The Most Remote Atoll in the World

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Astove Atoll

Astove-AtollAstove Atoll is perhaps the wildest, most secluded and remarkably remote atoll on the planet.  Astove is located 660 miles southwest of Mahe Seychelles.  To most, Astove is known for its famed “Wall” where the ankle deep flats sheer off and drop to well over 3000 feet.  Jacques Cousteau made the wall famous in 1956 when he filmed part of “The Silent World” along its edge.  To fly fishers, Astove is considered one of the greatest saltwater fisheries on Earth.


flyfishing-SeychellesI need to slap myself to realize I’m here.  But indeed I am.  I’m hosting five anglers for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.  This morning we left the Eden Bleu Hotel at 6:45 AM for the IDC hangar.  At 8 AM we were airborne on our private charter for saltwater fly fishing paradise.


SeychellesThe flight took three hours but it was broke up with a stopover on Alphonse Island.  Alphonse is a famous fishery in its own.  We stopped here for a bathroom break and snack.  The pilots refueled our Beech 1900D and after 20 minutes we took off again.  Next stop we landed on Astove.


Astove-AtollMy five guests are Michael Lodge, T. J. Rung, David Boyd, James Shanley and Jeff Smith.  Jeff was with me last trip when we got screwed by the famous cyclone.  Mike and I met at Casa Blanca in Mexico in 2019.  I first ran into T. J. during last January’s permit trip to Belize.  Dave at Turneffe Flats Belize in 2017.  And I met James at the Marlboro Fly Fishing Show in 2018.


Yellow-permitA couple staff members met us at the Astove runway then shuttled us by tractor to the lodge.  There we were greeted by more staff and treated to a well needed lunch.  During lunch we received orientation then retreated to our rooms to unpack.


Alphonse-fishing-guidesTechnically, today was not a fishing day.  All that means is that today was not a “guided fishing” day but we planned to wade on our own.  But to our surprise, during lunch and orientation, head guide Rudy announced that the guides would help us rig then join us on an afternoon walk on the flats.


Alphonse-fishing-guidesWatching the guides rig my folks on Seychelles trips is fun.  This isn’t your average saltwater fishing trip.  The flats here are patrolled by giant trevally and it takes especially strong rods, lines and leader to do battle.  I’ve never met either of the three guides here, Rudy, Tyler or Rico, so they weren’t so sure how to handle me when I told them my gear was set.  But it was one less rig up for them to run through and for this reason we hit the flats sooner.


flyfishingMy fishing partner this afternoon was James.  James is from NH so we have that in common.  He was in fact the first to sign on for this trip all the way back to fall of 2018 and we communicate a lot.  Our guide was Tyler who has spent most of his Seychelles guiding time on Alphonse but he has been here for a couple of weeks.


bonefishingJames requested starting this trip with some bonefish and we walked a flat inside the Astove lagoon not far from the lodge.  The lagoon was stacked with bones and James went on a tear and caught at least a dozen.  They were for the most part small but these are great tune-up fish when you haven’t fly fished the flats in a while.


permit-fliesWhile I stayed near I waded just far enough from the guys to work on my own tune up.  I caught a few bones but was more interested in finding a yellow permit (Indo-Pacific).  Astove lagoon holds many and my permit luck has been good in recent times.  Sure enough I spotted one but he ignored my shrimp fly.  I quickly switched to a white crab fly and got serious.


bonefishYou can be as “serious” as you want in permit fishing , but they usually don’t cooperate.  But that one I saw looked to be feeding.  I went as far as passing up a few easy bonefish opportunities in order not to make a hidden nearby permit learn of my presence.  Towards the end of our afternoon my patience paid off.


I was exactly where I saw the permit when we started.  I was on point and sure enough there was another.  The wind howled so I positioned myself perfectly with it behind me to make the cast – a huge advantage you have when wading.  I made my cast and this permit beelined to my fly.  The water in the lagoon is murky so I couldn’t see what happened but I felt a thump and there’s a good chance the fish sucked up my crab and spit it out.  I missed him.


AstoveI was a little frustrated at the thought of missing the permit but continued with eagle eyes.  I moved along incredibly slow and soon there was another.  He was moving quickly so I launched my cast.  The fly landed a foot off his nose and he tipped towards it.  He didn’t eat it but began to follow as I did my long slow strips.  There was a lot of turtle grass and I hoped like heck the weed guard on my fly would keep me from snagging.


The weed guard worked and the permit continued to follow my every strip.  My heart beat wildly waiting for the eat but it wouldn’t happen.  I was running out of line and soon the butt of my leader hit the rod.  While most anglers stop there I continued the strip.  And literally three feet from my rod tip the permit devoured my crab.  “Permit on!” I yelled.


Jeff-Currier-permitTyler and James were pretty much done.  Tyler looked my way from afar.  I’m certain he couldn’t believe it but no doubt he saw my 9-weight Winston Air Salt doubled over.  He came running, shouting instructions all the way.  He was easily as excited as I.


After about five minutes I got the permit close enough for Tyler to tail him.  James had arrived by now and soon the cameras were clicking.  This should be a heck of a trip – Indo Pacific permit on day one.  A half day at that!


Astove-AtollEveryone saw a few fish this afternoon although the others did not manage to hook up.  They all hunted GT’s.  At dinner we shared some stories and discussed tomorrow.  This should be an amazing trip.  Eight more days to go!


If tonight’s dinner is any indication of how we will eat this week I’ll gain ten pounds.  The meal was extraordinary as was the desert and I never eat desert.  After a couple SeyBrews and a small glass of red I’ve just retired to my room.  Its time for a good sleep before tomorrow.


Jeff-Currier-artEach day I plan to bust out some of my sharpie art for my trip members.  Today I did Mike Lodge’s pack with an Indo-Pacific permit.  It’s the first time I ever drew one in the morning and caught one in the afternoon!


These are Yellow Dog Hosted trips and if you ever want to go feel free to contact me or go directly to Yellow Dog.  I will be doing the 2019 cyclone make up trip in April 2022 to Providence Atoll and there are a couple spots.  Let me know!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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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!