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Providence Blog: 10 – 19 October 2021

Welcome to the Providence Atoll blog and our end-of-year season opener. Week 1 is always filled with a special mix of expectation and excitement and this week was no different as a regular group of friends from the US and some new ones joined us for an extended 9-night/8-day trip to kick off our season. As our captain dropped anchor on the shallow periphery of the atoll on the eve of day one, we settled in for the evening with our bags packed, cameras charged, and fly fishing gear primed for the flats fishing magic that lay ahead.

Day 1 – The flats fishing action experienced during day 1 was accompanied by clear blue skies and a familiar stiff south-easterly breeze. A total of 11 GTs were landed for the day with Dave and Allen wasting little time both landing their first GTs on the fly. Allen went one step further following a sighting of those fabled giant green tails waving gently across the flats, and after a measured stalk he managed to hook and land his first-ever Bumphead Parrotfish on the fly. A special way to begin your Providence Atoll fly fishing adventure, well done Allen!

Day 2 – With conditions stable and similar to that of Day 1, a total of 17 GTs were landed. The standout catch of the day went to angler Dave who encountered a monster GT while stationed upon one of the atoll’s several white sand drainages. After spotting the familiar electric blue silhouette crossing the flat, he presented his fly and after a few quick strips watched his fly get engulfed by the first meter-long Giant Trevally of the season. Well done Dave! Angler Kyle went on to land his first Bumphead Parrotfish on the fly, adding to the tailing fish tally and providing him with a new experience conquered on the flats.

Day 3 – We were now well and truly into the neap tide cycle with the slower water movement offering a change of pace on the GT front. A total of 6 GTs were landed, angler Kyle enjoying the pick of the days fishing landing 4 himself, well done Kyle!

Day 4 – We moved our attention to the areas better suited for fishing to the atoll’s lengthy list of tailing species. Despite the change of focus, the Giant Trevally fishing action continued in red hot fashion with our group landing a total of 9 GTs for the day. The atoll’s resident Bonefish were also encountered in good numbers offering incredible skinny water fly fishing opportunities for our guests. A total of 19 Bones were landed with Kelly managing to surpass that fabled 10lb mark, his trophy accepted a well-presented crab and following the hookset went on several blistering runs. In search of a Providence Atoll slam, Kelly and his guide moved offshore in pursuit of a Sailfish, and in no time Kelly’s rod was bent double with the sight of an energetic Sailfish greyhounding into the horizon. He went on to land the Sailfish, securing a well-deserved slam.

Day 5 – Continuing on the previous day’s antics our group enjoyed yet more outstanding fishing for the atoll’s resident targets with a total of 20 Bonefish and 2 GTs landed for the day. Kelly who has enjoyed everything on Prov’s extensive list of target species managed to land his first ever Bumpie on the fly, the group’s third for the week.

Day 6 – With shots at GTs slim during Day 6, we continued to focus on the tailing species. Our group enjoyed spectacular skinny water Bone fishing with a total of 18 fish landed. Allen landed the standout catch for the day after seeing a large Bone show its tail in a shallow sandy depression. He presented his fly which the fish promptly engulfed and after several long blistering runs, he managed to land a beautiful 10lber, well done Allen!

Day 7 – An early morning low tide allowed us access to the flats immediately while fishing a gradual incoming tide, typically ideal for the tailing fish species. Our group enjoyed exceptional fly fishing opportunities for Triggerfish and Bonefish. In total, we managed to land 5 Triggerfish, 3 of which landed were by angler Allen who then went on to land himself yet another 10lb Bonefish.

Day 8 – The final day of our first week on Providence Atoll produced a total of 4 GTs, one of which would end up as the catch of the trip. A large dark grey shape was spotted moving between an area with white sand and turtle grass patches. Kyle sent out a well-presented cast to the fish and began his retrieve, the GT followed the fly almost to the tip of the rod before accepting the baitfish imitation as prey. Once the hook was set the fish tore off on a blistering first run, luckily Kyle was on the boat and he and his guide managed to follow the fish and keep the fly line clear of any unforeseen snags. The fish was eventually landed and pushed the tape to 122cm! A fish of a lifetime, well done Kyle! With the high water experienced in the afternoon we set about looking for the atoll’s resident Sailfish and after several close calls we eventually ended the day with a total of 2 Sailfish landed concluding the final day of the week. 

All too quickly we were done and dusted with an action packed season opener filled with first time catches and memories made that will last a lifetime.

Our catch tally for the week 1 split between 6 anglers was:

• GTs – 48 (2 over a meter)
• Bumphead Parrotfish – 3
• Triggerfish – 6
• Sailfish – 3
• Bonefish – 63 (4 over 10 lbs.)
• Total number of Grouper, Snapper, and other species landed – 382

Until next week,

The Providence Guide Team

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.

Providence blog: 13 – 20 April 2021

Providence blog: 13 – 20 April 2021

Week 2 of the Providence Atoll April 2021 fly fishing season saw us welcome a group of 9 anglers, most of whom were Providence regulars. Brimming with the excitement of being some of the first few to visit the atoll in a little over a year, we set to work preparing their gear for the flats fishing action the following 6 days had in store for us.

Fly Fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish

The first morning dawned calm and still. A midday spring tide low provided us the rare opportunity of exploring the eastern side of the atoll. Our plan paid dividends as the group enjoyed a great day on the flats with everyone opening their Giant Trevally account for the week and a total of 23 GTs landed on day 1. Rod managed to land our first meter plus fish of the week, a beautiful GT that measured 102cm. A special mention must also go to Stephane who experienced a cracking first day out, landing 14 GTs during the day. As always, the various grouper and snapper species added to the diverse flats fishing experience with most of the group enjoying the raw power of these beautifully colored powerhouses.

Giant Trevally caught on Providence Atoll in Seychelles

The second morning dawned with a slightly stiffer south-easterly breeze and with another midday low tide. The boats set off for the day with the focus on working the outer rim of the atoll. A total of 13 GTs were landed for the day, Valter landing his biggest GT on the fly of 103cm. Well done, Valter! Tony danced with one of the atoll’s fabled jumbo-sized GTs, unfortunately an inconveniently placed coral head meant that the fight was over in mere seconds, fly line, and all lost in the chaos that followed the hook set.

A happy angler with a flats caught GT

The third morning saw darkened skies, rain, and a stiff south-easterly. The reduced visibility meant we had to focus on areas that would provide visuals in the way of bow waking or tailing GTs on the flats. A total of 11 GTs came to hand with Tony landing a brute of 106cm. Tony’s trophy was spotted as it tailed hard on the flat thus marking its position. Following a well-placed cast, a massive bow wake whizzed through the shallow water to take his fly. Well done Tony! The late afternoon Milkfish action continued and this time it was Mark’s turn to go 12 rounds with the incredibly powerful Milkfish. After acrobatic leaps, fast runs, and some fancy footwork around the skiff, Mark successfully landed his first-ever Milk on the fly, well done Mark!

Fly fishing for Milkfish in Seychelles

The fourth day continued with darkened skies and persistent rolling squalls which made spotting fish over dark turtle grass challenging. The limited visibility on the flats resulted in just 4 GTs landed for the day. Stephane did however manage to land the first triggerfish for the week after shooting a precise cast to an energetic Yellow Margin. Upon seeing the fly, the fish wiggled and danced on it, eventually pinning it to the bottom resulting in a successful hookup.

Fly fishing for Triggerfish in Seychelles

The fifth day saw a move of the mothership to allow for easier access to the flats better suited for the neap tides and the tailing species that prefer a reduced amount of current over the flats. A total of 5 GTs were also landed for the day. Steve landed his biggest GT on the fly while drifting the edge of a lagoon. The shot required a short, fast presentation which Steve nailed. Two strips and the fish blasted forward and engulfed his fly. Following a tug of war that only GTs can offer, Steve’s fish finally came to hand and measured 105cm. Well done, Steve! The tailing fish species were about in good numbers and provided good fishing during the late afternoon incoming tide. A total of 13 Bones were landed, the average size in the 6-7lb range. Tony and Stephane both landed triggerfish late in the day bringing an end to day 5 on the flats.

A trophy GT caught on the flats of Providence Atoll

The final day of the fishing week saw a return to relative normality on the weather front with clear skies and a strong south-easterly. We experienced an afternoon neap tide low which resulted in a consistent covering of water on the flats. A total of 10 GTs were landed on the final day. Michael managed to tame the biggest of the week that measured 109cm. His fish was hooked after 3 black shapes were spotted moving with purpose over a turtle grass flat. Michael placed the fly ahead of the lead fish, causing all three fish to charge the fly, fortunately, the largest of the pack getting to the fly first. A wonderful way to close out the week on the GT front. Well done, Mike! The neap tides provided another day of productive fishing for the tailing species with a total of 25 bonefish landed for the day. Steve enjoyed a particularly golden streak landing 11 bonefish himself with an average of 7 pounds. 2 wily Triggerfish were brought to hand with one completing a slam for Peter, well done Peter!  Michael riding high after his big GT in the morning went onto land his first Bumphead Parrotfish and a few Bonefish completing a flats slam in the process. Talk about closing out the week in style, well done Mike!

Fly fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish in Seychelles

A busy week on the flats of Providence provided us all with moments of flats fishing magic. Although the weather made conditions tricky at times, we enjoyed several special catches and busy sessions with our guests. As always, it was a pleasure to share the wild adventure that is Providence with all who joined us for week 2 of the season.

Our catch tally for week 2 was:

  • GTs – 66 (4 meter plus fish)
  • Bumpies – 2
  • Triggerfish – 4
  • Milkfish – 1
  • Bonefish – 38

Until next week,

The Providence Guide Team.