Providence has remained largely untouched, with fewer than a thousand people having visited this tropical wilderness in the last century.
As the world becomes more congested with each passing year, it is little wonder anglers are constantly searching for wild, unexploited areas where they can experience a world still raw and basic. Thankfully there are still a few such places! For anglers who dream of landing a fly in front of fish who have never seen a human, Providence easily ranks as one of the wildest places left on Planet Earth.
Providence defies description, and only those who’ve experienced it can truly understand what a special place it is. It is undeniably a flats fishing paradise, its limitless array of flats teeming with un-impacted life: hordes of massive Giant Trevally patrol the flats; countless Bluefin trevally attack anything that moves; herds of monstrous Bumphead Parrotfish graze the turtlegrass flats; colorful triggerfish daintily hunt for small crabs; shoals of milkfish slurp algae off the surface of the lagoon; humongous bonefish sneak along the few white sand flats; off-shore fishing for sailfish and tuna can be incredible; and anyone who’s tangled with some of the stranger creatures of the deep such as Bohar Snapper, groupers, even Napoleon Wrasse, will remember the hard-fought battles (and probably have some bruises and busted tackle to show for it).
In short, this is not a fishery for the weak. But for those willing to travel to the far ends of the earth in search of wild places and wild fish, Providence should be at the top of your list.
Providence is a place that has been surrounded by myth, excitement and more than its fair share of ghost stories. This enormous atoll is just short of being the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles, lying 710 km southwest of Mahe. Providence is just short of being the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles. It is roughly three times the size of Cosmoledo and hosts two prominent land masses: Providence North and the spectacularly beautiful Cerf Island in the south. This remarkable atoll has remained largely untouched, with fewer than a thousand people having visited this tropical wilderness in the last century. The sheer size and amount of fish-holding habitat makes both the flats and offshore angling potential almost limitless. It is a true fly fishing wilderness!
2024 Reservations & Rates
• Cost: $15,400 per person sharing for a 7 night/6 day fishing program (+ optional $100 Global Rescue Evacuation Insurance)
• Limited single room options are available at a surcharge of $2,500 pp.
• Season: March – May and Oct – Dec.
• Group size: 12 guests & 4 guides
• Accommodation: Onboard the MY-Dugong our 135 feet live aboard expedition vessel, in 7 en-suite air conditioned rooms (2 guests per room)
• Transport to and from the atoll: 1 hour & 55 minute charter flight to Farquhar Atoll where you board the MY Dugong for a 4-8 hour sail to Providence Atoll
Your angling package at Providence Atoll includes transfer flight from Mahe to Farquhar and return flight Farquhar to Mahe; 7 nights full board shared accommodation onboard Maya’s Dugong;; all meals; soft drinks and bottled water; landing fees; 6 days guided fishing (3 anglers to a boat and guide). Also included is a $100 Global Rescue Membership (if you already have an annual Global Rescue Membership, we can reduce the trip cost by $100 once you send in your GR policy #)
Not included in your Providence 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.
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 Insurance Information
Seasons at Providence Atoll
The first part of the season at Providence 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. The FlyCastaway team focuses their short season during these premier times on the flats, ensuring that all guests have an unforgettable fishing experience.
The spring season (February through April) accounts for the nicest weather of the year, with less wind and more "picture perfect" tropical days, which also makes this the most popular time of year in the islands.
The monsoon winds – and peak windy period – runs 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 creates some of the higher tide situations that the big marauders of the flats relish.
Fishing for all of the 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 Providence Atoll
Getting to the Seychelles is easier than one would think, with convenient, daily direct flights from many major US airports on Emirates Airlines to Dubai, with easy connections from Dubai to Mahe. It’s a long ways away, but the reliable flights on one of the world’s best airlines make the travel simple and painless. There are also options to route to Mahe through either Paris or South Africa. Many guests opt to overnight (or spend a few extra days) in Dubai to break up the travel, or spend a few extra days enjoying the incredible beaches of the Seychelles before or after their fishing expedition.
It is best to plan your International Air Travel to arrive to Mahe, Seychelles the day before the charter flight to Farquhar. The charter flight out to the atoll usually departs early in the morning; the group will meet an hour before the scheduled departure time at the IDC Hangar to weigh and check in their luggage.
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 slipway from where they are transferred to the mothership Maya’s Dugong, which will carry them across to Providence (6-8 hours) as well act as your home base for the week’s fishing. On arrival at Providence Atoll, the group will spend the next six days fishing and exploring the islands, flats and channels of Providence Atoll.
After fishing on the sixth day the mother ship will start heading back to Farquhar. The following day the group will fly out of Farquhar and head back to Mahe. The charter flight from Farquhar is typically back on Mahe between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, so it is recommended to schedule a departing flight out of Mahe no earlier than 8:00 pm on your day of departure.
Lodging at Providence Atoll
The Maya’s Dugong is an extremely well equipped expedition vessel which boasts the most experienced crew in the region. The 150 foot vessel can sleeps 12 guests in comfortably in double cabins, making her the ideal vessel for long range fly fishing expeditions in this area. The spacious vessel’s large public areas allow for maximum enjoyment of guests’ time onboard Maya’s Dugong.
A huge dining salon and lounge hosts guests in air-conditioned comfort for meals and entertainment and the outdoor leisure deck provides opportunities for al fresco dining and also serves as a comfortable lounge area. There is also plenty of open deck space on-board for sun bathing and relaxing and a spacious bridge and observation deck allow guests to take in the adventure with a captain’s eye view of all the surroundings.
Fishing at Providence Atoll
Providence offers fly fishermen the opportunity to wade and sight fish over 46 kilometers of pristine sand and Turtle grass flats, an enormous lagoon system as well the numerous channels which link these structures with the Indian Ocean. In fact, the area is so vast that there remains many flats that have never been fished or explored!
Anglers can expect to target record size Trevally, Bonefish, Triggerfish, Indo Pacific Permit, Milkfish as well as Bumphead Parrotfish. Giant Trevally are certainly the biggest draw for anglers braving these ultra-remote flats, and Providence is easily one of the premier destinations in the world for hunting these “gangsters of the flats.” But while the notorious GTs may be the main course, the diversity of angling opportunities here is another feature which really sets it apart from most other islands in the Seychelles.
Anglers wake early and after a quick breakfast head out to the flats to fish the first tide. The plan is generally stay out on the flats with a packed lunch, especially if the prime tidal movement coincides with the lunch break. There is the option to come back to mothership for lunch if the tide allows, however it is best arranged with the head guide the evening prior. The following day’s activities and schedule will be planned the night before between the guides and the captain. If you have any preferences please feel free to mention it to the guides. Current tidal movement and the species anglers wish to target will always be taken into consideration.
Providence has two major land masses: Cerf Island in the far south and North Island at the most northern part of the atoll. The seemingly endless flats not only surround both these islands but also run uninterrupted the entire 40+ kilometers in between. These flats are primarily made up of Turtlegrass, with a few large white sand flats interspersed mostly around the two islands. Most of the flats are hard, making them ideal for easy wading. And with various channels and lagoons interspersed among myriad flats, limitless habitat abounds for a broad variety of species, including Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Triggerfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, Bonefish, Milkfish, Bohar Snapper, Indo Pacific Permit, and many colorful and powerful grouper species.
Anglers will fish with one highly skilled, experienced, professional Fly Castaway guide for every three anglers. The guides will lead you onto the flats and help you identify the desired target species, the areas which they frequent and then explain the correct techniques with which to catch them. With the incredibly populations of fish in this truly wild place, double hookups are a common occurrence!
The dropoff to deep water begins very close to shore, making for some exciting bluewater fishing opportunities every day. Here the most common species encountered are Dogtooth Tuna, Giant Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish and even the occasional Marlin. Standard tackle is a 14 – 15 weight, usually rigged with a 700-grain or heavier line and/or an intermediate billfish taper, though many guests will also fish their standard GT rig with 12 weight and heavy leaders. Surface fishing in blue water with the aid of teasers is also possible with large baitfish imitations from sizes 6/0 and upward being recommended. All FlyCastaway guides are experts in rigging, teasing and the handling of blue water fish.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Providence is a true flats fishing wilderness. There is no population living at Providence, which is just short of being the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles. Getting there requires a charter flight first from Mahe to Farquhar, then a 50 mile open water ocean crossing to reach the atoll. This remarkable atoll has remained largely untouched, with fewer than a thousand people having visited this tropical wilderness in the past century. This has resulted in perhaps the highest concentration of size and numbers of a broad variety of different species found anywhere in the world; for the adventurous angler, the opportunities abound!
• Providence offers incredible diversity. Anglers can expect to target record size Giant Trevally, Bonefish, Triggerfish, Indo Pacific Permit, Milkfish as well as Bumphead Parrotfish. Deep water begins very close to shore and offshore fishing for Dogtooth Tuna, Giant Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish and even the occasional Marlin can be just a few meters away. Anglers fishing at Providence can scratch many different powerful, aggressive, and often trophy-sized fish off their bucket list.
• Providence features amazing opportunities to wade pristine saltwater flats. Anglers here have access to 46 kilometers of pristine white sand and turtle grass flats, an enormous lagoon system, as well as numerous channels which link these structures with the Indian Ocean. Most of it can be fished on foot, using the tender boats for offshore fishing and chasing really big fish once hooked.
• 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.
• Maya’s Dugong is an extremely well equipped expedition vessel which boasts the most experienced crew in the region. The 150 foot vessel can sleep 14 guests in 7 double cabins making her the ideal vessel for long range fly fishing expeditions in this area. The spacious vessel’s large public areas allow for maximum enjoyment of guests’ time onboard Maya’s Dugong. A huge dining salon and lounge hosts guests in air-conditioned comfort for meals and entertainment and the outdoor leisure deck provides opportunities for al fresco dining and also serves as a comfortable lounge area. There is also plenty of open deck space on-board for sun bathing and relaxing and a spacious bridge and observation deck allow guests to take in the adventure with a captain’s eye view of all the surroundings.