The Seychelles is well-known as an idyllic holiday destination thanks to its white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But did you know that it’s also one of the best saltwater flat fly fishing destinations in the world?
Located in the Eastern Indian Ocean, roughly 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa, this archipelago has over 100 islands and atolls. The waters surrounding these islands are teeming with a huge variety of fish, making it a paradise for fly fishers – and the warm weather and picturesque surroundings help, too!
If a Seychelles fishing trip is on your bucket list, keep reading for everything you need to know about this dream destination, including the best fishing destinations to visit, types of fish in the Seychelles, and where to stay during your trip.
Alphonse Atoll sits next to St. François and Bijoutier Islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean. You’ll stay on Alphonse Atoll, but the majority of the fishing is done around St. François, where you’ll find around sixty different saltwater species.
This atoll is roughly a three-hour flight from Mahe, but it’s worth the extra travel time as you’ll be rewarded with an untouched paradise.
Pristine sands and an incredible array of saltwater species await you on Alphonse Atoll, making it the perfect destination for both experienced and beginner anglers.
It’s an especially good choice for anglers who are trying saltwater fishing for the first time. You’ll get the perfect introduction to saltwater fishing, learning the ropes from experienced guides who know the waters here like the back of their hand.
Find out more about the accommodation on Alphonse Atoll and what you can expect from your stay here.
Astove Atoll is part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls, located in the outer islands of the Seychelles. Measuring just six kilometres from north to south, and just under four kilometres east to west at its widest point, this tiny island is one of the world’s leading saltwater fly fishing destinations.
It’s a remote, unique and beautiful place that boasts over thirty different species of saltwater fish. The island, as well as being known as one of the best places for fishing in the world, is also highly regarded as being a unique diving location.
Astove Atoll has been the location of countless shipwrecks dating back to 1500 AD, and is also the site of “The Wall”. This is a sheer drop from the flats, where the water goes from ankle-deep to over 1000 metres deep. It’s one of the best dive sights in the world, and is often described as similar to looking down into the Grand Canyon.
If you want to experience it for yourself, find out more about the Astove Atoll fly fishing lodge.
If you’re looking to fish Giant Trevally, then Cosmoledo Atoll is the place to go – but you’ll have a fantastic range of options to choose from on this unspoiled paradise. That’s because its remote location means it’s had practically no fishing pressure, leaving it flourishing with all sorts of marine life. It also has strict catch and release policies, allowing the fishery to flourish in its natural state and become one of the best saltwater destinations in the world.
Cosmoledo Atoll is one of the outer islands of the Seychelles. It’s located around 1,029 kilometres southwest of Mahé Island’s capital. This off-grid location, along with the astonishing variety of fish species, and the natural beauty of the area, makes it a must-visit for any keen angler.
Discover more about the lodge on Cosmoledo Atoll and find out what you can expect from a stay here.
Types of fish in the Seychelles
If you’re new to fly fishing, then the Seychelles offers the perfect introduction to this type of fishing – and if you’re already experienced, you’ll be delighted by how much these stunning islands have to offer.
There is an astonishing number of fish species in the Seychelles. Here are some of the most common ones you’re likely to encounter during your Seychelles fly fishing trip.
Bonefish are by far the most common type of fish you’ll find in the Seychelles, and you’re likely to encounter them no matter which atoll you’re staying on.
The majority of bonefish in the Seychelles weigh between three and six pounds, and you’re likely to see huge schools of them. Your expert guide will take you to the best locations and give you hints and tips on how to catch Seychelles bonefish.
There are two species of triggerfish to be found in the Seychelles: the moustache triggerfish and the yellow margin. The yellow margin can reach up to 60cm, and the moustache – also known as the titan triggerfish – can reach a whopping 75cm.
You’re most likely to find triggerfish on the Alphonse and Astove atolls, and your guide can give you tips on catching one of these unusual species which are known to be aggressive.
Barracuda can grow up to a whopping 240cm, but despite their massive size, they’re incredibly fast-moving fish and will jump when hooked. They hunt alone on the flats, so they may be harder to spot than the species that hunt in schools, but our guides will show you the best areas for these incredible fish. The best atoll for barracuda is Alphonse, as they’re attracted to the large population of bonefish that can be found in these waters.
You’ll find a wide variety of snappers around the Seychelles, but particularly on the Alphonse and Cosmoledo atolls. The bohar snapper is one of the most aggressive snappers you’ll find – and one of the most fun to try to catch. This red-hued fish can weigh up to 10lbs and can be tempted by any kind of cast.
Grouper can be found all over the Seychelles, especially on the Cosmoledo and Alphonse atolls. This large fish has a stout body and large mouth, and is typically slow-moving, giving you lots of opportunities to get your hands on one.
Sailfish are the fastest fish in the world – will you be quick enough to catch one?
You’re most likely to come across the Indo-Pacific sailfish on the Alphonse atoll, where snorkelers often swim alongside them as they dart back and forth under the water.
The outer islands of the Seychelles are abundant with permit, and they can be found whether you’re staying on Cosmoledo, Alphonse or Astove.
These fish can be hard to catch, thanks to their heightened sense of hearing and good eyesight, but your experienced guides will show you the best spots to find them, and give you tips on the best bait to use.
Parrotfish, surely one of the most beautiful species, can be found across the Seychelles.
There are a number of different species of this brightly coloured fish in the waters of the Seychelles, including:
- Blue-barred parrotfish
- Dusky parrotfish
- Ember parrotfish
- Fivesaddle parrotfish
- Humphead wrasse
- Green humphead parrotfish
The Seychelles’ most popular fish is the giant trevally. Both the Cosmoledo and Astove atolls are fantastic for giant trevally fishing, with Astove atoll having some of the largest flats-caught giant trevally in the Indian Ocean.
The giant trevally really does deserve its ‘giant’ moniker – it can grow to 170 cm long and weigh up to 176 lbs! It can often be found roaming the waters looking for prey alongside sharks.
It’s not just giant trevally in the Seychelles, though – there are eight different species of trevally to be found across the atolls, giving you lots of opportunities to catch these gamefish.
The best time of year to go fly fishing in the Seychelles
Although good fishing can be found in the Seychelles for most of the year, we think it’s at its best between October and May, when a wide variety of fish species move in.
It can be quite windy during this time of year, but it’s still warm, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 29°C on average. So although you might not feel like the sun’s too hot, you’ll still want to cover up and protect your skin!
The average water temperature during October is 27.9°C, so you should find the water very pleasant to fish from throughout this period.
Best gear for fly fishing in the Seychelles
There are some key pieces of equipment you’ll want to have to make the most of your Seychelles fishing trip.
As there is such an abundance of fish species in the Seychelles, you’ll need several different rods to ensure you can catch all the fish on your list:
- Flats fishing for bonefish normally requires 7wt rods.
- Triggerfish, permit, parrotfish and others require a 9/10wt rod
- The giant trevally requires 12wt rods
As well as your rods, you’ll also need to take dry bags and rain fly fishing jackets are key when travelling to the Seychelles. As you’ll spend full days out on the river on a flats skiff, you’ll almost definitely get wet, so a jacket and dry bags will ensure both you and your belongings stay dry!
Because waves can splash the boat, water-resistant fly boxes are a key element when fishing saltwater.
The Seychelles is one of the best destinations in the world for fly fishing. Whether you’re hoping to catch a giant trevally, or marvel at all the other types of fish in the Seychelles, you’ll be spoiled for choice on a fly fishing trip here – and what’s more, you’ll be doing it all in a beautiful, unspoiled landscape.
If you’re ready to have the fly fishing experience of a lifetime, whether in the Seychelles or elsewhere, take a look at our fly fishing holidays for inspiration.