The Seychelles is one of the most exotic saltwater fishing destinations in the world! Fishing there has, over the past few years, become synonymous with the term “fly fishing paradise” and has provided all those fortunate enough to visit her shores the opportunity to fish some of the finest and most productive flats the Indian Ocean has to offer.
The flats at Farquhar consist of hard white sand, turtle grass, and broken coral, making for comfortable wading. Anglers can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species which include Bonefish, various Trevally species including the ferocious, trophy-sized Giant Trevally, the finicky Indo-Pacific Permit, Triggerfish, Barracuda, Bumphead Parrotfish, and Milkfish. The Seychelles is known for the sheer diversity of species it offers the angling pioneer, so if stalking Bonefish in skinny water, throwing crab flies at the colorful and charismatic tailing Triggerfish, or holding your nerve as a large GT charges in at your fly interests you… well then Farquhar is certainly the venue for you.
Deeper off-shore water, too, begins very close to shore, and spending time tussling with some of the monsters which prowl the deep blue is certainly an exciting and rewarding bonus. The most common species encountered are Giant Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Dogtooth Tuna, Grouper, Bohar Snapper, and Sailfish… all of which are guaranteed to show your backing the light of day!
The primary outfitter we work with in the Seychelles is FlyCastaway, who operate on the remote Farquhar Atoll. Farquhar is the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles chain of islands, lying just over 700 kilometers to the southwest of the main island, Mahe. This remote atoll has a total area, including the large lagoon, of 170.5 square kilometers, and measures 18km north to south and 9 km east to west. The atoll features a serviced concrete landing strip situated on the most northerly island. Farquhar has a small population of local Seychellois, whose main roles include running a small commercial line-fish operation as well as acting as a skeleton crew which manage the island and service the airstrip.
Guests are expected to arrive in Mahe on the Saturday before or early on the Sunday morning of the day of the charter flight to Farquhar. The group will meet an hour before the scheduled departure time at the domestic terminal (next to the international terminal). The flight from Mahe to Farquhar is one hour forty five minutes on board a private-chartered Beechcraft 1900. Guests are then transferred in true island style via tractor and trailer on a short fifteen minute ride to the lodge, which will be their home and base for the week’s fishing.
Accommodation on Farquhar takes the form of a basic but comfortable guesthouse which caters for eight to ten anglers at one time. The main lodge itself is fully air-conditioned and has five twin en-suite bedrooms and a central lounge. The lodge is equipped with 24-hour 220-volt electricity, air-conditioning, and has a constant supply of hot water. There is full housekeeping as well as a daily laundry service available. The covered dining area on the water’s edge has a magnificent view and forms an idyllic backdrop for both breakfast and dinner. All meals are served around the outside dining area with the chef preparing a mix of Creole and international food. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the price of the trip; the lodge also has plenty of local beer for sale, while spirits and wine may be pre-ordered to insure you have your preferred beverages of choice. Alternatively, you may bring your own bottle of preferred spirits and wine.
The next six days will be spent fishing and exploring the islands, flats, and channels of Farquhar Atoll. Guests are transported in 17.3-ft Angler skiffs, each with a single 90-HP 2-stroke Yamaha engine. These boats have been specifically designed and fitted to fish both the flats and offshore waters of the Seychelles in comfort and safety; they have a draft of approximately 9 inches, allowing anglers to access some extremely shallow areas of the atoll, though the main attraction still lies in wading the flats. These boats are also sure to make the excellent offshore fishing far more enjoyable and rewarding, as all of them are equipped with a fish finder. Other added features include fly rod storage fittings, bimini tops and cushioned seats.
Each boat is skippered by one of the world-class FlyCastaway guides, all of whom are qualified skippers and speak English. Whether it’s on the flats or offshore, these professionals will help you identify your desired target species, the areas which they frequent, and explain the correct techniques with which to catch them. They will without question go the extra mile for your fish of a lifetime. On the seventh morning the group will have plenty of time to pack their gear and prepare to fly back to Mahe. The flight from Farquhar to Mahe will leave at midday and on arrival guests can connect to their international flights or overnight in Mahe.
Fly fishing in the Seychelles is more than just another trip; it is a one-of-a-kind adventure to one of the most remote corners of the saltwater fly fishing frontier. Nowhere else in the world offers the diversity of species that can be found and targeted on the fly. Accommodations provide for all the comforts needed, and the FlyCastaway team has thought of every angle to insure a positive trip experience for anyone making the long journey to explore the Indian Ocean.
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the 7 night/6 day Farquhar Atoll package is $9,500.00 USD per person (double occupancy).
• Single Occupancy and non-angler rates available by special request
Your angling package at Farquhar Atoll includes seven nights lodging and six days fishing (2 anglers to a boat and guide), round trip flight transfers between Mahe and Farquhar, shared accommodation, all meals, soft drinks and mineral water, and landing fees.
Not included in your Farquhar Atoll package are International Flights, overnight accommodation in Mahe, ground transfers on Mahe, tackle and flies, gratuities, alcohol / mandatory emergency medical evacuation policy (we recommend Global Rescue) / travel insurance / personal expenses, fishing license; park fees (if applicable); fishing gear which may be borrowed based on availability; diving gear (which may be rented).
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 Farquhar
The first part of the season at Farquhar traditionally runs from October to mid December, and the second part from late February through April. These are the peak periods for fishing, as January is one of the rainiest months in the Seychelles and from May to early October the strong south-eastern monsoon winds blow incessantly. Over the years, the FlyCastaway team has found the best, most consistent weeks to operate at Farquhar, and focus their short season during these premier times on the flats, ensuring that all guests have an unforgettable fishing experience.
The spring season (late February through early April) accounts for the nicest weather of the year, with less winds and more of those "picture perfect" tropical days, which also makes this the most popular time of year in the islands.
The monsoon winds start blowing sometime towards the end of April and can continue into November, with the peak windy period from late May to August. The wind can still blow into October (and also early May), however it is still very much fishable, and in fact these winds can create some of the best conditions of the year for targeting Giant Trevally – the conditions which typically result in the most GT action and the biggest fish. The windy periods are by no means "bad weather" with rains, dark skies, etc, but rather just a consistent south easterly wind, which pushes fresh water onto the flats and create some of the higher tide situations that the big marauders of the flats relish.
Fishing for bonefish, triggerfish, bumphead parrotfish, Indo-Pacific permit, and countless other exotic species of fish in the Seychelles is consistently good throughout this October-April window. Neap to spring tides do seem to be slightly better, but for the most part moon cycles and tides don't dramatically impact the fishing here. The fact is that these fish are so un-impacted – and see so few anglers each season - that they are often willing to eat a well-presented fly regardless of the weather conditions.
Getting to Farquhar
The Seychelles are easy for Europeans to get to, while the lengthy travel makes it a true adventure destination for North American anglers.
There are daily direct flights into Mahe, capital of the Seychelles, from both Frankfurt (Condor Air) and Dubai (Emirates Airlines), with easy connectors to these airport hubs from many European and U.S. airports serviced by major airlines.
You will want to arrange to arrive in Mahe, Seychelles, no later than 6:00 a.m. on your arrival day (Sunday) and depart Mahe after 8:00 p.m. on departure day. The standard schedule is to leave Mahe at about 8-9:00 am and be back on Mahe at about 2:00 pm. Most people traveling to Farquhar choose to overnight in Mahe to avoid any risk of missing the once-a-week private charter to Farquhar. There are quite a few good lodging options in the island nation's capital, and we recommend working with Bridget Esterhuizen at 360 Degree Travel in South Africa (contact info: Telephone at +27 (0) 87 740 3266 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org). Bridget is very experienced in working within the 3rd world island republic and can simplify the process of arranging your accommodations in Mahe.
The group will meet an hour before the scheduled departure time at the domestic terminal (next to the international terminal). We suggest you plan on landing 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 Farquhar. Another advantage to arriving a day earlier is that it gives you some time to adjust to the jet lag and climate; it's no use arriving on Farquhar directly from the US only to feel like a vegetable for the first few days and not be able to capitalize on the fishing opportunities. Spending the extra day on Mahe can make a huge difference in maximizing your fishing experience.
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.
There is a weight limit of 35 pounds per person on the charter flight to Farquhar Atoll. If you have more luggage, arrangements can be made for it to be stored on Mahe during your week at the lodge, either at the hotel where you stay on the way in or at the IDC (charter company). Pack carefully, being mindful of the weight limit; there is daily laundry service available at the lodge, which helps.
Upon arrival guests will be transferred in true island style via tractor and trailer on a short fifteen minute ride to the lodge, which will be their home and base for the week's fishing. There is no guided fishing scheduled on arrival days, but ample time to rig rods and prep all of your gear for the week's fishing.
For flight information getting to Mahe, we recommend utilizing the expert services of Alicia Regueiro and her staff at Holdy Tours (800) 446-1111 or Alicia@holdytours.com. They are a full service travel agency, and have been our first choice for ticketing for years because they are intimately familiar with the intricacies of travel to faraway places such as Chile, Argentina, and Africa. Holdy gets rave reviews from us for arranging reasonably-priced flights as well as city tours, hotels, transfers, and optional add-on travel packages to our fly fishing trips.
Fun Farquhar Facts:
Farquhar Atoll is Located 450 nautical miles south of Mahe, with GPS Coordinates at 10.167ºS 51.133ºE. Temperatures range between 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit) with high humidity. The time difference in the Seychelles is +4 GMT (12 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time). Everyone traveling to Seychelles must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of travel. UK, US, EU, USSR, and RSA passport holders do not require a Visa for entering into the Seychelles for vacation purposes. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory, and a Yellow Fever certificate is required if traveling from a Yellow Fever infected area. The currency of Seychelles is the Seychelles Tupee (SCR). US Dollar or Euro are also widely accepted and are the preferred currency for gratuities and expenditure on Farquhar. Creole, English, and French are spoken widely, though all FlyCastaway guides do speak English. There is no cell phone reception on Farquhar. The guesthouse is equipped with a satellite phone, however, which can be used by guests at an additional cost of USD $4 per minute.
Lodging at Farquhar
Guests at Farquhar enjoy comfortable accommodations at Farquhar Lodge, a newly constructed facility leased from the Seychelles government for the duration of the fishing season.
Accommodation on Farquhar takes the form of a basic but comfortable guesthouse which caters to eight to ten anglers at one time. Lodging is
based on two anglers sharing a room, though single occupancy rates are available by special request. The main lodge itself is fully air-conditioned and has five twin en-suite bedrooms and a central lounge. The lodge is equipped with 24-hour 220-volt electricity, air-conditioning, and has a constant supply of hot water. There is full housekeeping as well as a daily laundry service available. The covered dining area on the water's edge has a magnificent view and forms an idyllic backdrop for both breakfast and dinner. All meals are served around the outside dining area with the chef preparing a mix of Creole and international food. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the price of the trip; the lodge also has plenty of local beer for sale, while spirits and wine may be pre-ordered to insure you have your preferred beverages of choice. Alternatively, you may bring your own bottle of preferred spirits and wine.
Fishing at Farquhar
The fishing at Farquhar has become synonymous with the term "fly fishing paradise", providing all those fortunate enough to visit her shores the opportunity to fish some of the finest and most productive flats the Indian Ocean has to offer.
After getting settled in on the afternoon of your arrival, you will be given
a chance to yourself with the schedule for your stay and learn what to expect in the way of fishing. During the week, the guides will have an informal discussion after dinner each evening, recapping the past day's fishing and coming up with a basic game plan for the following day's fishing depending on tides, times of the tides, wind direction, and what sort of target species' you're after.
Guides are then assigned to anglers by the head guide. This is done on a rotational basis and works best if angler teams remain as they are throughout the week; that said, everything is flexible and they will do their best to make sure it works for everyone. Each guide will discuss his plan for the following day with his assigned anglers and try to accommodate them as much as possible with regards to what they would like to do and how the tides will influence their day and/or create the best opportunities.
Breakfast is served from 7:00 am, following which the anglers and their guide head out to start the day's fishing. There's not often a huge rush to hit the water early, and it's not really worth heading out before 8:00 am as the sun needs to be a little higher so that anglers and guides can see into the water and spot fish. Based on the previous evening's discussions and daily fishing agenda, guests can either come back to the lodge for lunch or enjoy a packed lunch on the flats. All boats have to be back at the lodge 1 hour prior to sundown.
Anglers can enjoy a cold beer and shower and be ready for hor d'oeuvres and dinner at 7:30 pm. This is just a "sample" itinerary and guests need to be flexible as the fishing varies from day to day around the tides. Some days it might be better to head out later or come back earlier, or vice versa; the guides will advise the anglers according to the best plan for the conditions each day, to maximize the daily angling potential.
Bonefishing in the Seychelles is as good as it gets. Period. The atolls and out islands are a veritable paradise for the flats angler, including exceptionally large bonefish patrolling the vast area of white flats in huge numbers. The bonefish typically average 4-6 pounds, while double digit fish are frequently seen (though infrequently landed!). There are miles upon miles of pristine flats, perfect for wading, with white sand bottoms interlaced with channels and cuts. The bonefishing at Farquhar is as diverse as the fishery itself and will cater to all levels of anglers. Whether you're after tailing singles or shoals of countless fish, the Seychelles offers some of the best bonefishing the world has to offer.
Even with such phenomenal bonefish action, the most exciting draw to fly fishing the Seychelles are the remarkable Giant Trevally. Conditions in the Seychelles, in particular at Farquhar Atoll, are ideal for creating the most prolific Giant Trevally fishery anywhere. Consistent south-easterly winds help push fresh water across the flats, enticing these marauding, fearless beasts into the shallows in search of forage fish (and anything else they can find to eat). They are far and above the most aggressive fish on the flats, and are often described as "like a Volkswagon driving up onto the flats." The average size of Trevally caught in the Seychelles is 15-40 pounds, with fish over 80-100 pounds landed each season. GT action is fast, intense, and perhaps the biggest rush in the fly fishing drama of the flats.
While bonefish and trevally receive the lion's share of the attention from traveling anglers in the Seychelles, the exotic triggerfish and bumphead parrotfish are quickly becoming favorites. Both of these incredibly beautiful fish are found throughout the flats of Farquhar, and can be seen tailing in the shallows like permit, waiving their colorful tails in the air like flags beckoning for a well-presented fly. Like permit, they require stealth and an accurate cast. They eat coral and crabs, and provide an unbelievable fight.
The Seychelles offer daily opportunities for myriad other species, too, with nearly 60 different species of fish in the islands that have been taken on light fly tackle, including milkfish, Indo-Pacific Permit, barracuda, grouper, bluefin trevally, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and more. Anglers traveling to the Seychelles should pack an open mind, and come prepared for a marvelous and unexpected adventure.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Farquhar is one of the most diverse fisheries on Planet Earth. Anglers at Farquhar have opportunities to sight fish to an impressive variety of species which include bonefish, various trevally species including the ferocious trophy-sized giant trevally and Bluefin trevally, the finicky Indo-Pacific Permit, triggerfish, barracuda, bumphead parrotfish, as well as countless species of massive rockfish, grouper, and wrasse. There are even seasonal off-shore opportunities for sailfish and tuna. One thing is for sure: every angler casting into Farquhar’s pristine waters have a chance at hooking multiple, colorful, exotic and exciting varieties of powerful species.
• In addition to the diverse species available at Farquhar, the flats and waters surrounding the atoll also provide a broad variety of different angling scenarios. The flats at Farquhar consist of hard white sand, turtle grass, or broken coral, all ideal for stalking fish on foot, wading the shallow flats, reef edges and shorelines. There are beaches where giant trevally attack unsuspecting baitfish, large coral heads where countless powerful, often toothy creatures of the deep rise up to maraud anything that swims by, even bluewater options just a few hundred meters from the white beaches of the atoll. Every day, you’ll have an opportunity to experience new habitat and environments for Farquhar’s multiple fish species.
• Farquhar Atoll features some of the least-pressured waters anywhere in the world. The atoll lies over 700 kilometers from the nearest population of people, and FlyCastaway further limits the angling pressure there by focusing only on a select few weeks each season, based on the best seasons and tides. This focus on premier weeks in an extremely remote area ensures aggressive fish that aren’t attuned to fishing pressure.
• FlyCastaway’s team of professional guides is renowned as world-class. Each boat is skippered by a qualified English-speaking guide. Whether it’s on the flats or offshore, the FlyCastaway guides will help you identify your desired target species, the areas which they frequent, and explain the correct techniques with which to catch them. They will without question go the extra mile for your fish of a lifetime.