Trip report - Mahe , Seychelles

haddock78

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Hi,

I have been a lurker on here for a long time - so I thought it was time to put something back. Just got back from the Seychelles and noticed before I went that there was little information on the main islands. Hope it helps someone else have a good holiday...!

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Had a great time staying down on the south east side of Mahe and fishing the flats that stretch down that part of the island. Before we went I did the usual searching through internet forums - there is little information on the main islands (apart from Fred Davis' excellent blog articles) and some opinions seemed to be that it wasn't worth the time as a DIY trip.

I should stress that I'm in no way an experienced saltwater fly fisher (basically one trip to Mexico where I caught a few small bones with a guide and little else the rest of the time), so the following is just my bumbling, trying to work things out.

After getting over the jetlag I hit the flats and caught some small emperors and a nice needlefish.

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Later, I spotted numerous sickle-shaped tails waving in the air. Much excitement - could these be permit? After numerous casts and no interest, they swung past me to be revealed as a big shoal of milkfish.

Next morning I was back at first light in flat calm conditions. Tailing fish were quickly visible, but the tails were definitely different - bonefish - and much larger than any I had seen in Mexico.

After a few bad casts due to nerves, one landed just in front of a group of fish moving towards me. A few strips and it all went solid, the water bulged upward and the fish hurtled away across the flat. After the best fight I have had from any fish, I finally had it at my feet: A bone of 6-8lb, happy with that...

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Of course, after that I struggled to land anything significant for many days! I saw fish tailing most days and other bones moving in ones and twos in the channels - but I had used up all my luck and missed the few takes I did have. I also ended up chasing some golden trevallies along the flat, desperate to get upwind of them. When I finally did, I managed to drop the fly right on them and they spooked.

We took a daytrip over to Anse Lazare. Big shoals of baitfish being attacked by needlefish but no hookups. I managed to land a tiny threespot pompano, but did't see any big fish. Other days I walked the flats for bones, but mainly hooked small emperors including this one which became lunch:

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And also, a first flatfish on the fly.

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On one low tide I found myself stood in a sandy patch with about thirty bonefish and two permit. However, they just weren't feeding. Even when spooked they would come back within a few minutes and just swim in slow circles. Frustrating!

Over the huge tides associated with the supermoon there was a lot of activity. Most days I saw tails, some sticking straight up and not looking quite right for bonefish, but they always disappeared after one of two casts.

Finally, on an evening rising tide, after a slow motion chase around the turtlegrass in pursuit of one of these tails, it came good. I cast out a crab fly stripped a few times and let it sit. Nothing seemed to happen, but when I lifted the rod to cast again a fish took off on the end. It felt like an emperor to start with, but then seemed to grow in size and determination. A big sickle shaped dorsal fin broke the surface and I got very excited - but I couldn't completely believe I'd hooked a permit until I had a firm grip on it's tail. To say I was happy would be an understatement...

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With only a couple of days left in the Seychelles I was still hoping for a golden trevally (after the permit - a bit like winning the lottery and then wishing for more...). There had been some type of trevally coming up on to the flats on several evenings, but each time I messed up my chances. The morning of the final day the rain thundered down and there was nothing to see anywhere, but later in the afternoon the sun came out. Time for another go.

The trevallies turned up on schedule and I found them heading straight towards me. I dropped a baitfish pattern ahead of the shoal and started stripping it back madly - a fish shot forward and came half out of the water to grab the fly. The fight saw me chest-deep in the water, trying to stay between the fish and a lobster pot buoy. Finally on its side - not a golden, but a brassy trevally. I reached for its tail, it wriggled and the hooked popped out. I made a dive for it, but it was gone. A 'one that got away' story - a great way to end the holiday.

In hindsight I'd probably agree that Mahe is not an easy venue for an inexperienced saltwater fly angler. It isn't Alphonse, but still a great venue to mix fishing and a family holiday and it doesn't cost $1000 per day. The bones, milkfish and permit are certainly there, which along with the trevallies, needlefish and other small fish give plenty of options to put a bend in the rod. That the results are harder won, by your own efforts, makes it that much more special.

I didn't even explore the deep water off the headlands or the mangroves behind the artificial islands near Victoria, but I'm sure there's plenty to be discovered for the adventurous DIY angler.

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burhan

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Same here really enjoyed that. Might have to add that place to my bucket list 👍

Burhan
 

aenoon

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Linlithgow, Scotland and anywhere i can wet a line
In hindsight I'd probably agree that Mahe is not an easy venue for an inexperienced saltwater fly angler. It isn't Alphonse, but still a great venue to mix fishing and a family holiday and it doesn't cost $1000 per day. The bones, milkfish and permit are certainly there, which along with the trevallies, needlefish and other small fish give plenty of options to put a bend in the rod. That the results are harder won, by your own efforts, makes it that much more special.

And thats why that trip will be with you forever!
Great report on a d.i.y trip, nice photo's, and a good description of same.
Well done.

regards
bert
 

petevicar

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Great report. Well done.:thumbs:
Don't be so upset about the golden, they are pretty rare.

Catching a permit on one of your first trips is fantastic. But you are ruined for life. :)

Well done.
 

jack01986

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Great report there. Hoping to make it out there someday. Will see if I can sneak in a travel rod for the trip!
 

benisa

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Yes great report from Mahe

To think ( before I was into fishing ) used to go there 4 times a year for 3 years on the trot

Should have been reading Fishing mags to give me the push ( instead of the Playboy) but would love to go back
great place to go:thumbs:

Did you get over to praslin or was you just on Mahe that y was fishing
what side of the island was you on
 

haddock78

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May 13, 2016
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We just stayed on Mahe as we were doing it on a bit of a shoestring budget. Actually worked out very cheap as the owners of the place we were staying in also run a big game boat and they would give us fresh fish every evening!

We were staying a couple of miles south of the airport around Pointe au Sel and most of the fishing was done within walking distance.

Worth looking at going now as Air Sri Lanka have just set up a new service - Heathrow via Colombo to Mahe. It seems to be pretty cheap and the plane was mostly empty.
 
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jack01986

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We just stayed on Mahe as we were doing it on a bit of a shoestring budget. Actually worked out very cheap as the owners of the place we were staying in also run a big game boat and they would give us fresh fish every evening!

We were staying a couple of miles south of the airport around Pointe au Sel and most of the fishing was done within walking distance.

Worth looking at going now as Air Sri Lanka have just set up a new service - Heathrow via Colombo to Mahe. It seems to be pretty cheap and the plane was mostly empty.

What was the place you stayed in if you don't mind me asking.
 

benisa

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Sure, it was here:

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13197685

Don't think the photos do it justice. Really nice place and Wanita is really friendly and helpful.
so you just did the flight yr self and sorted out own acc yes

---------- Post added at 12:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 PM ----------

Great report. Thanks. That's set me thinking...:thumbs:


Mick you are going to have dig deep for the Seychelles:eek:mg:
I did say it was the holy grail:thumbs:
 

James9118

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Great report, thanks. I haven't considered the Seychelles as a DiY destination before, but I will now.

Mick you are going to have dig deep for the Seychelles

The accommodation in the link says £70/night, I pay more than that when I go to Rutland Water :)
 

haddock78

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so you just did the flight yr self and sorted out own acc yes



Yeah, that's right - pretty cheap with Sri Lankan if you are flexible on dates.

They even give you a free hotel room and meal if you have layover of more than 8 hours at Colombo - they don't advertise it but you can email them and they sort it out!
 

Dunk

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Glad the lurker came out of the shadows! Great report - great photography too.
 

Editor

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That is my kind of an adventure - great that you went and discovered your own fish and what a great bonefish by the way, let alone the Info-Pacific Permit - awesome. Did you see any sharks on the flats? The huge lemon sharks freaked me out on my trip to Alphonse, swimming between me and the shoreline LOL. :eek:
 

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