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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

St Brandons Blog: 16 – 26 Oct 2023

Our 7th week of fly fishing on St Brandon’s saw us treated to a change in tide cycle and picture-perfect conditions. With a smaller tidal range to deal with, we were afforded the opportunity to explore some of the lesser-frequented areas found throughout the atoll and this is how it went. 

Conditions for the week: Clear skies and very little wind.

Fly fishing for trophy bonefish at St Brandon's Atoll.

Our guests got straight into the action on the bonefishing front, landing loads of large bones under various fly fishing scenarios. The standout catch went to Eugene, who left his best for the last day of the week when he managed to land a massive bonefish that tipped the scale at the 10 lb mark. An impressive catch, well done Eugene. 

Most of the Indo-Pacific Permit encounters we had this week were had while the fish tailed behind and next to stingrays, as they moved slowly across the flats. Ben struck gold when he managed to hook into his personal best permit, weighing an impressive 14 lbs. A fantastic catch Ben, well done!

We enjoyed very good fishing for the different trevally species that call St Brandon home. The sand spits fished particularly well, with loads of sightings of large Bluefin and GTs smashing bait along their shorelines. Eugene found himself in the thick of the action here too, landing the one and only GT for the week, an incredibly strong fish that measured 100cm.

Our catch tally for the week was: 

  • Bonefish – 81 (1 of 10 lbs) 
  • Permit – 3 (1 of 14lbs)
  • Bluefin – 10 
  • GT – 1 (100 cm)

Till next time, 

The FlyCastaway Team

St Brandons Blog: 9 – 19 Oct 2023

Welcome to the report from our 6th week of the season. Our lucky group of anglers from the previous week had another 7 days on the flats to look forward to as they had all booked a 2-week back-to-back stay with us. With a bigger tidal range and clear blue skies predicted in the weather report, we felt excited to get out there and show them more of water the atoll can deliver

Week 6 conditions: Spring tides, clear skies, and little wind.

This week saw our guests enjoy the fly fishing experience St Brandon’s is most famous for; skinny water bonefishing. With cool water and loads of hungry bones around, our guests got stuck into the action from the moment their boots hit the white sand. Typical encounters included fishing for the bonefish while they tailed and worked their way up the gradual taper of the flats with the morning’s pushing tide. With productive fishing sessions enjoyed by everyone, we managed to rack up a very respectable catch tally for the week. As for the big fish, our standout catch on this front went to Trent when he hooked into a silver missile that not only ran him into the backing several times but also tipped the scales at 10 lbs! Great job, Trent!

Permit fishing is a cruel pursuit and although we had our shots, were only able to get 3 of these elusive creatures to hand for the week. Justin was the only fisherman this week who could convince the fish to pounce on a fly and he landed all 3 himself, 1 of which was a genuine trophy, weighing in at 15,5 lb! He managed to pick up this beauty while it followed a large stingray near a storm ridge. A very special catch late in the day. Well done Justin!

We experienced decent action on the trevally front as well, with favourable conditions in the way of good light and loads of baitfish found around the landmasses. This set us up nicely and we enjoyed several shots at large Giant Trevally. 1 of our anglers enjoyed all the spoils here, landing 2 beautiful fish, 1 of which stretched the measuring tape all the way to 105cm.

 

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • Bonefish – 113 (3 of 10 lbs)
  • Indo-Pacific Permit – 3 (1 of 15,5 lbs)
  • Bluefin Trevally – 31
  • GTs – 2 (Biggest 105 cm)

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 24 – 31 October 2023

The second week of the Providence season was upon us, and with it, a fresh group of anglers including some newcomers and some familiar faces. The variables looked good with exceptional weather, sunshine and little wind.

We headed out with urgency on the first morning to make the most of tides and the species that frequent the flats under these conditions. As such we focused on the tailing species and mother and son team of Wendy and Mike, joined by Matt capitalized early, landing 6 very good bonefish between the 3 of them. Matt also did very well in landing his first yellow-margin triggerfish. Well done, Matt! Dave and Steve also got stuck into the bonefish, as well as the triggers going on to land 15 bones, 2 triggers between the pair – An awesome way to start the week!

The second day saw a vast improvement on the GT front with most of the group off the mark with a few good fish. Gary landed 2 GTs, while his boat partners John, and Ed, landed 1 apiece. A special mention for Anthony who managed to land his first GT ever on the fly, a special feeling and moment shared between him and his guide. The rest of the group managed to chip in with 4, bringing the day’s tally to 9 GTs landed. To top off the improved GT fishing was the exceptional fishing we experienced in the coral gardens with loads of line-ripping grouper and snapper brought to hand.

The third day gifted us with more sun and little wind. The team of Gary, Ed, and John did very well for the day, landing 6 GTs between them, including a massive 114 cm fish caught while it patrolled the edge of a vast sandy flat. The man of the hour was Gary, who made a great cast into the wind to intercept this giant! Joe also joined the 1-meter club by landing himself a beautiful 102 cm GT while Matt over on the sandy stretch wasn’t to be left out and connected to and eventually landed a 102 cm GT as well. Well done, gentleman! This brought our day’s tally to 12 GTs landed, with 3 measuring over that fabled 100 cm mark.

The weather began to take a turn for the worse during the fourth day, but the GT fishing certainly didn’t. In the thick of the action yet again, the team of Ed, Gary and John, managed to land 7 Giant Trevally all measuring in the 80 to mid-90s range. Wendy and Mike shared the spoils during their day by landing 1 each with Wendy’s being her first of the trip and her personal best. Well done, Wendy! Ron had indicated that he really wanted a bumpy and on this day he got his chance. He fished at several large schools and catastrophically lost all 4 bumpies… That’s how it goes with those mean green machines.

We enjoyed favourable conditions for Giant Trevally during day 5 and therefore focused our efforts almost entirely on this species. Mike, Wendy, and Matt had a busy day with loads of shots but only managed to land 1. Mike, unfortunately, lost a monster that managed to get snagged around some coral, the 1 that got away kind of story. Joe, Anthony, and Ken kept their good streak going and landed 6 fish very respectable GTs in the surf. Ron, Steve, and Dave all landed 1 GT each with Ron’s fish the standout catch for the day, measuring a whopping 112 cm! Well done, Ron.

We endured cloud cover and rain with terrible light and multiple storms rolling over the atoll during the 6th and final day of the week. Despite the adverse conditions, Ed, Gary, and John managed to land 5 GTs between them for the day. John joined the 1-meter club with a fin-perfect 111cm GT caught while waking the edge surf flat. Over on the other side of the atoll, team Anthony, Ken, and Joe manage to land 12 GTs between the three of them, with four a piece which made for a perfect end to their 2 week adventure to the outer atolls of Seychelles.

All in all a busy week with loads of Giant Trevally action. With most of the group staying on for another go at the atoll we felt excited about how things would go during week 3 of our season. Keep an eye out for this report.

Our catch tally for the week was:

  • GT – 56 (5 over 100 cm & biggest 114 cm)
  • Bonefish – 21
  • Triggers – 4
  • Total number of other fish landed – 296

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway guide team

Providence Blog: 17 – 24 October 2023

The opening week of the Providence Oct-Dec 23 fly fishing season saw us welcome a few Prov veterans as well as a couple of new faces to the atoll. Excited nerves served as fuel while our team quickly readied everyone’s gear while acclimating to the warm tropical atmosphere, that would be our home for the next 2 months.

The first day was themed by all things with teeth. Dave, Joe, and John set off on a mission for GTs and despite tricky light and strong winds they still managed to land their first GTs of the trip. Drew got on the board with his first and second GT ever while his boat partner, Jean-Christophe managed to tame a beautiful 97 cm specimen. Great work, JC! Over in the lagoons, Joern also got himself on the board with a respectable GT and enjoyed productive fishing for the atoll’s native grouper and snapper which brought a satisfying end to Day 1.

Day 2 and determined to make the most of the tides, we headed to the flats as fast as our boats would take us! There was much more cloud cover than expected, and the teams did very well despite the conditions. Dave, Joe, and John had a couple of good shots at GTs, but were a bit unlucky. Dave, however, landed his first GT on the flats and measured a respectable 80 cm. Well done, Dave. The returning trio of Mike, Keith, and André were hard done by with bad light and a few unlucky shots at GTs. Keith did however manage to get on the board at the end of the day with his first GT of the trip. Well done, Keith. Over in a small drainage, JC, Jacob, and Drew had a stella day on the GT front, coming home with many stories and a few fantastic GTs. Drew landed a monster of 105 cm, Jacob managed to land one of 95 cm as well as a massive fish of 112 cm. Well done, gentleman! Another fish hooked by Jacob was taxed dramatically by a bull shark close near the end of the fight, which got his and his guide’s heart racing and made for a bittersweet victory with just the head coming in to hand. Joern also quietly kept his tally going with another GT, he also sadly lost two bumpies after lengthy fights.

On the third day we arose to terrible conditions including 20-knot winds and total cloud cover. Undeterred, we headed out for the day’s fishing. Joern and Ron kept their good streak going by landing another GT each. Over on a lumpy coral flat, JC, Drew, and Jacob beat the conditions by getting stuck into 9 very large bonefish. They had a triple-up with all 3 bones measuring over 65 cm, 1 of which was a 10-pounder caught by JC. Another excellent catch JC, well done! They didn’t stop there, with Jacob hooking and landing 2 triggerfish, 1 of each species. A little further down the same flat, Drew fished brilliantly to 4 different pairs of Permit but sadly he couldn’t convince any of them to eat his fly. Mike and Keith also did very well to land 2 GTs, 1 apiece and a special moment shared between old friends. Towards the end of the day, everyone got stuck into grouper and snapper, some of which were exceptional in size.

We didn’t think the conditions could get any worse than the day before but they sure did. We endured 30-knot winds and zero sunlight for most of the day. Like true troopers and despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, Jean Christoph, Drew, and André all landed their first sailfish on the fly. Well done, gentlemen! Joern landed a trophy 101 cm Napoleon Wrasse as well as a Bumpy, both terrific fish. Great work, Joern! Elsewhere on the atoll Jacob, John, Ron, and Mike all managed to catch GTs while 2 teams found a couple of bones, landing a total of 11 bonefish for the day.

On day five, the conditions seemed to intensify. Fortunately for us, there were plenty of fish around. The trio of Jacob, Drew, and Jean Christoph added to the GT tally with 4 total for the day. Mike, André, and Keith enjoyed excellent bone fishing and landed 27 for the day between them; Andre tragically lost a permit that changed direction and swam towards him, causing a small loop to wrap around the tip of his rod. Heartbreak! On a happier note while walking along the beach, Joern, sighted a beautiful GT cruising the shallows and made a perfect cast that was graciously accepted by the 95 cm fish, making for a great fight and a beautiful photo. Toward the end of the day, John landed yet another sailfish. Well done, John!

The 6th and final day saw the conditions remain tricky though not quite as severe. Mike managed to land 2 GTs for the day, 1 of which was 111 cm. A terrific fish caught offshore. Well done, Mike! Joern and Ron kept the bonefish numbers growing by landing another 6 for the day. However, the real triumph for the day was a 14-pound permit landed by Ron, a genuinely remarkable fish, and a team victory as many of our group had had shots without managing to convince these picky feeders to accept the fly during the week.

That brings us to the end of an enjoyable opening week. Barring the absenteeism of the Milkfish we enjoyed the full spectrum of fly fishing diversity available in these warm waters. Hopeful and excited for the next week of fly fishing, we bid our guests farewell.

Our catch tally for week 1 was:

  • GT – 32 (3 over 1m and biggest 111 cm)
  • Bone – 56 (1 of 10lbs.)
  • Sailfish – 4
  • Bumpies – 1
  • Triggers – 2
  • Napoleon – 6
  • Wahoo – 1
  • Permit – 1 (14lbs.)
  • Total number of other fish landed – 196

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Farasan Banks Blog: 2-16 September 2023

Hours spent huddled around a computer looking at satellite imagery of vast flats and interesting-looking islands, eventually matured into five different exploratory trips totalling 10 weeks in Saudi Arabia between July 2019 and April 2023. What we’ve experienced during those initial trips to Saudi Arabia left us excited to tell the world that there’s a saltwater fishery in this modern era, largely unexplored, with sight fishing opportunities for all of the species you’d expect to encounter in the Red Sea.

A hidden gem in the fly fishing world until now, Saudi Arabia flaunts over 2000 kilometers of Red Sea coastline, accompanied by an additional 1150 islands and islets. This expansive aquatic venue offers loads of potential for targeting many iconic saltwater fly fishing species including Bones, Triggers, GTs, Info-Pacific Permit, Golden Trevally and others. Venturing into such a vast fishery is however no small feat, requiring the procurement of a nimble and comfortable liveaboard vessel, as well as assembling a team of intrepid anglers and seasoned fly fishing guides. These essential ingredients set the stage for our two week exploratory season with guests in early Sept this year.

This two-week expedition provided us with invaluable insights for the future and over the course of 12 days at sea, we charted an impressive 840 kilometres aboard our comfortable and spacious 131ft liveaboard vessel. The vessel, equipped with Wi-Fi, 2 large saloons and 12 independently airconditioned cabins ensured our guests were treated to loads of space and their own rooms during their stay, a rarity for most fly fishing liveaboard operations. In addition to the infrastructure were the delicious meals and warm hospitality of the crew which all contributed to making our time in the Red Sea as enjoyable as possible. 

The character of the flats varied significantly from one location to another, offering coral-adorned expanses, turtle grass patches, pristine white sands and lush mangroves. In contrast, some areas featured small coral atolls, where we waded amidst broken marl, rolling surf and inviting white beaches. Although we encountered challenging conditions during Sept, we enjoyed encounters with GTs, Bones, Indo-Pacific Permit, Golden Trevally and Triggerfish…in fact loads of Triggerfish.

Saudi Arabia’s smaller tides were however a new dynamic for us, with the air temperatures and water levels playing more of a role on these two weeks. The prime fishing window extended from early morning until midday, as such we used the mid-afternoons to either go diving or steam to the next piece of water we had earmarked on our satellite map.  

Now, let’s delve into what we found:

Bonefish

We encountered Bonefish in areas boasting expansive sandy flats. Often sizable, they would tail in the extremely shallow water during the early morning sessions. The windless mornings, paired with low light conditions did however present challenges when presenting flies to these elusive fish. On a positive note, some of the Bones encountered during our exploration were very sizeable and although they managed to elude us this time round, we were left feeling energised by the thought of a 12 lb. plus fish coming to hand in the seasons to follow.

Golden Trevally

Whether encountered singly or in schools, the Golden Trevally provided an exceptional shallow-water sight fishing experience. Certain areas we explored offered truly world-class opportunities for this species, with some sessions yielding double-digit catches shared among the group. Alex and Stefan of AOS Fly Fishing had a particularly productive session, each landing 3 and 4 Golden Trevally, respectively. The consistent attributes of the areas where we found Golden Trevally ensured a steady flow of fly fishing opportunities. When we walked specific substrates, we anticipated several Goldens and once you spotted one, you knew another would follow.

Triggerfish

Our encounters with Yellow Margin and Mustache Triggerfish had their ups and downs, but like the Goldens, we learned specific substrates and conditions dictated the size and density of Triggerfish populations in various areas. Certain islets offering exceptional opportunities!!!! As such, the abundance of Triggerfish sightings and hook-ups left us brimming with anticipation for our next season in the Red Sea.

Giant Trevally

Conversations about GTs always ignite excitement. Farasan Banks offered sightings of these formidable species in various conditions and locations. However, the shots were not always straightforward, as encounters with GTs typically resulted in frenetic chaos and near misses. Nevertheless, the number of GT sightings, while not reaching the volumes seen in fisheries like Seychelles, kept us on our toes. When the area exuded that unmistakable “fishy” aura, encountering a bow-waking or tailing Geet was inevitable.

Indo-Pacific Permit

Encounters with Indo-Pacific Permit were particularly thrilling and gratifying. These elusive fish were often spotted while tailing, either individually or in schools. Opportunities closely mirrored those found in renowned fisheries such as St Brandon’s and with some more time learning the fishery, we’re confident we’ll be able to provide guests with some fine Permit fishing over the years to come.

Although we were hoping for higher water levels and cooler water temperatures, we still experienced good opportunities at a wide variety of flats species. The flats themselves teemed with abundant food sources, including small baitfish and crustaceans. In addition we encountered loads of stingrays and the occasional shark, all of which indicates a very healthy ecosystem. The ebbs and flows inherent in exploring a new fishery are part and parcel of the journey and so we look forward to our next stint in April 2024 with great excitement.

Till then,

The Arabian Fly & FlyCastaway Guide 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!

world-record-bonefish

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!

Indo-pacific-permit

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