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Providence Blog: 14 -21 Nov 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• GT – 27 ( 2 of 1m ) biggest 105cm

• Bonesfish – 56 ( 2x 10lb)

• Triggerfish – 5

• Barracuda – 3

• Sailfish – 3

• Napoleon – 3

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

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 7 – 14 Nov 2023

For the fourth week of the Providence season, we welcomed a mix of seasoned guests and first-time Indian ocean fishermen to the Maya’s Dougong. Julius and Rob stayed on for a second week to see what they could find, while Mike, a seasoned Providence guest, joined Mark and James as first-time anglers to the Indian Ocean. We were also excited to welcome back the Mako Reel team of Justin and Matt who made up a two-ball while Vladimir and Gregory, both seasoned anglers finished off our roster of guests for the week.

The first day of week 4 started with a bang for both Mark and Mike. The pair managed to land their first GT and several bonefish. Julius, now entirely in the swing of things, got his first Providence Slam consisting of a GT, bonefish, and triggerfish. Well done, Julius! Matt and Justin got stuck into the GTs, landing 12 for the day and 2 bones and a triggerfish, resulting in a Providence slam for Justin. Gregory and Vladimir landed 3 GTs, a trigger, and 1 milkfish.

On the second day, we woke to beautiful weather, clear skies, and almost no wind. Mike kept the momentum going by landing 4 GTs. Gregory landed his second GT of the trip as well as a large yellowmargin triggerfish. Justin chipped in with a huge trigger, while Julius did the same adding another trigger and a bonefish to his trip’s catch tally.

On the third morning, we rose to yet of the same weather-wise with low winds and good sunlight. The team of Justin and Matt did incredibly well to land 1 milkfish and 1 sailfish each for the day. Vladimir got himself a beautiful GT of 95 cm with several bones while Gregory added a lovely triggerfish to the catch tally. Rob and Julius landed 3 GT’s, 2 milkfish and a triggerfish.

On the fourth day, Julius and Rob got off the mark in spectacular fashion, with a GT double…..the fish measuring 107cm and 101 cm respectively. This incredible achievement was made even better by 2 more GTs for the day. The cherry on top of Julius’s day was a speedy sailfish he managed to get to hand in the dying moments of day 4. An absolute cracker of a day shared between father and son. Well done guys! Meanwhile, elsewhere on the atoll, Mark managed to get another GT and Justin and Matt’s team added 3 more milkfish to the score, as well as 1 bumpy and 1 GT… A busy day on the flats indeed!

The fifth day saw us deal with tricky conditions in the way of weather, with strong wind and rain making for incredibly tough fly fishing scenarios. Thus, Justin and Matt were the only team to catch any of Providence’s iconic fish, each landing a single GT for the day.

The final day of the fishing week saw Justin and Matt keep their good momentum going. Justin landed an outstanding catch in the way of a 60 kg dogtooth tuna as well as a fantastic GT of 98 cm. Rob and Julius managed to land a couple GTs, 1 triggerfish, and sadly, lost a sailfish. The trio of James, Mark, and Mike managed one each for the final day.

Our catch tally for the 4th week of the season was:

• GTs – 43 (2 of 100cm)

• Triggerfish – 9

• Sailfish – 3

• Bonefish – 14

• Bumphead Parrotfish – 1

• Milkfish – 8

• Total number of other fish caught – 155

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

Providence Blog: 31 Oct – 7 Nov 2023

The third week of our Providence fly fishing season saw only 3 new guests arrive as 8 of last week’s group remained to complete their 12-day stay with us. Our new arrivals, Rob and Dale, both Providence regulars were joined by Julius who was about to enjoy his first-ever saltwater fly fishing experience.

This week began with extreme winds and lousy light. Despite the adverse conditions, our group enjoyed fantastic fishing for GTs. Ed, Gary, and John made quick work of their opportunities and landed an impressive total of 12 GTs for the day. The action wasn’t limited to just one boat as, Dale, Mike and Wendy shared the spoils with 7 GTs, along with the standout catch of the day going Mike’s way when a powerful 105 cm trophy jumped on his fly. Dave, Steve, and Ron also added 7 more GTs to the total tally, while over on the other side of the atoll, Julius’s introduction to the experience got off to a great start when the young man landed his first-ever GT. Well done, Julius!

We were dealt with more tricky light and several cloud bursts during the second day. Our group soldiered on and added another 13 GTs to the total tally. Wendy, Mike, and Dale managed to boat 6 while the trio of Ed, Gary, and John continued to enjoy their good fortune with 5 large GTs landed all of which stretched the measuring tape to the mid-90s. The standout catch, however, went to Steve when he landed his first ever 100 cm GT. Well done, Steve.

We finally rose to a beautiful clear morning sky and set out, eager to see what Prov had in store for us. Day 3 turned out to be one for the books for Ed, Gary, and John as the trio were treated to some of the finest fly fishing available in Seychelles. Their flat was alive with action from the moment they arrived and by the time the day was over they had managed to land a whopping 19 GTs for the day. Great work, guys! Other than the GT action the atoll’s tailing species began to show up more regularly which resulted in a slam for Mike who caught a tiggerfish, bonefish, and a GT. Dale’s primary focus on this trip had been to catch a triggerfish, and he ticked that box when he landed a cheeky moustache triggerfish. Well done, Dale!

We enjoyed more of the same weather during the fourth day with almost no wind. Julius kept the firsts coming by landing his first sailfish with a beautifully executed bait and switch. Well done, Julius! Wendy, Mike, and Dale had a fantastic day by adding 7 more GTs to the tally. Wendy landed her biggest, 85cm, and Dale landed a beautiful 90cm off a stingray. Ed, Gary, and John added another 3 GTs to the tally landing 1 apeice which brought the day GT tally to 13.

By the fifth day, our group were very well settled into the rhythm of Providence and this showed in the catches. Dale landed a lovely yellowmargin triggerfish that wasted no time in gobbling up his strong-arm crab. A few bonefish started to trickle onto the flats, something that John, Dave, and Ron capitalized on, landing a few bones each. Those who added to the GT tally were Ed, Wendy, Mike, and Dave who all landed a single fish each.

The last day of the fishing week saw us enjoy the best weather of the week with good light and little wind. The action started almost immediately when Ed and Gary both hooked into absolute monster GTs, unfortunately, both fish managed to evade our longing hands when Ed’s fish shook the hook loose during its first run and Gary’s found the only coral head within 500 meters. Heartbreaking stuff but still very exciting! The pair redeemed themselves with a GT each to end the last day of their 2 weeks with us.  Ron, Steve, and Dave ended their 2 weeks with us in style by landing 11 bonefish and 1 GT each. Ron’s fish measured 101cm, a fantastic way to end his trip. Well done, Ron! Rob and Julius had another week to look forward to and calmly went about landing another sailfish and 11 bonefish. Team Wendy, Mike, and Dale finished in style, with Wendy landing her first bonefish and 18 more amongst the team. The momentum continued, with the group landing 3 triggerfish and losing another 4. Wendy had really wanted to get a trigger to hand and she managed to do that on the last day of her 2 week stay with us… Well done, Wendy!

That brings another exciting week of fishing to an end. With most of our group heading home it was a bitter-sweet goodbye. Sad to see them all go but excited to see what the next week had in store for us on the fishing front.

Our catch tally for week 3 was as follows:

  • GT – 85 (3 of 1m plus) biggest 105cm
  • Bonefish – 54
  • Triggerfish – 6
  • Sailfish – 2
  • Total number of other fish caught – 122

Till next week,

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

St Brandon Blog: 30 Oct – 9 Nov 2023

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

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

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

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

Our catch tally for the week was: 

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

Yours in fishing, 

The FlyCastaway Guide Team

St Brandon Blog: 23 Oct – 2 November 2023

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

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

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

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

Our catch tally for the week was:

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

Till next week,
The FlyCastaway Team

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

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

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