Quick Facts

  • Price:$12,950 // 7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing
  • Fish Species: Trevally, Bonefish, Milkfish, Triggerfish, Permit, much more
  • Seasonality: November – December and February – April
  • Location: Seychelles – Indian Ocean

1000 MILES OFF EAST COAST OF KENYA – INDIAN OCEAN

Travel to Seychelles is surprisingly easy for North American travelers. Nearly all guests now travel to Victoria, Seychelles (SEZ) via Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with Emirates Airlines. Fares are very affordable and connections are civilized. There are also numerous flight options available via Western Europe including London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Astove Atoll, part of the Aldabra Group lying in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, is situated 647 miles SW of Mahe. Guests are expected to arrive in Mahe the day before the trip and will meet at the IDC domestic terminal an hour before the scheduled departure. The flight from Mahe to Astove is 2hr 30min.

GIANT TREVALLY, BONEFISH, MILKFISH, TRIGGERFISH, PERMIT, BLUEFIN TREVALLY, MUCH MORE

Astove is diverse, with opportunities at catching giant trevally, bonefish, permit, barracuda, milkfish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, grouper, snapper, yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna and wahoo. It is a world filled with color, where the daily dramas of a pristine ecosystem play out in front of your very eyes, a rare exclusive opportunity and privilege to gaze into a world that has been changed very little by modern man.

ASTOVE ATOLL IS OPEN NOVEMBER – DECEMBER AND MID-FEBRUARY – MID-APRIL

The island is closed mid-April through October to rest the fishery and avoid the monsoon season.

Fishing during all months the resort is open is optimal. There is really no “best time” to go, however understanding tides is critical when picking your week relative to what species you want to target and the style of fishing you prefer. We will walk you through tidal analysis and pick the best week for you and your group.

Astove Atoll is a Giant Trevally angler’s dream come true, and the diversity of other species is truly unmatched. It is also one of the wildest and most remote salt-water destinations in the world. With its rugged terrain and extreme tidal movement, it can make for difficult wading, so clients are encouraged to be fit in order to wrangle with big fish amongst these conditions. The reward is great! The travel involved from North America is actually very civilized – so that should not exclude folks normally turned off by long distance destination fishing. It is right ONLY for dedicated anglers looking for something exotic – and the best match for anglers looking for a smaller program but not interested in the Cosmo liveaboard.

$12950

per person inclusive of six days guided fishing, round trip charter flights to/from Astove, meals, and single occupancy accommodations. Additional expenses include but are not limited to international airfare to Seychelles, bar tab, fishing equipment & tackle, phone and laundry service, and gratuities. (See Rates for Details)

You the client don’t pay a penny for our travel services! Our destination recommendations, organization, and pre-trip planning services are completely free of charge – and oftentimes less expensive than booking direct with a lodge or outfitter. We can assist with every question, concern, or special request related to your adventure at zero cost!

Video

Additional Links

Explore Map

Contact Travel Expert

Astove Atoll is one of the most unique and remote fly-fishing destinations you are ever likely to experience. By Seychelles fishing standards it is also truly one of a kind. Alphonse is a twelve-angler/week program with over the top accommodations and Cosmoledo offers the 8-guest mothership option. At Astove only six guests per week enjoy exclusive access to the entire atoll while relaxing in the comfort of the newly constructed lodge.

Its shallow lagoon with one small entrance that is surrounded by sheer drop-offs ensures that this destination is full of variety. This lagoon is a sanctuary for juvenile fish that are often preyed on by the bigger species and it’s this attraction that makes it one of the best and wildest fly-fishing destinations on this planet. Astove is diverse with opportunities at catching giant trevally, bonefish, permit, barracuda, milkfish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, grouper, snapper, yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna and wahoo.

It is a world filled with color, where the daily dramas of a pristine ecosystem play out in front of your very eyes, a rare exclusive opportunity and privilege to gaze into a world that has changed very little. The “Wall” which runs the entire length of the Western side of the atoll drops off to over a 1000 meters within a few hundred meters from shore. It’s an amazing place that is teeming with both pelagic and resident fish species. Jacques Cousteau made this incredible place famous in 1956 when he filmed part of “The Silent World” along its edge.

Now that the Astove runway and the new Astove lodge is complete, six lucky anglers per week will have this atoll all to themselves while staying on terra firma. The group will spend seven nights in the lodge and have six and a half full days fly fishing and exploring this remote atoll. Teams will be comprised of two anglers and one guide fishing either from a skiff or on foot depending on the chosen fishing area and tide. The accommodations are comfortable, comprised of six en-suite single occupancy bedrooms.

Destination Details

Destination Description

While the fly fishing community has considered Seychelles the Shangri-La of all saltwater fishing destinations for over a decade, this tiny island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean is still one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Over eighty-five of its one hundred fifteen islands are still uninhabited, and approximately fifty percent of the country is designated as national parks or reserves, preserving its natural beauty for those who visit. Ninety percent of the country’s population (80,000) lives on the capital island of Mahe, where the international airport is located.

The Seychelles are located one thousand miles off the east coast of Kenya, a few degrees south of the equator and north of Madagascar in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Formerly a French settlement and a British colony since 1814, the Seychellois achieved independence in 1976 and remain a republic within the British Commonwealth. The island chain has an enormous diversity in geography and culture. The Seychellois people are a mix of French, English, African and Asian and speak several different languages with French, English, and Creole as the predominant dialects. Geographically, it seems the islands themselves are a combination of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Some islands in the archipelago are reminiscent of the white, powdery sand of the Bahamas or Yucatan, while others are made of solid granite cliffs and rocky bluffs similar to Hawaii. The flora and fauna are equally as bizarre with an abundance of bird life, exotic land creatures such as the giant land tortoise, and of course a collage of all types of marine life.

Astove Atoll, measuring only 3.7mi north to south and 2.5mi east to west, is located 18mi SSE of Cosmoledo Atoll and 647mi from Mahe. It is a raised coral island that almost entirely encloses a shallow lagoon, whose maximum depth is only 10ft. The only exit is a winding passage in the south, called Gueule Bras Channel. Due to the extreme tides and elevation of the lagoon, the channel rages like a roaring river for hours at a time draining the lagoon. Occasionally monster GT’s can be seen sitting like trout behind lava/coral rocks. Astove is infamous for being one of the best places to target the largest flats-caught Giant Trevally in the world.

The Fishing

This fishery is different from all others in the Seychelles, as tides play an even larger part in planning your day. Your guide will inform you each morning what the fishing plan will be for the day relative to what species you want to target, the expected tide, and fishing conditions. After a full day of fishing you return to the lodge at 5pm, with cocktails at 6:30 and dinner at 7:00. This regimented routine makes the week fly by.

The “Wall” which runs the entire length of the Western side of the atoll drops off to over a 1000 meters within a few hundred meters from shore. While GT’s are the headliners, they are not the only species which can be found here in fantastic numbers. Bonefish, milkfish, the finicky indo-pacific permit and a host of triggerfish species all call Astove home and hence make this a truly special fishing destination.

The team is split up into groups of two anglers per skiff and guide. Some anglers may access certain flats with an ATV depending upon the tide and the plan for the day. The four purpose built 19’ Mini-Mahe tenders are skippered by experienced, world class and professional Alphonse Fishing Co guides. Each guide has first aid experience and is extremely experienced in all facets of fly-fishing these remote saltwater destinations. All the guides communicate with each other during the day to update each other on tides, water levels and fish found at different parts of the fishery. Their passion and dedication is infectious and rest assured they will definitely go the extra mile in search of your fish of a lifetime.

Many anglers are allured half way around the word to the Seychelles in search of the dozens of species found on Astove. The mainstay-targeted species are five species of trevally, bonefish, triggerfish, permit, barracuda, parrotfish, and the powerful milkfish. During certain tides, bonefish can be found stacked in the lagoon, where ten, twenty and thirty fish sessions are not uncommon. The diversity of other non-typical gamefish species is staggering as well. While dredging with sinking lines off the edge of the “Wall” of the atoll, some clients have reported landing over fifty species a week including yellowfin tuna, surgeonfish, lemon shark, grouper, dogtooth tuna, and every kind of reef fish imaginable. Other than the optional dredging session during slack tidal periods, a majority of all fishing in the lagoon and on the atoll’s surf is done wading.

GIANT TREVALLY

The Giant Trevally (Caranx Ignobilis) is the true bad ass of all game fish. His round head, broad shoulders, and elaborate fins are built for speed and power, and he has no predators other than large sharks and humans. He literally eats everything, and his incredible eyesight combines with his quickness to make him a lethal hunter. While adults spend much of their life in deeper water, fish well over 100 pounds often feed on the flats in skinny water or cruise in riding the waves on the reef to ambush unsuspecting prey. There is nothing more impressive than watching through the face of a wave as a big GT surfs his way inside the reef. The combination of hurried panic to cast and huge dosage of adrenalin is very addictive. There is also no eat more impressive than the mighty GT. The deliberate and crushing speed of the monster when he zeroes in on your fly is scary to the point where you almost don’t want him to eat it! Once you witness the spectacle that is the “JEET,” it gets in your blood, and you become obsessed with trying to find one a bit bigger than the last one.

Five species of trevally are found in the Seychelles with the golden, bluefin and giant trevally most prevalent. The giant trevally is about as crazed and hard fighting as any gamefish on the planet . . . you had better come prepared! Words cannot describe the power of a large Giant Trevally. You fish for GTs with super heavy gear . . . 100 pound straight fluorocarbon for your leader, 5/0 – 8/0 hooks, and 80 pound gel spun backing is the norm. GTs over 50 pounds often require you to chase them in a skiff as landing one on foot is nearly impossible without a 14 weight and lots of luck. They are truly an incredible fish.

“GT’s” or “Jeets” (as the South Africans and Seychellois call them) are most often found at low tide cruising the cuts and channels around coral heads and surrounding the flats in search of baitfish and other prey. Half of the time anglers will cruise in the skiff looking for giant trevally, however, a walk out to a reef can also be a fruitful way to get a shot at a trevally. At low tide anglers can stand just inside the reef and scan the incoming breakers for these hunting monsters and sight cast to cruising fish in the surf. On an incoming tide, you can also find trevally on the flat in very skinny water crashing bait at warp speed. Although visually the most impressive form of feeding (huge bow wakes and rooster tails) trevally in shallow water can spook easily. No matter where you encounter the GT, their pure closing speed and aggressive feeding habits will intrigue all anglers. There is simply nothing more jaw-dropping than the eat of a big GT – and if you are lucky you won’t get spooled!

BONEFISH

The bonefish fishing in the Seychelles is the best on earth. Period. Nowhere else comes close. The majority of the areas fished for bonefish are on hard, white sand with minimal coral or grass growth. At Astove many of these bonefish are pursued in the inner lagoon. It is an idyllic setting for bonefishing with easy visibility and nearly endless targets in skinny water. Tidal fluctuations in the Seychelles are quite significant, and the day’s itinerary is built around accommodating the ebb and push of water on and off the flat. During a falling or rising tide, anglers typically wade looking for bones feeding their way on or off the flat. The population of bonefish is outstanding, easily rivaling any and all other bonefish destinations in the world. The average fish is a solid four pounds, with seven and eight-pound specimens encountered frequently. Double-digit fish are present; however should definitely be considered a real bonus trophy.

TRIGGERFISH

Other species encountered daily include three species of triggerfish found tailing on the tidal push as well. The three main triggerfish pursued are the Yellow Margin, the Giant a.k.a. Mustache, and the brilliant little Picasso. These colorful speedsters slowly and lazily cruise feeding mainly on crabs and other crustaceans on the outside flats. The presentation to triggerfish is quite technical, and reminiscent of trout fishing. A good drift and proper current are required to “feed” triggerfish. Once they eat your fly, hold on! Triggers are aptly named for the trigger-like mechanism on their dorsal which literally locks them into holes and crevices in the surrounding coral heads. If you are lucky enough to land one, make sure to have a camera.

MILKFISH

One of the most sought after species on the flats is the Milkfish (Chanos chanos). Although we have learned a lot about how to effectively hook and land these brutes, Milks still have lore about them. There is a common misnomer that they are herbivores or vegetarians exclusively. They feed on tiny invertebrates such as plankton as well as algae. They are not filter feeders, but they do skim along with mouths wide open inhaling their food (kind of like a whale shark). The hardest part about catching a milkfish is simply being in the right place at the right time for a predictable, surface feeding event with a large enough school of targets to increase the odds (which oftentimes won’t happen for weeks on end). Most often during large spring tides, milkfish will set up almost like trout feeding into the strong tidal currents flushing food off of the flats. Lucky anglers encounter them feeding on or near the surface with mouths wide almost mindlessly vacuuming everything in their path. Although they will certainly move to avoid your fly, they will definitely not move to eat your fly. Anglers fish with algae-like deer hair or craft fur patterns tied on a #2 Gamu hook and long slow strips through a school of milkfish. If the planets align, your fly will incidentally get sucked in and off to the races you go.

Although found throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the milkfish that inhabit these waters are some of the largest in the world, and more importantly your guides pioneered how to catch them with regularity. Milkfish are similar in shape to bonefish, but reach up to thirty pounds and possess large sickle tails and huge eyes. When the milkfish are feeding on the surface, anglers present a grass or algae imitation and hope that one mistakes the green fly for a meal. When the fishing for milkfish is “on” success rates hooking milks are actually quite high despite the rumors of them being extremely difficult to hook. Finding them feeding in the proper fashion on the surface is the hard part, but once discovered feeding cooperatively and consistently, they can be hooked with regularity. Some experienced guides say that a thirty pound milkfish will give a hundred pound tarpon a run for his money, so landing them is another story!

PERMIT

Another species found at Astove worth mentioning is the Indo-Pacific permit, or African Pompano (equally as spooky relative to its Atlantic cousins). Over the last 2 years the guides of the Alphonse Group (Cosmoledo, Astove and Alphonse) have more than tripled the number caught from the previous season by developing some new fly crab patterns. Finding “Gold,” as the guides endearingly refer to them, usually happens on white sand flats either free swimming or on rays. The inner lagoon has been home to many of these “Golden” catches. It has been said that the ones traveling on the backs of ray are more likely to eat, but beware these permit are as tricky and sometime just down right frustrating as those found in the Caribbean. Again, although Seychelles has not historically been recognized as a rich permit fishery, we are encountering and catching more and more permit each year. What was once a super bonus a handful of times each season, targeting permit is now considered part of the usual program.

OTHER SPECIES

Other species worth mentioning are the enormous barracudas, all types of jacks, groupers, snappers, emperors, surgeonfish, and the colorful parrotfish.
Bring all your fly rods because you will never know what species will present itself.

DREDGING

During certain slack tides and if anglers desire to “do something different,” great success can be had by dredging the edges of the atoll. Dredging is a method in which the angler uses a 12wt (or 14wt) rod equipped with a 450-600grain sinking line. The fly line is completely stripped off the reel and thrown over the edge of the reef with a 6/0-8/0 large fly. Once the line has completely straightened and sunk, the angler rips (strips) back in the line as quickly as possible, often using the dispy doodle (double hand) method. Dredging has been known to raise up all kind of species such as grouper, huge GT’s, job fish, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, shark, etc. Hold on, as these fish will definitely give you a run for your money and often if played too long will be munched on by a shark or two.

GUIDE STAFF

The guide staff consists of a mixture of Seychellois, South African, and Americans all with extensive experience in the world of saltwater fly-fishing and the Seychelles fisheries. Their appearance, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the fishing and the area is very impressive and professional. There are few saltwater fishing destinations in the world with such a salty crew of world-class guides and anglers. Anglers at Astove rotate guides throughout the week and fish out of comfortable purpose built 19’ Mini-Mahe tenders and with dry storage, cushioned seating, and reliable fifty horse Yamaha outboard motors. Safety is obviously very important in such a remote location. The guides are outfitted with waterproof radios and are very capable, always wear their kill switches and ensure anglers a safe experience.

Accommodations

The Atoll, uninhabited since 1969, is one of the most remote, isolated and unpressured destinations in the world. Newly built in 2014 following construction of the airstrip, Astove Atoll Lodge allows six lucky anglers a week to call it home. While rugged and basic, each of the six private and comfortable rooms has its own bathroom. Along with the six bedrooms, the Lodge consists of the main social area where meals are taken and cocktails enjoyed in the evenings.

CAPACITY

6 Anglers Per Week (based on shared guide / 6 single room accommodations)

Travel

ASTOVE ATOLL LODGE OPERATES ON A MONDAY – MONDAY SCHEDULE

The best way to travel from the United States to the Seychelles is via Dubai, UAE on Emirates Airlines, but can be accomplished via London, Paris or Frankfurt. Emirates Airlines is perhaps the world’s greatest airline with new and comfortable aircraft, hospitable flight attendants, excellent food, spacious seating, incredible in-flight entertainment and very economical fares. The last several seasons we have booked fares with Emirates for less than $2000!

Guests are encouraged to arrive in Mahe a full day before the Monday charter flight to the Outer Islands. After spending either Saturday or Sunday evening in Dubai having a fun dinner in town or relaxing at the huge Mall-like Dubai airport, anglers depart on Emirates Airlines for a 4hr direct flight to Mahe, Seychelles arriving early morning on Sunday or Monday. Once in Victoria, guests will either check in to the Eden Bleu Hotel (special rates available through Alphonse Fishing Co) for the evening (with a Sunday arrival) or transfer straight (with Monday arrival) to the IDC hanger for a short layover before catching the 2.5-3 hour charter flight to Astove Atoll around 11:00AM. The island operates a beautiful twin engine Beechcraft turboprop for the flight to/from Astove with a refuel stop on Alphonse Island.

Sample Itinerary

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ROUTING

SATURDAY

Depart U.S. on overnight flight to Dubai with Emirates Airlines. There are daily direct flights from Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, and New York. Flight time is approximately 15 hours.

SUNDAY

Arrive in Dubai mid afternoon or evening. Spend the evening exploring the city and/or resting in the business class lounge or a hotel room at the Millennium Hotel five minutes from the airport.

MONDAY MORNING

Return to the airport at approximately midnight to catch flight to Seychelles departing at 2:30AM and arriving around 7:00AM. Upon arrival in the Seychelles, travelers go through customs and then transfer over to the IDC hanger for charter flight to Astove departing mid morning. The group is transferred to the lodge for an orientation and tackle set-up. Lunch is served with fishing available unguided for the balance of the day.

TUESDAY – SUNDAY

Six full fishing days at Astove Atoll.

MONDAY

Breakfast at 8am. A mid-day charter flight returns anglers to Mahe with ample time for connection with Emirates Airlines flight departing that evening for Dubai.

TUESDAY

Early morning arrival back in Dubai in time for easy connection with Emirates Airlines back to Dallas, Houston, San Francisco or New York.

EUROPEAN ROUTING

For anglers traveling through Europe, you must depart on an evening “red-eye” flight (10 hours) with Air Seychelles on Sunday night and arrive in Victoria, Mahe Island the following morning (Monday).

SATURDAY

Depart U.S. on overnight flight to London or Paris.

SUNDAY

Arrival in London or Paris mid-morning. Spend the day exploring the city and/or resting in a hotel room. Depart on evening “red-eye” flight to Mahe, Seychelles with Air Seychelles on ten-hour direct flight.

MONDAY

Upon arrival in the Seychelles, travelers will go through customs and the transfer over to the IDC hanger for charter flight to Astove departing mid morning. The group is transferred to the lodge for an orientation and tackle set-up. Lunch is served with fishing available unguided for the balance of the day.

TUESDAY – SUNDAY

Six full fishing days at Astove Atoll.

MONDAY

Breakfast at 8am. A mid-day charter flight returns anglers to Mahe with ample time for connection with Air Seychelles flight back to London or Paris usually departing around 10:00PM.

TUESDAY

Early morning arrival back in London or Paris. Travelers can connect on to U.S. and arrive home Sunday afternoon or elect to overnight prior to returning home the following day.

When to Go

ASTOVE ATOLL IS OPEN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER, CLOSED FOR A BREAK JANUARY-MID FEBRUARY, AND THEN OPEN AGAIN LATE FEBRUARY – MID APRIL. THE ISLAND IS CLOSED FOR THE MONTHS OF MID APRIL THROUGH LATE OCTOBER TO REST THE FISHERY AND AVOID THE LOCAL MONSOON SEASON

Fishing during all months the resort is open is optimal. There is really no “best time” to go, however understanding tides is critical when picking your week relative to what species you want to target and the style of fishing you prefer. We will walk you through tidal analysis and pick the best week for you and your group.

The Atoll is closed for the windy and rainy season during the summer months. The windy and rainy season is well defined, starting abruptly in May and concluding abruptly in September.

Because Seychelles Outer Islands are only seven degree south of the equator, the quality of the weather and fishing remains consistent throughout the season. The really is no “perfect time” to visit Astove while the season is open, however we always discuss tide charts for prospective weeks our clients are considering. While fishing Astove is always spectacular, certain tides are more conducive for targeting certain species.

Temperatures remain warm year round in the eighties and nineties, even at night. The heat is never unbearable and a nice tropical breeze usually keeps things pleasant. Like all tropical destinations, rainstorms and breezy conditions can pop up at anytime, however consistent bad conditions are usually most prevalent during the summer months when the fishing operation is closed.

Non-Angling Activities

Fishing is the predominant activity at Astove.

Rates

2017-2018 SEASON

SINGLE OCCUPANCY/ SHARED GUIDE – $12,950 / PERSON

SINGLE FISHING SUPPLEMENT – $3000 (MAX OF 2 SINGLES PER WEEK)

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Seven Nights single occupancy accommodations
Six Days of Guided Fishing w/ Shared Guide;
All meals, water, soft drink, coffee and tea
Round-trip Air Charter to/from Mahe/Astove

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

International Airfare to Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles
All Alcoholic Beverages
Guide and Staff Gratuity
All Fishing Equipment & Tackle
Telephone and Internet Charges
Flies and other Fishing Equipment
Travel Insurance
Conservation Donation: USD $175
Baggage Overweight Charges
Laundry Service & Items of Personal Nature
Mahe – Meals, Transportation & Accommodations (when applicable)
Departure Tax from Mahe (usually covered in your airline ticket price)
Dubai, London or other – Hotel Room and general travel expenses in (when applicable)

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Astove Atoll Lodge policy follows: A 50% deposit of is required within fourteen days to confirm reservations. Full pre-payment is due 90 days prior to departure for Seychelles. A 10% fee shall be levied if cancellation is made more than 180 days prior to arrival. A 10% fee shall be levied if the reservation is moved to an alternative date within the same season. A fee of 50% shall be levied if cancellation is between 180 and 90 days prior to arrival. A fee of 100% shall be levied if cancellation is 90 days or less prior to arrival. No refund will be made for unused land arrangements included in cost. Any trip booked within ninety days will require full and non-refundable payment to confirm arrangements. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Travel for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.

INDEMNITY & INSURANCE

All activities require the client to sign an indemnification upon arrival. All clients require travel insurance to cover costs incurred due to flight delays for any reason. All clients require “From Scene of Accident Medivac Insurance.”

Contact Our Travel Department