Providence Blog: 8-15 November 2022

The fourth week of the season saw us welcome back a few old friends. The group’s excitement was contagious and felt by our guide team providing a little extra motivation to deliver another busy week on the flats.

The first day saw our guests enjoy several shots at the atoll’s GT population, with a total of 8 landed for the day. Dave, Joern, and Keith all managed 1 GT each, while Rob got his trip off to a cracking start adding 5 GTs to his name, 1 of which measured 101cm. Great job, Rob!

The second day delivered similar action to that experienced by our guests the day before, with a total of 7 GTs landed. A special moment was enjoyed by Andre who managed to finally land his first ever GT on the fly.  Mike, Joern, Dave, and Peter all landed a GT each while Tony went one better landing 2 GTs himself for the day. The bluewater provided our guests with several great opportunities for the acrobatic speedsters that frequent the perimeter of the atoll but after a couple of near misses we were unfortunately unable to convert any of these opportunities.

The third day started off with a bang with Dave landing the first bumpie for the trip, a solid 103cm fish and his personal best. The bommie bashing was superb with most of the group landing loads of large bohar snapper, grouper, and bluefin trevally. Our group experienced good fishing on the GT front and landed a total of 11 fish between them. Peter, David, Tony, Andre, and Keith all landed one a piece. Joern went 1 better and managed to land 2 for the day while Rob topped the totals with 3 himself. The fish of the day however, went to Mike who landed a trophy fish of 100cm on the dot. Great job, Mike!

Day 4 saw our guests experience challenging conditions which made for a relatively tough day of fishing. A total of 4 GTs were landed for the day with Rob and Joern both landing 1 each. Peter landed two for the day with one of his fish stretching the tape to 100cm, a special fish and well deserved, Peter! We had seen some sailfish around and it was only a matter of time before one was hooked and that’s just what happened – Dave and Joern both managed to stay connected and eventually land 1 of these bluewater speedsters each.

Day 5 saw a continuation of the tricky weather conditions with strong wind and dark overcast skies. Despite the less than desirable weather, Tony got stuck into the bones and was rewarded with a double-digit bonefish which ran him deep into backing. The sailfish were out in good numbers again and both Rob and Mike made their shots count by landing a sailfish each. The tough light and rough conditions made spotting fish over turtle grass very difficult, but we were still able to land 2 GTs for the day, 1 each for Andre and Rob respectively. Rob’s fish deserving of a special mention pulled the measured tape all the way to 109cm. Great job, Rob!

The last day of the week saw our guests enjoy a mixed bag of catches. Tony picked up where he left off on the bones landing another 2 double-digit fish, a truly remarkable feat and something that doesn’t happen every day. He also landed a triggerfish to end off his week on a high. There were 3 more GTs landed on the last day by Keith, Dave, and Joern to round off a tricky yet enjoyable week on the flats of Providence.

Our catch tally for week 3 was:

  • GTs: 35 (4 over 100cm)
  • Bonefish: 27 (3 of 10lbs)
  • Sailfish: 4
  • Bumpie: 1 (103cm)
  • Triggerfish: 1

Until next time,

The Flycastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 1-8 November 2022

Our third group during the Providence October- December 2022 season arrived with high hopes for a great week of flats fishing in the Indian Ocean. Spirits were high and that showed in the fish numbers for the first day as the guests landed some impressive fish.

Our guests didn’t have to wait very long to get stuck into the action as Ivar tasted success first thing on day 1 by landing an exceptionally powerful milkfish. As we made our way onto the flats the guests got to experience the variety of species that Providence has to offer. Brian landed the first bumpie for the week that was picked out from a large school of fish found happily tailing away on the flats. Doug, Justin, Christian, and Matt P all landed GTs on the first day of the week. Matt P’s GT was a special one as it was part of a Providence slam as he also landed a triggerfish and bonefish. Great job, Matt! Trent added a splash of colour to the catch report with a beautiful triggerfish on day one. The bone fishing we experienced was nothing short of spectacular as all our guests landed solid numbers of big bonefish late in the day. Carson got stuck into a few bigger fish and managed a double-digit bonefish to end off a very productive first day on the flats.

Day 2 saw our guests pick up from where they left off landing 4 triggers for the day. Lars, Christian, and Ivar all getting a yellow margin each, while Doug managed a moustache trigger. The GTs were also out on the flats in good numbers providing everyone in the group with numerous shots. Justin, Brian, Matt, and Rob all landed a GT each. The bone fishing was once again something to write home about with several large specimens brought to hand. 

By the third day of the week our guests were well and truly in the swing of things and this showed as Doug, who was busy with his second week on Providence, landed 3 GTs for the day – one of which stretched the measuring tape past the magical 100 cm mark, measuring 103cm! Dave and Justin also got stuck into the GTs landing 2 each while Matt G joined the party with another GT to complete a great day on the GT front. Justin added to his 2 GTs for the day with a solid yellow margin triggerfish.

The fourth day of the week saw our guests enjoy several phenomenal catches. Ivar kept his impressive streak going on the triggerfish front by adding another 2 to his tally for the week. We also saw 2 more bumpies caught with Rob and Matt G each landing one of these bizarre and exciting creatures. The diversity of Providence shone bright yet again treating our guests to exceptional fishing for the plethora of resident groupers, snappers, and wrasse. The standout catch on this front was a large napoleon wrasse landed by Carson. The GT fishing continued to impress with our guests converting 7 fish for the day. Brian, Dave, Doug, Carson, Justin, and Ivar all landed these iconic flats fish with the catch of the day going to Matt P who landed his first GT over a meter with a respectable fish of 101cm. Well done, Matt!

Day 5 saw more impressive catches of the various groupers, snappers and trevally that frequent providence’s wild waters. We experienced good fishing on the flats as Brian landed his first ever bumphead parrotfish on the fly. Our group also encountered good numbers of giant trevally on the flats during the day although the shots proved tricky due to less than desirable weather conditions. Rob and Ivar landed one apiece while Christian ended the day with 2 GT’s to his name rounding off another successful and exciting day.

The last day of the week had our group chomping at the bit to get out and make the most of their final day’s fishing on Providence. The focus was on GTs and a total of 7 were caught for the day. Matt G and Brian both landed 1 GT each while Carson went 1 better with 2 GTs to his name. Christian continued his good form and went onto land a total of 3 for the day closing off a challenging yet exciting week of fishing on Providence. 

Our catch tally for week 3 was as follows: 

  • GTs: 35 (2 of 100cm plus)
  • Triggerfish: 9
  • Bumpies: 3
  • Milkfish: 1
  • Bonefish: 42 (1 of 10lbs.)
  • Total number of other species landed: 268

Until next week, 

The Providence Guide Team

Providence Blog: 25 Oct – 1 Nov 2022

The second week of our season saw us welcome a mixed group of anglers from all over the globe, most regulars to our Providence fly fishing program. Following a thorough tackle inspection and set-up, we set sail with excited anticipation towards the wild waters surrounding Providence. 

Day 1 started with a bang delivering a total of 9 GTs for the day. Andre, Doug, and Rob all landed 1 each – Rob’s fish measured an impressive 101cm. The team of Chris C, Chris W, and Peter went one better and landed 2 GTs each. Not to be outdone, Chris W also managed to break the magical 1-meter mark by taming a powerful 101cm GT adding another to the trophy tally for the day. Over and above the great GT fishing was the exciting fishing enjoyed around the coral gardens found throughout the atoll. The highlights on this front were numerous large bluefin trevally and 2 napoleon wrasse which capped off another diverse day of fishing on Providence.

Day 2 was filled with action from the get-go and despite adverse weather conditions, our guests still enjoyed impressive catches for the day. We experienced wild action around the coral gardens again and our guests landed a multitude of species during the high-water periods of the day. Prov’s flats fired too, providing fantastic opportunities to target GT’s and Bones. Andre, Rob, and Chris W made the most of their chances and all landed a couple solid GTs. 

Day 3 saw our guests encounter massive bait balls throughout the day which delivered amazing bluefin and giant trevally action. Rob and Chris C both capitalized on their opportunities by landing a GT each, while Peter and Chris W went one better by taming 2 GTs a piece. Some of our favourite tailing species were also found on the flats, resulting in Andre landing a lively moustache triggerfish. Fergus’s persistence paid off as he managed to land the first bumphead parrotfish of the week. Well done, Fergus! 

Day 4 began with a break in the weather which complimented the fishing favorably. Gerald got stuck into the bluefin trevally and landed an absolute brute of a fish that stretched the measuring tape to an impressive 83cm! The flats fishing for GTs was phenomenal, treating our guests to some of the most incredible action we’ve ever witnessed. Doug, Scott, and Phillip all landed a GT each. A special mention for Phillip whose fish was just 5cm short of the magical 100cm mark. Rob enjoyed some exciting GT fishing as well, bringing 2 fish to hand while Andre went one better with 3 GTs. The standout catch of day 4 went to Miles who managed to land a trophy bumpie that pulled the measuring tape all the way to 106cm. Well done, Miles! 

The 5th day of the week could only be described in one word, mayhem. Our guests all experienced amazing fishing early in the morning. Lines were stretched by various species including bohar snapper, serval different grouper, bluefin trevally, bonito, and even rainbow runner. A total of 26 GTs landed for the day with Rob, Scott, Doug, and Sam all landing a fish each, with Sam’s catch a special one as it was his first ever successful GT catch. There were also fish for Phillip, Miles, Chris C, and Peter who all landed 2 GTs each. Peter added another trophy GT to the tally with a fish of 102cm. The largest fish of the day, however, went to Chris W who apart from landing 3 GTs managed to stick a solid 104cm GT. Great job, Chris! Gerald had a fantastic day landing 5 GTs as well as number of other reef species while Fergus went one better landing 6 GTs himself for the day. The mood was jovial after such an incredible day out on the flats, with excited stories of the day’s exploits shared over a round of drinks on the back deck of the Dugong that evening. 

The sixth and final day of the week brought with it clear skies and higher winds making casting in some scenarios challenging. Nevertheless, our guests still enjoyed some incredible fishing to round off another special week on Providence. Fergus, Gerald and Rob landed a GT a piece although Fergus’ fish was bittersweet as he had unfortunately lost a massive fish earlier in the day. Doug and Andre also got stuck into the GTs with 2 fish each. There was a multitude of species landed on the last day as we again saw large numbers of bluefin trevally, bohar snapper, and grouper. Gerald finished his trip with a special catch landing a napoleon wrasse to cap off another very successful week on Providence.

Our total catch tally for week 2 was:

  • GTs – 60 (4 over 100cm)
  • Bumpy- 2 (1 of 106cm)
  • Bonefish- 4
  • Napoleon Wrasse- 6
  • Triggerfish- 1
  • Rainbow Runner- 3
  • Bluefin trevally, Bohar Snapper, Grouper etc. – 726

Until next week, 

The Flycastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 18 – 25 October 2022

The opening week of our Oct- Dec 2022 Providence fly fishing season saw us welcome a mix of new and familiar faces to kick things off for our end of year stint on the wildest atoll in Seychelles. 

The first day began with a bang as the group got stuck into the GTs from the outset. There were 8 GTs landed for the day with Helmut leading the pack with 6 of them. The triggerfish were also out in good numbers and the guests enjoyed great tailing trigger action. Nicolai and Grigory landed 1 each, Vladimir Jr 2, and Vladimir Snr tallying 4 triggers to his name. The day came to an end with some of the group experiencing fantastic bone fishing which capped off a diverse opening day on the flats.

Day 2 saw some weather move in, providing mostly overcast conditions. This did not affect the fishing too much as we saw another 10 GTs landed for the day, Helmut again in the thick of the action with 4 fish. There were great numbers of large bones around, and again our guests managed to land a good number during the morning tide.

The third day saw our guests really capitalize on the favorable tides and weather conditions. Vladimir Snr and Vladimir Jr both continued to enjoy their fishing this week and landed 2 triggerfish each. Justin went one better by landing 3 triggers, while Nicolai also got in on the trigger action with 1. There were good numbers of bones around yet again with several larger specimens brought to hand, the catch for the day going to Chris with his 9,5lb bone which ran him deep into backing on a few occasions. Along with the tailing species showing up in good numbers were the GTs. Our group managed to bring a total of 17 to hand on day 3 with Grigory and Helmut leading the pack landing 4 each, Nicolai and Chris both landed 3, while Sasha landed 2. The action didn’t stop on the flats and group continued the fun prospecting the Prov’s coral gardens for various grouper and snapper species. Helmet landed the most notable catch during this session with a large napoleon wrasse to cap off a productive day on Providence.

The fourth day saw our guests land 19 GTs between them as they all really got into their groove. Justin landed 6 during the day while Helmut and Chris both managed 5 each. Nicolai also got in on the GT action landing 2 of his own. There was some phenomenal trigger fishing on the flats with 7 fish landed and a whole bunch more hooked. Vladimir Snr enjoyed a special day with 4 triggers landed in quick succession.

The fifth day saw us experience slightly bigger tides. The larger tidal variance and water draining off the flats saw us encounter large schools of feeding milkfish in the deeper water just off the flats. Chris and Nicolai both capitalized by hooking and landing one a piece. Nicolai’s fish was a special one as it was one of the bigger specimens that we have seen in recent seasons, and it put up an immense fight at close quarters. The fishing around the larger coral heads was very productive on the high tide, which saw some of our guests land a multitude of interesting reef species. Some notable catches from this session of fishing were 2 napoleon wrasse landed by Maxim and Vladimir Jr, respectively. These impressive fish tested the anglers and their gear to the extreme but in the end there were smiles all round. We also saw large schools of bumphead parrotfish on the flats and Grigory opened the account for the season with the first bumpie landed. There were good numbers of GTs patrolling the flats too which resulted in Vladimir Jnr landing the first GT over the fabled 100cm mark for the season. An immensely powerful 105cm fish caught on a large turtle grass flat, well done Valdimir! 

We experienced dark overcast weather on the final day of the week making the fishing rather challenging. We changed our tactics and set about  searching for bow waking fish. Justin landed 2 GTs while the standout catch for the day went to Andrey who managed to tame a monster bumpie of 106cm. This fish put up an immense fight which eventually ended with his prized catch firmly in the net, surrounded by smiles and loud celebration. A wonderful way to end a very productive opening week.  

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • GTs – 61 (1 of 100cm plus)
  • Triggerfish – 23
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 2
  • Bonefish – 27 
  • Milkfish – 2
  • Total tally of other species caught – 362

Until next week,

The Providence Guide Team

Fly fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish in the Seychelles

Fly Fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish is a thrilling experience unique to the Farquhar Group of Atoll’s in Seychelles, specifically Farquhar Atoll and Providence Atoll. Our history targeting the species goes back as far as 2007 when the very first Bumphead Parrotfish was successfully landed using fly fishing gear on Farquhar. Since then, our team has refined the necessary fly fishing techniques and has gained in-depth knowledge of when and how to successfully target the powerful “Bumpie”.

The IGFA All-Tackle World Record Bumphead Parrotfish caught by angler Mark Weeks & FlyCastaway guide Brandan Becker.

Fast Facts:

  • The IGFA All-Tackle World Record Bumphead Parrotfish was landed by a FlyCastaway guest on Providence Atoll in November 2019 weighing a whopping 46.35kgs (102 lbs.) and was certainly a highlight of that saltwater fly fishing season. We regularly encounter the species between 80 – 110cm on the flats. 
  • Bumphead Parrotfish are a slow-growing species and are thought to live as long as 40 years.
  • Typically encounters occur while schools of 10 – 30 fish feed in shallow water on soft corals and crustaceans on the hard bottom flats of Farquhar and Providence.
  • Bumphead Parrotfish accept a range of crab patterns tied on good-quality hooks. The most important element for success while fishing to the species lies in the presentation based on the amount of current or lack thereof, and the kind of substrate you happen to be fishing over.

A Bumphead Parrotfish double caught on Providence Atoll.

 Rigging up for Bumphead Parrotfish

  • The best fly rods for Bumphead Parrotfish are 9-foot 10wt fast action saltwater fly rods. – We recommend 9ft 10wt G.Loomis NRX +.
  • The best fly lines for Bumphead Parrotfish are 10wt Tropical/Warm water fly lines to match the recommended rod – Our choice is the Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 flats Universal Taper 10wt fly line.
  • The best reels for Bumphead Parrotfish should have the following features: fast line retrieval, a drag system designed to handle wet wading in saltwater, and a minimum backing capacity of 250 yards of 60lb gel spun or casting braid. – Our top pick is the WADE Chanos which was designed to handle fish of this nature effectively.
  • Our leader configuration is unique, although simply put 25 – 30lb 9ft fluorocarbon tapered leaders are acceptable. The leader is joined to the fly line with a loop-to-loop connection, with the Perfection Loop the knot of choice on the leader end. Our knot of choice to the fly is the Improved Homer Rhode Knot which is a non-slip loop knot.
  • The best flies for Bumphead Parrotfish include Merkin and Flexo crab patterns tied on size #2 Gamakatsu SL12S hooks. Fly colours should be orange, white, or tan and should be tied with weed guards and in varying weights. We recommend packing 4 of each of these patterns as they’ll be used to catch just about all of the iconic tailing fish species available while on your fly fishing trip to Farquhar Atoll or Providence Atoll.

The right fly fishing outfit is essential while fly fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish.

How to catch more Bumphead Parrotfish on the flats

The positioning

Image supplied by Dave McCoy – FCA guide and guest move to get in the right position on Farquhar Atoll.

To dramatically improve your catch rate while fly fishing for Bumphead Parrotfish you should take your time to move into the right position before making your first presentation. A head on shot is ideal, this means getting directly in line with the school, so that the Bumphead Parrotfish are feeding directly towards your position on the flats. Take care to do this so that you do not alert the school of your presence.

The presentation

A school of Bumphead Parrotfish feed and move slowly towards a FlyCastaway guest on Providence Atoll.

The school should now be moving slowly toward your position allowing for a head-on shot. Now select a single fish in the school, preferably the closest fish, and aim to present the fly at least 4ft short of it, allowing the fly to settle on the bottom. Should the school’s feeding direction change and your target fish no longer on track to swim past your fly, you should retrieve your fly back quickly, move again, and repeat the presentation.

The retrieve

Image supplied by Dave McCoy – Matching the correct position, presentation, and retrieve will greatly improve your catch rate on the flats.

Bumphead Parrotfish will not actively hunt down a moving fly, therefore you need to present a static fly to the fish. The trick here is to retrieve only the slack out of the fly line so that you are in constant contact with your static fly sitting on the bottom. A feeding Bumpie will pick up your fly and slowly swim off with it in its beak, at this point you will feel a slight pulling sensation through the fly line meaning it’s time to set the hook with a short firm strip strike.

The fight

Image supplied by Dave McCoy – Bumphead Parrotfish are renowned for their explosive first run.

Bumphead Parrotfish are renowned for being one of the hardest fishing shallow water targets in the Indian Ocean. Following a successful hook-up, you will need to survive the initial run which is where your gear will play a critical role. Your drag should be set to roughly 60% of the maximum given the fact that we fish tippets of 25-30lbs. If all goes according to plan and you are still connected to the hooked Bumpie after its initial run, you can now begin applying more pressure on the fish with good rod angles and a slow lift and reel down line retrieval method.

Where is the best Bumphead Parrotfish destination for you?

There are just 2 destinations on the planet that provide consistent and reliable fly fishing opportunities for Bumphead Parrotfish. As the business that pioneered fly fishing in Seychelles, we’ve come to learn which venue is best for your needs and what tides are most likely to provide the experience you are after. If you are looking for the best venues on earth to catch Bumphead Parrotfish then we would strongly suggest the following:

Providence Atoll

Image supplied by Peter McLeod – A school of feeding Bumphead Parrotfish approaches FCA angler and guide.

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 powerful Bumphead Parrotfish. 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

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 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: 12-19 April 2022

Welcome to the 6th week’s fishing report from the Providence Atoll’s March – April 2022 fly fishing season. This week saw us welcome a group of mostly newcomers to the Prov fly fishing experience. Following the usual thorough orientation of our mothership and description of the day-to-day fishing routine we set sail for Providence and its exciting flats. 

The first day offered up plenty of opportunities on the GT front with a total of 13 brought to hand by days end. Tom C, James E, Gerald, John A, and Jeremy all managed to land their first-ever GTs on the fly, well done gentlemen! The tailing fish species were also encountered at times, which allowed James O and Chad to add a splash of color to the catch report when they managed to hook and land a Triggerfish each on the opening day of the week. The standout catch, however, went to Gerald who after spotting a large olive shape move across a white sand flat, made a good presentation and a couple of strips, before he was connected to his first-ever Bonefish on the fly. Following a long battle consisting of long runs into his backing, he was rewarded with a Bone of 10lbs… Well done Gerald, a special way to end the opening day of fishing!

The second day saw our guests enjoy another great day of GT fishing with a total of 19 landed during the day. Catches of note included John L’s first-ever GT and Bumphead Parrotfish on the fly, well done John! James E also managed to land his first-ever Bumpie, while Jeremy went on to hook and land his first-ever Bonefish. Well done guys, a great day with loads of first-time experiences enjoyed by our guests. 

The third day provided yet more productive flats fishing for GTs with a total of 15 landed. The day’s highlights included two special catches, the first for Chad who had been waiting in ambush on a coral head when he spotted a blue shape sneaking past his position. After presenting his fly and following a couple of fast strips he hooked and landed a monster GT that measured 113cm, well done Chad! His boat partner, however, enjoyed a moment of flats fishing magic while wading an exposed ridge on the low tide when he saw a massive black fish holding in the current. Tom presented his fly in the perfect spot and watched as a giant mouth exploded out of the water and over his fly. After an intense fight the landed fish measured an amazing 121cm. Well done Tom P, undoubtedly a fish of a lifetime! Chad continued his good form and eventually landed a Triggerfish late in the day. Well-done gentleman, a special day on the flats shared between good mates is about as good as it can get. 

The fourth day saw a total of 5 GTs landed with the fish of the day caught by John A. His trophy was encountered while wading on the edge of the flat when he saw a fish charge towards him from the deep water. After a quick snap cast, he watched as the fish inhaled the fly at his feet. An intense fight followed, and the landed fish measured an impressive 110cm…. well done John A! Chad managed to land yet another Triggerfish, to cap off a other great day.

The fifth day’s GT catch tallied up to 7 for the day. The fish of the day went again to Chad who after waiting patiently on an exposed set of coral heads saw a school of large black fish move into the area. He presented his fly in front of the school before all hell broke loose as several fish rushed forward to eat his helpless baitfish imitation. After an intense fight and a bit of luck, he managed to land another trophy specimen of 118cm, well done Chad!

The sixth and final day of the fishing week saw a total of 14 GTs landed for the day. The largest GT on the final day went to James O who hooked and landed an incredibly strong 97cm fish surrounded by beautiful azure water and white crashing surf. The Milkfish also made an appearance on the final day which provided an opportunity for John L and John A to fish and eventually land their first-ever Milks on the fly. Well done, Gentlemen! 

This brings a close to a week full of first-time experiences for our guests. We enjoyed every moment we spent on the flats this week and we look forward to welcoming you all back again soon. 

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • GTs- 74 (5 over a 100cm)
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 2
  • Triggerfish – 4
  • Bonefish – 3
  • Milkfish – 2
  • Total tally of species landed – 189

Yours in fishing,

The Providence Guide Team

Sterkfontein Dam Blog: Jan – Feb 2022

2022 saw South Africa experience one of the wettest summers in our recent history. The shear amount of water and variable weather conditions experienced between January & February can make fly fishing a challenge, particularly in South Africa. This was not the case during our 2022 Sterkfontein fly fishing season and again proved why “Sterkies” is our favourite high summer fly fishing destination, it just keeps producing the goods regardless of the variables!

This season at Sterkies saw us run our full fleet of customised Fusion 17ft boats for a period of 7 weeks. Our team rose the bar another couple of notches with days full of opportunities, even during the most challenging of conditions. Week in and week out we felt a great deal of pride seeing the excited grins on the faces of our guests who had either just tasted their first ever Smallmouth Yellowfish success, or veterans of the experience expressing a sense of satisfaction closely resembling one’s face after enjoying a delicious meal. The fish swam high and happy, and we were in the right place at the right time. A success in so many ways, we’ve highlighted the top 5 moments from our 2022 season below:

1. Ant Fall

Sterkfontein is comparatively devoid of aquatic hatches. Despite this, the reservoir experiences prolific ant falls with hundreds, if not thousands of these terrestrials losing their way and eventually falling into the dam. Our quarry, the Smallmouth Yellowfish have cottoned onto this phenomenon and lock onto them. At times they become very selective, only accepting profiles that closely resemble the ants in the water. A simple fly change is often all it takes and then the action begins in ernest. Guests Tom Lewin & Dean Riphagen of Frontier Fly Fishing experienced this exact scenario and managed to make the most of their opportunities as the fish swam just a few inches below the surface picking off the struggling ants. Although these hatches are not guaranteed, when they do happen the dry fly sight fishing action can only be described as superb. See the video below of a brief snippet of this experience.

2. First Time Success

Welcoming first-time visitors to Sterkfontein is always an exciting occasion, and an opportunity for us to unlock the full fishing potential of the fishery immediately for our guests. Keegan Kennedy of Xplorer fly fishing and friend Matt joined us for a couple of days on the dam. Their second day produced one of the most productive sessions we’ve ever seen, with no fewer than 36 x Smallmouth Yellowfish brought to hand, all sight fished under bluebird skies. Keegan caught 3 specimens of 50cm (20 inches) plus, which are large enough to be considered as trophies at Sterkfontein. Well done, Keegan!

3. Veteran’s Redemption

Long-time friends of FlyCastaway, John and Paddy enjoyed a stella 4 days of fly fishing with us during our Jan-Feb Sterkfontein season. The duo was treated to various dry fly fishing scenarios, most notably were the late afternoons where they experienced the thrill of heavy ant falls. On each occasion the team made the most of their opportunities and went on to enjoy double digit days on the dam which is no mean feat… Well done gentlemen!

4. Open water cruisers 

The father and son duo of Ian and Drummond also had their eyes opened to the full fishing potential available at Sterkfontein. They enjoyed an incredibly productive session fishing in the open water, amid a large brewing storm. The sharp change in barometric pressure mixed with the large ant fall meant the duo experienced some of Sterkfontein’s gold standard, the guys landing several large and healthy Smallmouth Yellowfish!

5. Guide’s Day Off

Although there weren’t very many days to spend on the water ourselves, we took the few opportunities we had to explore rarely visited areas of the dam, putting the prior evening’s creative fly tying product through its paces. Fly fishing at Sterkfontein is one of those experiences that you can fully immerse yourself in, where the mind doesn’t wonder about anything other than the task at hand…. finding high riding smallmouth yellowfish and attempting to convince them to eat our new/improved dry fly patterns. One such day stands out above the rest when guides Justin and Milan found a string of fish while drifting along an extended scum line in the middle of the dam. The boys made quick work of the fish and enjoyed an incredibly productive 2-hour session which left them both itching for that next day off!

Our time at Sterkies provided us with another opportunity to scratch that sight fishing itch that we love so dearly, which for the most part we have to travel far and wide to enjoy. There isn’t any doubt in our minds that this experience ranks highly with other top venues around the world, whether it be in the fresh or saltwater. As the saying goes “no rest for the wicked” we have already begun our preseason preparations for our 2023 season where we’ll be extending our season into March. For those of you who fished with us this year, we thank you and we look forward to sharing Southern Africa’s No 1 sight fishing destination with you again soon.

Yours in fishing,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 5-12 April 2022

Another mixed group of anglers from around the world joined us aboard our mothership for the fifth week of the Providence March – April 2022 fly fishing season. Some of the group were first time visitors to Seychelles, while others were about to begin their second week of fishing with us. We had set our expectations for a diverse 6 days of fishing and this is how it went…

The first day of the fishing week saw our guests experience a picture-perfect day on the flats with little wind and bluebird skies. These conditions allowed for several sight fishing opportunities for GTs on the flats which resulted in our group amassing a total of 12 GTs for the day. The highlights included first time GT success for both Jim and David. David however, hit the ground running in a big way landing a total of 4 GTs and a Triggerfish on his first ever day on the flats in Seychelles. Well done, David, a wonderful way to start your Providence adventure!

The second day provided plenty of action on the GT front with a total of 12 landed for the day. A special mention for both Joe and Paul who managed to complete their first ever GT catches on the fly, while Jim enjoyed success, hooking and landing his first ever and mighty powerful Bumpie.

The third day brought with it wide variety on the flats with a total of 10 GTs, 2 Triggerfish, 1 Bumphead Parrotifsh, and a Milkfish landed. The GT catch of the day went to Dom who expertly fished a large bow waking fish that pulled the measuring tape to 101cm… excellent job Dom! Watts enjoyed first time success for the atoll’s beautiful Yellow Margin Triggerfish, landing not 1 but 2 for the day. Well done Watts. Nico found himself in the thick of the action first thing on the third morning when his second presentation to a school of Milkfish saw him go tight and eventually land his first ever Milkfish catch. Nico then went onto to tame a monster of a Bumpie measuring 110cm. Well done gents, a momentous day on the flats with several first-time successes!

The fourth day produced a full house of catches on the flats with several of the atoll’s iconic species brought to hand for the day. Our group made their most of their opportunities in front of the GTs and landed a total of 18. Nico and John both enjoyed stella days landing 3 and 4 GTs respectively. David and Peter also found themselves in the right place at the right time with each of them landing 2 Bumpies, well done guys! The atoll’s large Bonefish made an appearance late on in the afternoon providing great skinny water flats fishing for Watts, Paul and David. Paul’s Bonefish was a special fish as it completed his flats slam consisting of a Bonefish, GT, and Triggerfish… great work Paul!

The fifth day saw a total of 5 GTs landed. The fish of the day was caught by David after it was spotted crossing a shallow flat with its back out of the water. Once David’s presentation was acknowledged by the fish it blasted towards his fly, inhaling it with a violent splash which was followed by a powerful fight. David eventually managed to reel in a beauty which measured an impressive 101cm. David’s run of good form continued and he went on land his first Triggerfish and first Bumpie to complete a flats slam… great work David! The Bumpies were encountered in substantial numbers with large schools frequently seen on the flats. Ian, Paul, and Watts all tasted success on this front with each of them landing their first Bumpies on the fly. Well done gentleman!

The sixth day dawned with dark clouds and rolling banks of rain. The tricky weather conditions deteriorated with the addition of lightning resulting in our group losing half of the fishing day. Despite this, our group still managed to land a total of 3 GTs and 6 bonefish.

This wraps up a wonderful week of fishing the flats of Providence. As always, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring this outlandish atoll with those that joined us and we look forward to welcoming you all back soon.

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • GTs – 60 (2 of 100cm plus)
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 11
  • Triggerfish – 13
  • Bonefish – 16
  • Milkfish – 2

Until next week,

The Providence Guide Team

Providence Blog: 29 March-5 April 2022

The fourth week of the Providence March – April 2022 fly fishing season saw us welcome another mixed group of anglers from all over the world including South Africa, England, and the USA. The mix of personalities aboard the Maya’s Dugong made for a festive first evening as we chatted with eager anticipation about the exciting fishing we were all in for over the course of the 6 days to come…

The first fishing day delivered a total of 13 GTs with both John and Derrick landing their first ever GTs on the fly, well done gents! The atoll’s resident Milkfish population were encountered in good numbers in the late afternoon, providing Matt with the perfect opportunity to try his hand for these turbocharged speedsters of the deep blue. In just a few casts Matt found himself in the thick of the action when hooked up and eventually landed his first ever Milkfish! A great way to start the week, well done Matt!

The second day saw similar returns on the GT front with a total of 13 landed for the day. The standout catch, however, came after Watts saw the fabled sickled tail of a Permit working its way down a sandy beach. He then presented his fly ahead of his golden quarry and waited for the fish to get within a few inches of it before enticing the eat with a quick strip causing a reaction bite. After a short fight the fish came to hand and the first Indo Pacific Permit of the season was landed…. well done Watts, a truly special moment!

The third day brought with it an incredible day of GT fishing with a total of 20 fish landed, 5 of which breaking the fabled metre mark!!!! Matt enjoyed a cracker of a day and landed a fish of 104cm, followed by a beautiful 105cm giant. Gerhard also enjoyed a couple epic catches being a 101cm and amazing 112cm GT. The fishing gods however had something up their sleeve for him! While he waited patiently in a spot during the incoming tide he saw a large blue shape slide across a white hole in the turtle grass flat. After he presented his fly on the line of the fish, the fish charged, and Gerhard was connected to a fish of a lifetime. Following an intense fight through a coral garden he managed to land a truly special fish that pulled the measuring tape to a jaw dropping 130cm. To hook and land a fish of these proportions on foot is moment of flats fishing magic we are sure Gerhard will remember forever, well done G! Gerhard also managed to land the first Triggerfish for the week while Russ, Peter and Kevin enjoyed a great session fishing for Bonefish in the late afternoon.

The fourth day saw a total of 15 GTs landed. After seeing a massive nurse shark come into the surf zone, Peter worked hard to get into position and presented his fly in front of the school that were following the shark. As his fly hit the water the school raced towards his baitfish presentation and after a huge commotion of energic splashes he was tight with an incredibly powerful GT that measured an impressive 106cm, great job Peter! Matt enjoyed yet more GT success and landed another 2 GTs that broke that magical metre mark. The milkfish were present again and Gerhard, Matt, and Russ all enjoyed success while fishing for this exciting species, well done gents!

The fifth day produced more variety of catches on the flats with a total of 8 GTs landed. Gerhard managed to add to his Triggerfish tally while Matt continued his good form on the flats by landing the first Bumphead Parrotfish of the week, fantastic work Matt! Jari who had been eager to land a Milkfish on the fly finally managed to get it done early on the fifth morning… great job and well deserved Jari!

The sixth and final day saw a total of 12 GT landed. Jari managed to break the fabled metre mark and land a beautiful 103cm GT, well done Jari. The day however, belonged to Dale who after multiple trips to Providence lined up the perfect shot on a really big fish holding in the current. After presenting his fly he watched as the fish charged in and inhaled it. After a strong fight he landed the magnificent 126cm GT…. well done Dale, a fish of a lifetime. Gerhard managed to land another Triggerfish and today G’s Triggerfish success was shared by Russ who managed to land his first ever on the fly, well done Russ!

And so brings a close to the fourth week of the season. With perfect weather conditions and excellent comradery to match our group enjoyed a very special week exploring the azure waters of Providence.

Our catch tally for the week was as follows:

  • GTs – 81 (10 GTs over 100cm..2 over 120cm)
  • Triggerfish – 4
  • Milkfish – 8
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 1
  • Bonefish – 7
  • Permit – 1
  • Total tally of other species caught – 358

Until next week,

The Providence Guide Team

Providence Blog: 22 – 29 March 2022

Welcome to the third week of the Providence March – April 2022 fly fishing season. This week saw us welcome a mixed group of anglers from the UK and the US. Some of the guys were regulars to the Providence experience while others first time visitors to the wonders of this unique Seychelles atoll. The previous 2 weeks of fishing action had our expectations set sky high, as we completed the final bits of preparation before the first day of week 3 on Prov’s exciting flats.

The first day dawned with a slight breeze and bluebird skies resulting in perfect sight fishing conditions. It turned out to be a day of firsts for our guests who got into swing of things from the moment their feet hit the flats, with Mark, Margaret, Vaughn, Duncan and Will all landing their first GTs on the fly. By the time all our tender boats had returned to the mothership on the first evening, we had amassed a total of 19 GTs for the day…a great start! 

The second day saw a total of 12 GTs landed, with a special mention for Will who experienced the thrill of shallow water GT fishing when he connected to a large fish that had been seen tailing on the edge of a lagoon. His beauty stretched the measuring tape to 100cm on the dot… well done Will! Gerry experienced something similar when he managed to entice a massive fish from a school to eat his fly, and following an intense battle the landed fish measured an impressive 109cm… well done Gerry! The tailing fish species were also encountered in good numbers resulting in Kris and Chris each landing their first Triggerfish on the fly. Well done gentlemen!

The third day delivered a truly diverse experience for our guests, with loads exciting opportunities in front of the different iconic flats species available on Providence. By day end our group had landed a total of 17 GTs, 5 Bonefish and a Triggerfish. The Triggerfish landed was a special one as it completed a flats slam of a GT, Bonefish, and Triggerfish for Alexander… excellent job Alexander!

The fourth day saw a total of 16 GTs and another 3 Triggerfish landed. The only Bonefish of the day was landed by Duncan, when he completed his first and the group’s second flats slam of the week… well done Duncan!

The fifth day produced more exciting variety on the flats and in the bluewater, with 7 GTs, 6 Triggerfish, and 3 Milkfish landed. The highlights of the day included Mark and Margaret’s first ever Triggerfish catches. A special mention goes out to Margaret who went on to complete her first flats slam consisting of a GT, Bonefish, and Triggerfish… fantastic Margaret! The conditions proved perfect for fishing for the atoll’s resident Milkfish population, which resulted in Will, Vaughn, and Chris all landing their first Milks on the fly, Great job guys! Chris’s Milkfish success late in the day completed yet another slam… superbly done Chris!

The sixth and final day of the fishing week saw our guests enjoy bluebird skies and very little wind. The conditions, perfect for sight fishing,  delivered a total of 19 GTs landed. Margaret enjoyed the standout catch with an incredibly powerful 103cm GT, picked from a school that was found staging up on the edge of the atoll, nicely done Margaret! The Bumphead Parrotfish were encountered in good numbers resulting in both Mark and Vaughn completing there first ever Bumphead catches… Well done gents! The Milkfish were again found feeding heavily on the outer rim of the atoll, Alex and Duncan going on to land one each… their first ever on the fly. Excellent job guys.

Another busy of week of fly fishing for the full assortment of species available at Providence Atoll has come to an end. As always, it was a pleasure to share the ultimate saltwater playground with our guests during week 3 of this season, and we look forward to what the next trip has in store for us.

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • GTs – 90 (3 over a 100cm and biggest 109cm)
  • Bumphead Parrotfish – 2
  • Triggerfish – 12
  • Milkfish – 5
  • Bonefish – 8
  • Napoleons Wrasse- 1
  • Total tally of other species landed – 483

Yours in fishing,

The Providence Guide Team