Alphonse is legendary as one of the finest saltwater fly fisheries in the world. The flats of nearby St. Francois Atoll offer over 10,000 acres of perfect wading, limited to just 12 rods a week.
Alphonse offers a veritable paradise for the flats angler, including schools of large bonefish patrolling the vast area of white flats in huge numbers. Indian Ocean permit are offer all the challenges of their Atlantic cousins, while powerful Triggerfish crunch crab patterns on the reef and flat edges. Anglers are guided by experienced guides using the latest skiffs and equipment in the pursuit of the vast number of species to be targeted. With more than 60 species landed on the fly each season, Alphonse offers bonefish in extraordinary numbers, trevally, milkfish, triggerfish, Indo-Pacific permit, and a host of other reef and flats species.
Nearby St Francois is uninhabited and the lagoon is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide, consisting of firm white sand bottoms interlaced with channels and cuts. The number of people allowed to fish there is limited to 10 per week. The uniqueness that sets St. Francois apart from many other destinations is the ability to wade over 10,000 acres of hard white sand flats in search of these ghosts and allowing even novice fly anglers to spot and cast at fish with relative ease. Very few of the flats are heavily grassed, although these areas can prove to be productive for larger bonefish.
The bonefishing at St. Francois is as diverse as the fishery itself and will cater to all levels of anglers. Whether you’re after tailing singles or mudding shoals, the guides have the ability to make it happen. St. Francois is rumored to have the densest population of Bonefish recorded worldwide.
St. Francoise has seven species of Trevally present throughout the atoll. The three most common are the Brassy, Bluefin and Giant Trevally. Their ability to close on a fly or lure at warp speed is legendary, and the strike of even a modest-sized fish is enough to keep you coming back for more… every day!
At certain times of the year, Milkfish feed on plankton near the surface and are then enticed to eat flies. They are incredibly strong fighters for these phenomenally strong fighting fish as they have the experience of landing and fighting these fish.
This Indian Ocean Paradise lies just south of the equator, just a short flight from Mahe, the capital island of the Seychelles. Unlike the frantic, noisy atmosphere of many package holiday islands, Alphonse promises a genuinely peaceful experience with the privacy of the island reserved solely for fly fishers and their party.
Alphonse Island Resort now caters exclusively for fly fishers and their groups with a limited number of non-fishing activities on offer. Guests are accommodated in charming, thatched beach access chalets with en-suite sunken baths and ‘open air’ showers.
Alphonse offers high quality European and Creole food served by gracious staff in beautiful surroundings where guests can retire to their en-suite, air conditioned, thatched chalets for a rest or sip a cocktail if the mood suits. Guests will enjoy drinks and evening meals at the beach bar and restaurant or at one of the intimate tables set into the sand nearby.
Fishing days are approximately 8 hours, starting on your arrival at the flats.
Breakfast is available from 6:00 am. All anglers meet at the fishing office at 7:00 am each morning, by which time the guides and staff will have organized your equipment to be transferred to the mother ship for the transfer from Alphonse to St. Francois. Fresh water will be provided to rinse your tackle at the end of each fishing day. Once all anglers are assembled you will begin the 40 minute trip to St. Francois.
On entering the St. Francois lagoon, you will be transferred to your relevant skiff depending on your guide for the day. Guiding takes place on a rotational basis allowing anglers to experience all facets of the fishery. Anglers will fish in pairs sharing a skiff and guide each day. Virtually all fishing is done by wading, with both anglers fishing simultaneously. However, casting from the boats for Trevally is productive in certain situations and a skiff often needs to be used for following hooked milkfish or big trevally.
Lunch is taken either on the Mothership or on the individual skiffs, depending on client preference. All the small boats are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, storage compartments, and coolers. Sodas and desalinated drinking water are provided.
The experience at Alphonse Island and fishing at St. Francois is remarkable, and the sort of trip that one never forgets; from fine foods to spectacular scenery and some of the absolute best saltwater fly fishing the world has to offer.
Reservations & Rates
Rates (August 2019 through May 2020):
Angling (standard 7 night 6 fishing day in private, en-suite Beach Bungalow) US$9,840.00
• Non-fishing Leisure Package (sharing Beach Bungalow with fisher) US$6,815.00
Angling (7 night 6 fishing day, en-suite Beach Suite dbl occ) US$13,690.00
• Non-fishing Leisure Package (sharing Beach Villa with fisher) US$9,790.00
Island Conservation Levy - anglers US$175.00
Island Conservation Levy - non-anglers US$70.00
Your angling package at Alphonse Island Resort includes 7 nights at the lodge, Private accommodations, All meals, Soft drinks and water, 6 days guided fishing (2 anglers to a boat and guide), plus the charter flight from Mahe to Alphonse.
Not included in your Alphonse Island Resort package are International Flights, Overnight accommodation in Mahe, Tackle and flies, Gratuities, Alcohol, Mandatory emergency medical evacuation policy (we recommend Global Rescue), Travel Insurance, Personal Expenses.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Alphonse Island Resort
The main fishing season at Alphonse runs from the second week in October to the first weeks in May. The climate is tropical and rain can occur in almost any month. In late December and January, you may have a day or two where clear skies and rain alternate. Fishing during these weather patterns, however, has proven to be extremely productive.
The Seychelles is typically hot and somewhat humid. During midday, temperatures hover near 29C ( 85F) but there is usually a steady breeze to keep things comfortable on the flats. Evenings are also invariably warm with the exception of the first few weeks of the season, when there may be a strong, cooling breeze.
Due to its proximity to the equator, there is no real twilight in the Seychelles. The sun rises quickly at 6.15am and sets with equal swiftness at about 6.30pm. It is dark by 7 o'clock! This varies by only minutes throughout the year, giving nearly a full 12 hours of daylight 365 days a year.
Getting to Alphonse Island Resort
You will want to arrange to arrive in Mahe, Seychelles no later than 7:00 a.m. on your arrival day (Saturday) and depart Mahe after 9:00 p.m. on departure day.
The standard schedule is to leave Mahe at about 11:00 am and be back on Mahe at about 1:30 pm. Often it is a good idea to plan on arriving in the
Seychelles (Mahe) at least one day prior to departure to guarantee that you are in the islands in time to make the charter flight to Alphonse. Arriving a day early also gives you some time to adjust to the jet lag and climate after the long travel.
Everyone traveling to Seychelles must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of travel. United Kingdom, United States, European Union, Russia, and Republic of South Africa passport holders do not require a Visa for entering into the Seychelles for vacation purposes.
Please be sure to get us your flight information once you have coordinated that portion of your trip, so that we can coordinate your meet and greet with the lodge representatives. Depending upon your arrival time, a representative of Mason's Travel will greet you at the airport and take you to the domestic terminal. If arriving early, you may consider leaving luggage at the airport and taking a taxi to the Eden Island development where you can have breakfast/lunch at the restaurant Bravo. Mason's Travel will show you where to store luggage and change money into local currency for taxis.
At 10:00 am you will check in for the charter flight. Give your name at the Air Seychelles counter to receive your boarding pass. At 11:00 am the flight with depart for Alphonse; the flight is approximately 1 hour 5 minutes in duration. NOTE: There is a Conservation Levy of $175 per person which is to be paid in cash on Alphonse Island ($US Dollars are preferred).
There is a weight limit of 15 kilograms (approximately 33 pounds) per person on the charter flight to Alphonse Island Resort. If you have more luggage, it can be arranged for it to be stored on Mahe. There is a place at the airport in the walkway between the international and domestic terminal where you can deposit your additional luggage for the week, or most hotels will allow you to store bags there if you stay with them on both legs of the trip. Pack carefully in lieu of the weight limit; there is daily laundry service available at the resort, which helps.
On arrival you will be met by the manager or a representative of the Alphonse Island management team and transported to the hotel by golf cart. There will be time for checking in and unpacking. Your fishing equipment will be collected from your room and there will be a comprehensive briefing and tackle setup by the team at the fishing office. The guide team will assess your flies and give advice on what can be expected in the coming week. The first afternoon is free, an unguided afternoon, so enquire with the fishing manager as to the tides and your best option should you wish to wet a line on Alphonse. Alternatively, you can relax on the deck of the beach bar with an Indian Ocean cocktail. Dinner is served from 7.30pm in a relaxed atmosphere at the bar.
Guests wake at leisure for cooked or continental breakfast at approximately 8:30 am. Guests may take a stroll/cycle ride around the island or a swim in the fresh water pool. Lunch is served at the beach restaurant at approximately 12:00 pm. Inter-island charter flight departs Alphonse approx. 4:30 pm, arriving Mahe approx. 5:35 pm. Guests either continue on their Seychelles itinerary or leave Seychelles.
Lodging at Alphonse Island Resort
Guests on Alphonse generally stay in the en suite A-frame Beach Bungalows or the larger Beach Suites if that option has been reserved in advance. Both are near the fishing center and the beach bar and restaurant. Bicycles are provided for all guests and tracks around the island make for an interesting ride during time away from fishing or other activities. A driver and golf cart are always available if desired.
There is a floodlit tennis court. Guests can play at any time with rackets and balls available at reception.
Standards of accommodation are good, comfortable and air-conditioned. Service is attentive and sincere led by island managers.
The bar is fun and perfectly positioned between the freshwater pool and beach. The dining facility offers a variety of traditional, fresh cuisine, with a heavy focus on seafood. The atmosphere on the island is relaxed and informal.
Fishing at Alphonse Island Resort
Breakfast is available from 6:00 am. Most guests opt for an early morning wake-up call around 5.45 am and start breakfast around 6.15 am. Guests are provided with bicycles to ride to the fishing office and around the rest of the island. All fishermen meet at the fishing office at 7:00 am. By then, the guides and staff will have organised your equipment to be transferred to the mothership which takes fishers to the flats. Please remember that if you are late, the rest of the group will have to wait for you.
Your rods will stay on the mothership for the remainder of your week. Fresh water buckets will be provided to rinse your reels at the end of each fishing day. Once everyone has assembled you will be ferried to the mothership to commence the 40-minute trip to St. Francois.
On entering the St. Francois lagoon and mooring area, you will be transferred to your skiff. Guiding takes place on a rotational basis allowing anglers to experience all facets of the fishery. Anglers will fish in pairs sharing a skiff and guide each day. Virtually all fishing is done by wading, with both anglers fishing simultaneously, so do not expect to be standing on the bow of a skiff all day.
The guides are skilled boatmen and casting from the boats for trevally is productive in certain situations and skiffs often need to be used for following hooked milkfish or big trevally. The guides have strict safety protocols and boat rules should be adhered to at all times.
Lunch is either on the mothership or on the individual skiffs, depending on the client's preference. All the small boats are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, storage compartments, and coolers. Soft drinks and desalinated drinking water are provided.
Fishing days are approximately 8 hours, starting on your arrival at the flats. The option of returning to Alphonse earlier in the day is only available should the entire group wish to do so. For safety reasons, all boats from the resort must be back in the mooring area at Alphonse no later than 5:00 pm. Please honour your guide's request to stop fishing at 4:00 pm and be prompt in your return to the mothership.
Fishing at Alphonse and St Francois:
St. Francois is uninhabited and the lagoon is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide, consisting of firm white sand bottoms interlaced with channels and cuts. The number of people allowed to fish there is limited to 12 per week.
The uniqueness that sets St. Francois apart from many other bonefish destinations is the ability to wade over 10,000 acres of hard white sand flats in search of these ghosts. Even novices can spot and cast at fish with relative ease. Very few of the flats are heavily grassed although these areas can prove to be productive for larger bonefish.
The lagoon envelopes coral finger flats and coral heads allowing anglers to catch a number of the now 60 species available on fly. The atoll is laced with a coral reef and has numerous bonefish that have had to stand up to the hardships of living over coral rather than sand and they fight especially hard to prove it. The surf that pounds this coral reef has numerous species of trevally. Sight fishing for trevally is one of the most exhilarating forms of fly fishing one will ever experience.
Bonefishing is best done when the tide is on the move and is least productive on the low tide. A typical session will involve wading from the skiff for a few hours either fishing to cruising or tailing fish. This will last for as long as the fish remain on the flats. On the dropping tide, huge shoals of bonefish can be targeted leaving the flats in what has been described as a continuous river of bones. The bonefishing at St. Francois is as diverse as the fishery itself and will cater to all levels of anglers. Whether you are after tailing singles or mudding shoals, the guides have the ability to make it happen. St. Francois is rumoured to have the densest population of bonefish recorded worldwide.
Each flat varies during the tide and daylight hours. Some flats support very large bonefish and others smaller to average size, but a fair lagoon average would be about 4lbs. The largest bonefish caught, weighed and measured so far was 9.5lbs. The changes in the behaviour of the fish and the opportunity for targeting the really big specimens make the fishing that much more challenging and entertaining. Average catch returns over the last 3 years are 10 to 12 bonefish per day and depending on the fisherman's skill often many more!
The factors controlling numbers of bonefish caught are weather, timing of the tides and, perhaps most importantly, the fisherman's skill and the decision as to whether to go for size or quantity.
Fishing inside the St. Francois and Alphonse Atolls (and near the reefs) is fly fishing and catch and release ONLY.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• The islands of Alphonse, St. Francois, and Bijoutier are among the world’s most pristine, untouched environments. The islands enjoy an exquisite climate and miles of unblemished shorelines, lagoons, and saltwater flats. They are in the outer islands of the Seychelles group, in the very heart of the vast Indian Ocean. Accessible only by charter flight from Mahe, the numbers of guests who have an opportunity to travel here is extremely limited, making the entire experience seem like your own personal Paradise.
• Alphonse and St Francois has truly fantastic bonefishing. St Francois in particular is uninhabited and the lagoon is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide, nearly all of it lined with firm white sand flats interlaced with myriad channels and cuts. Anglers here can literally wade over 10,000 acres of hard white sand flats in search of bonefish! There are no crowds and the fish are happy...
• While the bonefishing at Alphonse is world-famous, it is also a fantastic destination for an impressive variety of other species. The atoll are home to huge populations of bonefish, three different types of triggerfish, barracuda, snapper, grouper, permit, parrotfish, milkfish, and eight species of trevally, including the giant trevally. This diversity gives anglers the opportunity to target myriad different species during their stay. That keeps your fishing week engaging and interesting.
• Alphonse features superb accommodations. It is a single exclusive resort made up of Beach Bungalows and Villas. Built alongside the water’s edge, each accommodation enjoys spectacular ocean views. A central dining and bar area lets you socialize alongside the sparkling pool and shoreline, with cuisine offering the very best of traditional Creole creations. Fresh produce farmed on the island and freshly caught fish are always on the menu, but diversity is key, including Asian inspired dishes and sensational sashimi, complemented by a wine list of distinctive variety. Guests are accommodated in charming, deluxe thatched beach access chalets. Guests will enjoy drinks and evening meals at the beach bar and restaurant or at one of the intimate tables set into the sand nearby. Alphonse is a world-class resort with every imaginable amenity you could imagine.
• Alphonse Island offers much more than world-class fishing. This makes this idyllic island the perfect destination for non-fishing partners and families. The Island is a true haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. There are also non-angling activities including cycling, guided walks, tennis courts, spa therapies and island hopping, dolphin spotting, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boating. Non-anglers will love the complete freedom to explore the wonders of the island on foot or bicycle – a perfect couples spot.