We awoke to one of the flattest, calmest days I’ve ever experienced on the ocean. The abnormal still air weather won’t break leaving us with yet another difficult day of flats fishing. But how could you complain when you’re fishing in the Seychelles while friends and family are home in the cold dark days of December in the northern hemisphere? You can’t. You grab your rod and go for it realizing that on Farquhar Atoll one fish can make an entire trip.
I was back with Sammy. The first three days for Sammy had been tough. We started with a dredge which quite frankly, Sam wasn’t too keen on doing. But dredging takes a strange skill in fly fishing that requires a few days to get the knack of. He just needed one more session to learn the feel for keeping his fly near bottom. Lo and behold, suddenly it clicked for him starting with this unusual fly rod catch of a honeycomb grouper.
Sammy dropped right back down and proved he not only gained the knack for dredging, he flat out mastered it. In two hours, he landed over a dozen of these lunker African marble grouper, several bohar snappers, numerous small dogtooth tuna and some bluefin trevally. It was an epic arm-stretching morning with doubles several times.
Our guide was Mahe, Seychelles local, Gerry Nourrice. It’s my first experience with Gerry and all I can say is that he’s a super cool knowledgeable fishing guide. He knew where all the pinnacles were for dredging and then exactly when it was time to move to the flats. Our flat today is called Runway because it’s just off where we landed on our plane five days ago.
I had a fishing finding request that may surprise you. I wanted to catch some bonefish. We often get so keyed in on the “glamor species” that we neglect one of the finest saltwater fly rod game fish off all. Gerry knew where to look and Sammy and I banged up a heap of bones to take off the flats fishing edge. At least one flats species was cooperating.
One massive cloud moved overhead around noon making spotting fish difficult. Without the wind we were stuck with the poor light indefinitely. The good news however is tailing fish show up whether its cloudy or not.
While some of the tailing fish were bonefish and triggerfish, the majority of them were emperor fish. The blue spangled emperor, like the bonefish is often overlooked. I wouldn’t fish for them all day but every once in a while you need that “fish fix”. Make a decent cast and you got em!
The three of us walked the flats for over four hours. I ventured on my own and had a blast catching more bonefish. The tide was dropping most of the time and many of the cool animals from crabs to moray eels to whatever these spidery starfish are showed themselves. It’s really neat to take the flats slowly and observe while you hunt for fish.
In addition to the bonefish I cast to two different species of triggerfish that are here, the Titan triggerfish and yellowmargin triggerfish. The triggers have been ridiculously spooky but today I had four eat my fly. Three I couldn’t hook including one that ate six times all the way to my feet as I stripped and one that I hooked then he ran towards the coral. I had no choice but to try and stop him and in doing so broke him off. Frustrating times.
Additional frustration came when I hooked two bumpies. The problem is that each were feeding in coral head infested waters. They ate and I had no chance at stopping them from the sharp leader breaking structure. That was it for me. Sammy had about the same.
We called it a day after about 15 minutes of dredging. We got yanked a few more times and ended with yet another double with groupers. The rest of the guys had similar days. Everyone did well dredging, caught some bonefish and cast unsuccessfully to bumpies and triggers. John caught this green jobfish. There’s been a few of these elongated snapper-like fish caught this week. But only a handful of GT’s were seen and none caught. Four days and not one giant trevally caught. Very bizarre.
It’s a lovely sunset. Me and the guys are sipping beers on the top deck. The ocean looks way too calm and peaceful for any change in weather for tomorrow. I’m about to break out the sharpies like I’ve done every night for almost three straight weeks. Life is good here at Farquhar Atoll.
The Seychelles are truly one of the great saltwater fly fishing destinations left in the world. To learn more or even better, join me on my next trip here, contact me or Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!