly fishing target. Learn more about fly fishing for bonefish, the best gear, how to improve your chances of success, and where to find the ultimate bonefishing experiences below:

A common sight of schooling bonefish on St Brandon’s Atoll.

Fast Facts:

  • The All Tackle World Record for bonefish stands at a massive 8.61 kg (19 lb), caught off the South African coastline. Remarkably, a bonefish weighing 17.5 lb was landed on St Brandon’s Atoll during our April – June 2023 fly fishing season which was certainly a highlight of our return to the atoll’s abundant waters. While these catches are extraordinary, typical catches of bonefish in Seychelles and St Brandon’s range between 4 – 6lb.
  • A micro-migration is witnessed each day as bonefish move in large numbers from deeper reefs and channels onto shallow water flats to feed. This behavior occurs during the incoming and outgoing tide flushes which creates the thrilling shallow water bonefishing experiences synonymous with St Brandon’s Atoll and some of the outer atolls of Seychelles.
  • The bonefish’s diet primarily consists of crustaceans, small fish, worms, snails, and mollusks. Check out our list of the best bonefish flies in our gear recommendations below.
  • Renowned as one of the fastest fish in the ocean, bonefish can reach speeds of upwards of 64km/h. Given their lack of major spines, tough scales or scoots, their incredible speed serves as their primary defence against predators.

A 17,5lb bonefish caught on St Brandon’s Atoll, Mauritius.

Rigging up for Bonefish

  • The best fly rods for bonefish are 9-foot 9wt fast action saltwater fly rods, with the 9ft 9wt G.Loomis NRX+ standing out as our top recommendation.
  • The best fly line for bonefish is 9wt tropical/warm water fly lines that match the recommended rod. We recommend the Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 flats Universal Taper 9wt fly line.
  • The best reels for bonefish have fast line retrieval, a drag system designed for wet wading in saltwater, and a minimum backing capacity of 250 yards of 50lb gel spun or casting braid. The Wade Albula fly reel is our top pick, designed to handle formidable fish like bonefish with ease.
  • While the best bonefish leader configuration may vary based on the fishery and flats conditions, we find 9ft 16 lb fluorocarbon tapered leaders to be adequate for most situations. In Seychelles, where various fish species abound, using heavier leaders can better prepare you for any surprises during your flat’s fishing adventure.
  • The best flies for bonefish vary depending on the destination. Our favourites include patterns that imitate shrimps and crabs such as; merkin crabs, fleeing crabs, spawning shrimps and gotchas tied in various sizes, weights, and colours, on good quality hooks with weed guards. Fly colours should be drab, white, tan, or a mix of these colours. Small pillow talks tied in chartreuse can be effective when dealing with warmer water conditions.

 Well stocked bonefish specific fly boxes. 

How to Catch More Bonefish in Seychelles and St Brandon’s Atoll

At home

Practice your casting at home before your fly fishing trip to Seychelles or St Brandon’s

Elevate your saltwater fly fishing game by honing your casting skills before embarking on your adventure to Seychelles or St Brandon’s. Success on the flats depends on delivering your fly precisely to the desired target, overcoming challenges like wind, line drag, and moving targets. Remember, distance is not the sole focus; a cast of 40-60 feet (half the length of the average fly line) is usually sufficient. Practice landing your fly accurately in a hula-hoop at 30ft, 40ft, 50ft, and 60ft regularly leading up to your trip. While hiring a casting instructor can help, consistent practice is the key to improving your casting technique and increasing your chances of success.

On the flats

The Presentation

FlyCastaway guide Tim Babich presents his fly towards a St Brandon’s Atoll bonefish.

Achieving the perfect fly placement depends on several variables, including the destination, water quality, fishing pressure, depth, and tide stage. Your experienced guide will provide invaluable insights into the fishery and instruct you accordingly. In Seychelles and St Brandon’s, during skinny water fishing periods aim to present the fly much closer to the fish than in other fisheries. Ideally, lead the fish by about 2-4 feet, you’ll know you’ve executed this correctly if you observe the fish acknowledge and swim towards your sinking fly. This expert technique ensures an enticing presentation that triggers a bite.

The Retrieve and Hook-set

Setting the hook while fly fishing for bonefish on a typical St Brandon Atoll flat.

Given the nature of the prey items that form a bonefish’s diet, a slow to medium retrieve is most effective. Always allow the fly to sink to the bottom before starting the retrieve, as most of the bonefish’s prey scurry along the seafloor. Keep your rod tip close to the water, removing any slack in the fly line between you and the fly. Often, anglers mistake a fish nibbling the fly when, in reality, the fish has already eaten the fly, and they are feeling tension only during the last part of the retrieve. To increase your chances of a successful hookset, slow down the retrieve as the fish follows the fly. When you feel pressure through the fly line, keep the rod tip pointed downwards and execute a firm strip strike to set the hook securely.

The Fight

A FCA guest enjoys a long run from a large bonefish on St Brandon’s seemingly endless flats. 

Once hooked, be prepared for an adrenaline-pumping battle with the powerful bonefish. As the fish takes off at incredible speed, allow the line to run smoothly through your fingers without any sudden stops to avoid straightening the hook or breaking off the fish. The initial run is exhilarating, watching the bonefish create a rooster tail while taking your fly line and yards of backing across the shallow water flats is a scene commonly witnessed during the average bonefishing session on St Brandon’s and Providence Atoll. Keep your drag set light to medium, maintaining a 45-degree rod angle to apply constant pressure, especially if the fish starts its return journey. Reel in quickly and even walk backward if needed to keep consistent pressure on the fish.

Landing a Bonefish, Handling, and Release

Typical scenes at the end of the fight with a flats caught bonefish.

Landing a bonefish can be a challenge, especially when you are alone on the flats. Ideally, your guide will be nearby with a landing net. To land the fish successfully, guide it towards the net with a slow lift of its head just before it’s ready to be netted. Once in the net, the fish may thrash a bit, but it will eventually calm down. When handling a Bonefish, remember to wet your hands, and have your camera ready to capture the moment. Take a few quick photographs, remove the hook, and allow the fish to recover briefly before releasing.

Where is the Best Bonefishing Destination for You?

Bonefishing experiences vary significantly, and your choice of destination depends on factors such as the diversity of targetable fly fishing species, travel ease, and budget. Among hundreds of lodges, we recommend the following as the ultimate bonefishing destinations:

St Brandon’s Atoll, Mauritius

A trophy 12lb bonefish caught on St Brandon’s Atoll, Mauritius. 

St Brandon’s Atoll is renowned as the world’s very best bonefish destination. The sheer number and average size of the bonefish encountered in its waters is nothing short of astonishing. The atoll’s unique structure and prevailing winds provide the perfect mix of conditions for bonefish to grow large and in impressive numbers with the average size of the bonefish caught on the atoll ranging between 5 – 6 lb with 10lb trophies caught regularly. Additionally, the atoll’s bonefish are encountered in a multitude of scenarios depending on the tide and water level allowing anglers to test their sight fishing skills while fly fishing for singles and doubles in as little as 6 inches of water to large schools of fish found during the high period of the tide allowing action anglers of every skill level to enjoy the thrill of fly fishing for bonefish. For a detailed perspective of what to expect on the atoll’s 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

Providence Atoll, Seychelles

An elated FCA guest poses proudly with a large bonefish caught on Providence Atoll, Seychelles.

The best saltwater fly fishing destination on earth – Providence Atoll and its mind-blowing diversity will provide you and your fishing buddies fantastic opportunities to catch trophy bonefish. Providence’s bonefishing is dependent on several factors. It is therefore very important to speak to our team before booking your trip to make sure you are in the right place, at the right time to enjoy the Seychelles’ very best bonefishing. 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

We would 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 St Brandon’s Atoll 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.

St Brandon Blog: 15 May – 1 June 2023

The third & fourth weeks of our St Brandon’s 2023 May-June season saw us explore this enormous atoll with just 2 anglers. Rob completed the second of his 2-week stint with us, while John enjoyed an extended trip of 10 days solo. Imagine having 315 km2 to yourself for 10 days! Given the amount of time we had on our hands our team took this opportunity to explore and try a few new things out on the atoll. They had the following to report back.

 17.5 lb Bonefish!

The Bonefishing had been simmering during the first half of the season and gave us a whiff of the quality of the specimens we might encounter. Conditions had been sublime and continued in just the same fashion with clear skies, moderate winds, and cool water. This provided our guests and team with perfect sight fishing conditions and the catches showed with 3 bonefish landed over 10 lbs. One of these trophies was a true giant and weighed a whopping 17.5 lb! The elated angler, John, and his guide, Jarod, were exploring an area known to produce large fish. The pair enjoyed a cracking morning as they slowly made their way along a large coral ridge picking off bonefish after bonefish. About 3/4 of their way up the ridge they saw 4 enormous fish making their way towards them from the open ocean. John made his presentation and all 4 fish acknowledged the fly and began their chase in a manner more closely resembling Trevally, than a Bonefish. The largest of the 4 seemingly bumped its competitors out of the way and pinned John’s fly. Feeling tension through the fly line John set the hook and all hell broke loose as this fish took off at lightning speed for the open ocean. Guide Jarod took off after the hooked fish and managed to free it from snag after snag… After what felt like an internity the fish was eventually landed! A true trophy and possibly a genuine world record catch. Congratulations guys, well done!


15 lb Indo-Pacific Permit

We had also been encouraged by the number of Indo-Pacific Permit seen tailing and free swimming along the margins of the flats and lagoons. When it comes to successful Permit fishing the most important variable is always the number of good-quality shots you get in front of the species and the atoll delivered just that with a total of 8 brought to hand. The top catch during this period on the atoll went to Rob, who found himself in the right place, at the right time when a large single fish was sighted as it slowly patrolled and tailed along the edge of a large flat. Rob nailed the shot and delivered his fly in exactly the right place. A couple of strips to get tight on the fly and a couple more to induce some movement was all it took to convince his trophy Indo to pounce. A lengthy battle ensued and thanks to a bit of luck and some fancy footwork from guide Paul, the fish was firmly secured in the landing net and tipped the scales at a very impressive 15 lb! No doubt a moment that they’ll remember for a long time to come!


131cm Giant Trevally

Over the years we’ve learned that the Giant Trevally found on St Brandon’s are on average some of the largest found in shallow water anywhere in the world. More evidence to support our theory came during Rob’s second week with us where he and his guide Jarod managed to connect to an absolute monster that stretched the measuring tape to 131cm! This giant was spotted as it slowly patrolled the edge of a small sandspit along with another 2 fish of similar size. Fortunately, Rob had been prepped and was ready with his 12 weight in hand. This allowed him a bit of time to make a cast ahead of the trio and begin his retrieve. As his fly made its way back toward the sandspit the lead fish shot forward and inhaled his fly. Following the hookset, the fish blasted off at a frightening rate taking loads of backing in the process. The tug of war we all dream of was now well and truly in full swing and through a bit of luck, the fish missed the many coral snags visible in the area and was eventually landed. An exceptional catch for both Rob and his guide. Well done, gentlemen!

This brings our first season back at St Brandon’s since 2019 to a close. We managed to land loads of impressive fish and make memories that’ll last a lifetime for both guests and guides alike. If the month of May was anything to go by we have a lot to look forward to during our end-of-year season on the atoll.

Till next season,

The FlyCastaway guide team

St Brandon Blog: 8-18 May 2023

The second week of our St Brandon’s Atoll May-June 2023 fly fishing season saw us welcome 6 new faces to the fishery with the exception of Steven, who was fortunate enough to be beginning the latter half of his 2 week stay with us. This week’s fishing began with full moon neap tides and almost perfect weather conditions which had us anticipating loads of shots to tailing Indo-Pacific Permit and trophy Bonefish in varying fly fishing scenarios.

Our guests enjoyed phenomenal fly fishing for the atoll’s resident Bonefish with favourable conditions aiding our efforts on the flats. Not only were the sheer number of bones encountered impressive but so was the frequency with which we happened upon the real trophies. Our group capitalized on their shots to the larger fish landing several beauties between 7 – 9.5 lb, caught in every Bonefishing scenario available on St Brandon’s. The atoll had more up its sleeve and delivered 4 fish of 10 lb plus, 2 of which went to Daniel who managed to land his first-ever 10lber!, and then another monster of 11.5 lb shortly thereafter. Great job, Dan. The remaining noteworthy catches went to Steven and Rob, who both ended their week’s fishing in the best way possible landing trophies of 10 and 12 lb respectively. Well done gentlemen!

The Permit fishing this week met our expectations with loads of large Indos encountered during the 7 fishing days. Daniel found himself in the thick of the action yet again, this time landing a beautiful Indo-Pacific Permit that tipped the scales at 10 lb. Steven had also adjusted to the rhythm of the fishery nicely and added another energetic 6.5 lb Perm to his tally while Rob managed to bag his first Indo of his 2 week stay with us. Great job, chaps.

The action for the toothy critters was encouraging with our guests enjoying several shots at the lightning-fast Bluefin Trevally as well as the odd encounter with schools of Golden Trevally. Dan landed a beaut of Bluefin that was encountered in St Brandon’s exciting surf zone, while the sole Golden Trevally catch of the week went to Faf and was caught while fishing to a large school of Bonefish. Chance encounters with Baracuda are always exciting, especially when the Barracuda is enormous. Daniel made the most of his shot and managed to tame an absolute monster that was found holding in an ambush position near a small sandspit. 

That brings us to the end of the second week’s fishing report. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with this group and look forward to welcoming them all back to our favourite walk and stalk flats fishing program.

Till next time,

The Flycastaway guide team

St Brandon Blog: 1 – 11 May 2023

Welcome back to our St Brandon’s Atoll blog. It’s been a long 3 years since we last had any fishing action to report from our favourite permit and bonefish fishery in the Indian Ocean. A very well-rested St Brandon’s welcomed 5 guests for the opening week of our season and the level of excitement felt among all involved was at an all-time high as we anticipated phenomenal fly fishing action for both hefty bones and quality shots at Indo-Pacific Permit. This is how it went… 

Our guests were treated to perfect conditions for skinny water bonefishing with a typical south-easterly wind resulting in cool ocean water flushing over the flats. With some of the variables on our side, we just needed the fish to swim and swim they did with loads of bonefish encountered in several different fly fishing scenarios. The skinny water bonefishing for large singles and doubles was undoubtedly the highlight of the week and produced multiple bones of the 7-8lb calibre. Matt was lucky enough to enjoy a session that delivered quintessential St Brandon’s style bonefishing where walk and stalk fly fishing for large singles was the order of things. He went on to land several specimens of 8 lb. Well done, Matt.  The high tide period of each day also produced the goods as our group racked up impressive numbers while fishing for the large schools of bonefish that congregate in certain areas of the atoll. The sheer volume of fish seen and hooked was encouraging and gave us an indication of a thriving fishery and has us very excited for what the rest of the season might deliver on the bonefishing front!

The permit fishing this week was also red hot with numerous opportunities offered during the 7 days of fishing. After 3 days of near misses, we finally brought the first golden trophy of our season to hand. William opened his and our St Brandon’s permit account with a beautiful 11,5 lb Indo-Pacific Permit! The momentum of this catch was infectious and the rest of our group followed suit with Steve and Steven tasting success during an exciting session where shots presented themselves as the fish were seen tailing along a ridge of broken marl. The pair went on to land fish of 6,5 and 10 lb respectively. Gerhard and Matt also managed to convert catches of Indos in the days that followed with each of them landing fish of 10 and 8 lb. which brought our catch tally to 5 landed for the week. Excellent stuff guys, well done. 


Along with all the action on the tailing fish species front was the exciting number trevally encountered during each day on the flats. Although we were unable to convert the opportunities we had for the atoll’s massive GTs, the Bluefin trevally were more obliging with our group landing 5 trophies for the week. The standout catches on this front went to Steven and Matt who both landed fish that stretched the measuring tape to 75cm. 


Our key takeaways from the opening week of the season were the impressive quality of the fish we encountered and the exceptional health of the atoll. Everything about St Brandon’s seems to be vibrating at an exciting level and we can’t wait to report on what the following weeks deliver from the world’s very best walk and stalk flats fishery. 

Yours in fishing,

The St Brandon’s guide team.

Sterkfontein Dam Blog: Jan – Mar 2023

The 9th of January 2023 saw our team arrive at Sterkfontein Dam in preparation for a 9 week long fly fishing season to start our year off. As we prepped our fleet of Fusion boats during the early evening we were reminded of the beauty of the place, with panoramic views of lush green rolling hills and a skyline littered with puffy clouds illuminated in pastel colours… It was so good to be back at our summertime home!

Preseason Prep

This season saw us make yet more upgrades to our fleet of 3 boats, adding casting platforms to both front and back decks on each of the boats, as well as 2 brand new 4-stroke engines to ensure we traveled quickly and reliably to our chosen fishing areas each day. These new additions, especially the casting platforms made a desirable difference to the average day, raising our guest’s vantage point and allowing them better visibility which increased their chances of success. We also revised our fly selection for the season, adding 5 new patterns to our ever-expanding library of purpose tied dry flies to cover every condition likely encountered. Armed to the hilt with everything a guide team could possibly need we were ready to take on anything Sterkfontein could throw at us.

The fishing

Sterkfontein is, and always has been a challenging and technical fishery, where the margins for error are slim. 2023 turned out to be a testing fishing season due to several factors which included; particularly difficult weather conditions and inconsistent wind directions.

Despite the above, we still managed to deliver a successful fly fishing season. When the weather was bad, we caught fewer fish and when it was good, we caught loads. In tougher seasons one needs to adjust expectations and bank the small wins. This was critical this season, where the windows of opportunity could be a short 2-hour period and if you weren’t on the money, you were left scratching for answers. Planning, teamwork, and experience ensured that we were in the right place, at the right time, and most importantly providing sight fishing opportunities to Smallmouth Yellowfish for our guests. The next thing apparent this season was fly selection and the difference that made to our catch tally at the end of each day. Being a team certainly helped, as we could test several different patterns and if one happened to stand out we would then share this information amongst the team. It became evident certain flies outperformed others and were often the difference between landing 1 or 9 fish for the day. In seasons past we hadn’t had to be quite so selective in our choice of flies or as intentional in our decision-making.

Below are recollections of certain fish and sessions that stood out during our stint at Sterkfontein:

Early season we welcomed old-time friends back to Sterkfontein for the 3rd consecutive year. Zac enjoyed days of fly fishing bliss landing 10 or so Smallmouth Yellowfish each day under perfect bluebird skies with almost no wind to speak of. It was during Zac’s trip that we realized that the old staple fly patterns were not going to be sufficient and we needed to experiment.

Our first international visitor of the season, Gareth Jones, of Airflo Fly Fishing converted his opportunities in front of the Smallmouth Yellowfish. Gareth, a very competent angler, has won 2 silver medals at the Men’s World Fly Fishing Championships and is a master at his craft. He enjoyed a particularly productive morning session hooking and landing loads of powerful Smallies.

Another international visitor, Don, also enjoyed several days of action and reported catch returns in the double figures each every day of his trip with us. Having fished the world, and a lot in the US for trout, he caught onto the rhythm and vibe quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the sight fishing element of the fishery.

Riaan and Alecia joined us for the second consecutive year for an extended period and enjoyed a particularly special day where 9 fish were brought to hand before having to call the day short due to a brewing thunderstorm. The catch of the day went to Alecia, who managed to catch a 6 ½ lbs fish Smallmouth Yellowfish that she expertly sight-fished and threaded through a large weed bed before landing her prize. We’ve landed a fair number of Sterkfontein Yellows during the past 3 seasons and this is a very large fish for the fishery. Well done, Alecia!

Gerhard and Angelika, longtime supporters of our Sterkfontein Dam experience joined us on two separate occasions during our Jan – Mar season. They were lucky enough to experience a large flying ant hatch during 1 of their afternoons and Angelika struck gold and managed to land several powerful Smallies, one of which a real beauty of 4 ½ lb. Great job, Angelika!

The fishing, laughs, and evening shenanigans we shared with our guests this season were special. We enjoyed every moment and although Sterkies showed us her moody side at times, she still shone brightly when conditions lined up favourably. As such, the hope of a strong season next next year has us excited and already hard at work with the preparations!

Till next year,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team