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Alphonse Island

Welcome to the most happening place and fishery in the Seychelles.

Alphonse Island is situated in the Indian Ocean some 400 kilometres southwest of Mahé, which is the main island in the Seychelles. The island, which comprises an area of a mere 171 ha, is the home of an exclusive resort with a pool area, outdoor bar, full gourmet catering, and an array of super-comfortable private villas along the palm-strewn waterfront. The resort caters up to 12 fortunate fly fishing guests – and in addition to being spoiled with service and cuisine in a league of its own, they are treated to some of the world’s best and most diverse tropical fishing.

It is possible to fish on your own along Alphonse Island’s flats with good results, but the guided fishing takes place around the St. Francois Atoll, which offers varied hunting grounds in the form of flats, coral reefs, tidal currents, and drop offs. You’re transported to St. Francois on a catamaran and will subsequently get on board one of the flats skiffs that are anchored up there. Once there, you’ll find massive schools of fully grown bonefish, plenty of Indo-Pacific permit, trigger fish (Yellowmargin, Moustache and Picasso), milkfish and giant trevally – in addition to snappers, bluefin trevally, brassy trevally, groupers, bonito, parrotfish, nurse sharks and much, much more.

The Fishing

A typical day at the St. Francois Atoll involves close combat encounters with triggerfish along the coral reefs, quality shots at golden permit and nervous milkfish on the flats in addition to chaotic intermezzos of foraging giant trevally that appear suddenly and unannounced along drop offs and reef formations. There are bonefish enough to keep one plentifully entertained from morning till evening, but most people target either giant trevally or permit. Or they’ll methodically sweep through promising areas, cover the water and cast at whatever presents itself – and that’s a lot!


If the impulse to go big game hunting should manifest itself, Alphonse Island also has the option of renting a charter boat. On it you can easily access deeper water and fish for sailfish, marlin, tuna, wahoo, giant trevally and much more. Especially the sailfishing is in a league of its own and the same is the wahoo- and tuna fishing.

The Gear

Since the species diversity at Alphonse Island is quite overwhelming, you’ll need a versatile range of tropical fly rod-and-reel setups. You’ll generally need a minimum of four setups: an 8-weight setup for bonefish and triggerfish, a 10-weight setup for permit and milkfish, and two 12-weight setups for giant trevally – all of them pre-spooled with tropical floating lines. The reason why it’s a good idea to have an extra 12-weight setup on you at all times is that it enables you to switch quickly between poppers and streamers when sight-fishing for giant trevally. Everything happens dizzyingly fast when fishing for giant trevally, and you have to make the most of each opportunity. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a second setup at hand, if you need to try a new fly – or if you’ve been blind casting with poppers, and a sight-casting opportunity suddenly arises. Furthermore, giant trevallies are known for breaking rods, melting down reel drag systems and emptying backing reserves. In this regard, a backup 12-weight setup is essential.

While the gear required for bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish and permit is similar to that used elsewhere in the tropics, the gear needed for giant trevally is in its own league. Here, you’ll need the very best saltwater fly rods and reels.

As a life-insurance during the utter mayhem and chaos of a giant trevally outburst you’ll need a minimum of 200 meters of 100lb backing in combination with a specially designed fly line with a 80 – 100lb core.  The fly line is then linked to the fly via a 2-meter long 90 – 110lbs fluorocarbon tippet. It may sound completely out of proportion, but it is all due to the fact that a giant trevally needs to be treated with extreme strictness and pressure during the fight. Otherwise, they will run off and you’ll risk getting spooled or being cut off on corals and other subaqueous structure.

The flies that are most commonly used at Alphonse Island are specifically designed and developed for the fishing here.

Alphonse Island’s bonefish aren’t particularly picky, and they can be caught on traditional bonefish flies like Crazy Charlie, Beck’s SiliLegs, Bonefish Bitter and Gotcha in sizes ranging from 10 – 4. The permit, however, is a chapter of their own. They’re typically caught on ultra-realistic crab- and shrimp imitations like the Alphonse Crab, Flexo Crab and Sand Prawn in sizes ranging from 2 – 8 fished on long (5m+) and thin (15 – 20lbs) leaders. The Triggerfish are most effectively fished with smaller crab flies, which should be mounted with weed guards so they don’t snag on corals while retrieving them. And since triggerfish are capable of biting hooks clean over they should be tied on the strongest hooks available. The milkfish, which predominantly feed on algae and seaweeds, can be caught on pulsating lush-green flies such as Wayne’s Milky Magic – and then there’s the giant trevally!

Giant trevally are fished with either NYAP poppers or gnarly streamers tied on the strongest possible 6/0 – 8/0 saltwater hooks. They should be bulky, pulsating and have big, staring eyes – and it’s an advantage if they’re made out of materials that don’t suck in too much water. Among the local favourites are the Brush Fly, GT Mullet, Bus Ticket and Serge’s Wrasse.

When it comes to wading equipment, clothing and such, you can pack like you normally would for similar tropical trips. Otherwise, Alphonse Fishing Company provides in-depth information about what to bring prior to the visit at Alphonse Island.

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    Loop Magazine merely liaises and forwards information requests. 
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