Gt’s and Weird Fish Make a Great Day for All

by | Apr 21, 2022 | fly fishing the Seychelles | 1 comment

Sammy-VigneriThe weather changed for the good here at Providence Atoll in the Seychelles.  It rained through the night and then stopped by morning.  But most importantly the storms left us with wind.  Wind is good for stirring things up and moving cooler water on to the flats.  Just what the big fish like.


I fished with friends Sammy Vigneri and Mike Lodge.  If you’ve read the blog over the years, Sammy is one of my best pals and we do Baja almost every year.  Sam is dying to catch his first big GT (he caught a small one that was his first yesterday).  Mike became a friend more recently.  We met in Mexico in 2018 and hit it off big time.  Mike was with me last year at Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll and I suspect on many more trips to come.


flycastawayTodays guide is my South African friend, Tim Babich.  Tim and I go back to 2014 when we met my first time to Farquhar Atoll.  We have since fished together as friends in South Africa, St. Brandon’s Atoll and several times on my home waters in Idaho.  We were both excited to be back on the water together again today.


giant-trevallyAlthough I have milkfish on the mind, the milkies were not lingering around like yesterday.  We had a look and saw none.  On a distant flat however, Tim spotted splashing that was created by GT’s following sharks and mudding rays.  We made a run there and in seconds the guys were poised and ready to cast.


Mike-LodgeIt didn’t take long for havoc to begin.  Mike slammed the door on two quick catches of teenager like GT’s.  They each ran him ragged through the shallow flats.  I took some pics and as I clicked the last one I heard Sammy hook up.  The ray muds were full of fish.  We all beat up on a few of these over the next hour or so.


bohar-snapperThe fish of the flats got wise to us eventually.  The sun came out and we hit some other areas but overall the GT fishing slowed.  After lunch we moved to drift through a coral head area looking for more GTs.  We were in the boat and we couldn’t help but make a few blind casts at the coral.  This is where things can get crazy and did, starting with a school of bohar snapper in which we all landed one at the same time!


yellowlip-emperorFrom there it was all kinds of fish.  We landed brown marbled grouper, various snappers, bluefin trevally and more.  Sammy got worked over by this robust yellow lip emperor.


After a half hour of coral head chaos, Tim asked us to re-focus on GT’s.  It was mid afternoon and the area he had us produces some hefty GTs.  He asked us to patiently watch as we drifted along and hope to spot one to cast to.  Every once in a while Tim would ask Sammy to launch a long cast to distant turtle grass – an area where its hard to see if a fish is there or not.  This tactic paid off when an ungodly explosion occurred and Sammy was on.


flyfishingThis GT took off like all big GT’s, but there was a problem, coral.  Coral is razor sharp and famously shaves leaders and fly lines clean off.  Tim fired up the engine and we followed.  We moved in a nick of time too because this GT indeed got Sammy wrapped up a few times.


giant-trevallyBut luck was on Sam’s side.  Each coral the GT jammed Sammy’s line against, we were able to untangle it.  Eventually Sammy regained control and fought his fish high above the menacing obstacles.  Soon he had the fish to the boat.  Sammy landed his first BIG giant trevally, a beautiful 102cm.  Sammy’s goal was in hand!


GT-ReleaseSam’s fish made us aware big fish were around.  Rather than continue drifting, Tim dropped anchor and we waited.  Mike watched the bow while Sam the stern.  I was admiring an array of smaller colorful coral head fishes below us like I was in a glass bottom boat.  Then suddenly a school of four large and different fish arrived.  The guys tossed their GT streamers and the fish showed no interest.


I chose to get crafty with my 9-weight Winston and decided to nymph a crab down below us in front of these fish.  Tim suggested I take it a step further and use my milkfish fly.  He’s seen all kinds of fish fall for the algae fly.  So I did.  It took some fancy mending and time to get it down deep in the zone.  Sure enough, I thought I saw one of the strange fish meander over and suck my fly in.


Jeff-Currier-bigeye-emperorI lifted gently at first.  Then it was official.  This weird fish ate my fly and I set.  It was shear power from there on and my 9-weight Winston bent to the cork.  With an extravagant amount of coral around I clenched my line hard in order not to allow the fish to run. A risky move with a big fish and only 25lb test.  But my theory was if he ran he was breaking me off for sure in the coral.  But if I held on tight, a miracle might happen and with some fancy rod bending and fighting the fish with the butt of the rod, I’d over power him and land him.  After a five minute tussle of insane proportions, I brought him to the net.  New species on the fly!


bigeye-emperor“What is this cool fish Tim?”, I asked.


Tim stared at the creature, turning him different angles for a better look, “I have no freaking idea”, he responded.


That’s an exciting statement to a species hunting junky like me.  It was time for a massive photo session of fins, eyes, teeth, scales and every angle I could think of.  Always take a ton of good photos when it’s a fish you need to identify.  Soon we released the beauty back to his friends which were waiting below us.


bluefin-trevallyIt was an amazing day on the flats.  There were a ton of fish caught including several other fantastic fish by the rest of the team.  This is a tank of a bluefin trevally by Dave Moeller.


My new species for the list is a bigeye emperor (Monotaxis grandoculis).  It took some time in the Indian Ocean field guide but we are 100% sure we have it right.  And obviously I am super stoked!


Time for dinner, brews and a good nights rest.  We have seven more days left!


To see more photos from this incredible Yellow Dog Trip be sure to visit my Instagram page – @jeffcurrier65

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Kristen J. Sorensen

    Good Day!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!