Providence Atoll is just short of being the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles and contains two major land masses, namely Providence North and Cerf Island. This remarkable atoll has remained largely untouched, with fewer than a thousand people having visited this tropical wilderness in the last century. After guiding on Providence from 2004 – 2009 the Fly Castaway guides are now convinced that Providence is the most exciting and diverse fly fishing destination they have ever encountered. The sheer size and amount of fish holding area makes both the flats and offshore angling potential almost limitless. It is a true fly fishing wilderness! Providence offers fly fishermen the opportunity to wade and sight fish a possible 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. Anglers can expect to target record size Giant Trevally, Bonefish, Triggerfish, Indo Pacific Permit, Milkfish as well as Bumphead Parrotfish. Due to its size and diversity fly castaway will be placing five of their extremely talented and experienced guides on this remarkable atoll, together with five tender boats to be used exclusively on Providence. These tenders will surely improve both flats accessibility and help maximize the fantastic offshore fishery Providence is blessed to have!
Guests are expected to arrive in Mahe the day before 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 onboard 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, which carry them across to Providence (6-8 hours) and will be their home and base for the week’s fishing.
The Average Day: Typically anglers will be up early and after a quick breakfast head out to the flats to fish the first tide. After the session they’ll be collected and returned to the boat for lunch before heading out later the afternoon for the second fishing session. During the midday break anglers can snorkel, or just laze around and rehydrate in an air-conditioned environment. There is however an option to stay out on the flats with a packed lunch if the prime tidal movement coincides with the lunch break. 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 be taken into consideration
Flats: Providence has two major land masses namely Cerf Island in the extreme south and North Island at the most northern part of the atoll. The seemingly endless flats not only surround both these islands but run uninterrupted the entire 40 odd kilometers in between. They are primarily made up of Turtlegrass, with the larger white sand flats being found around the islands. Most of the flats are hard, making them ideal for wading. Fishing on these flats for species such as Bonefish, Permit, Milkfish, Giant Trevally, Triggerfish, Great Barracuda and Bumphead Parrotfish must rank as the best in the world at present. The guides will lead you onto the flats and help you identify the desired target species, the areas which they frequent and the explain the correct techniques with which to catch them.
Bluewater: Deep water begins very close to shore at most of the anchorages and it is possible to fish these waters from the tenders. Here the most common species encountered are Dogtooth Tuna, Giant Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish and the occasional Striped Marlin. Standard tackle is a 14 – 15 weight, usually rigged with a 700 grain or heavier line and/or an intermediate billfish taper. Surface fishing in blue water with the aid of teasers is also possible with large bait fish imitations from sizes 6/0 and upward being recommended. All Fly Castaway guides are experts in rigging, teasing and the handling of blue water fish.
The Mayas Dugong:
The Mayas Dugong is an ex-research vessel which has been upgraded and modified into a mother ship catering for long range fly fishing expeditions. She is rustic and can accommodate up to 12 fly fishermen, four guides, as well as 8 crew and 4 security who cater for your every need. A large, spacious and extremely stable vessel, she is the perfect base with which to explore the remote outer atolls of the Seychelles and other Indian Ocean waters. As a fly fisherman it would be difficult to find a better boat from which to operate out of, with its ability to store and transport four tender boats on its spacious aft deck. Because of its large size and high fuel storage capacity, The Mayas Dugong can cover long distances at good speed and comfort in almost any sea conditions, opening up new possibilities for exploring the Seychelles and surrounding areas.
The Dugong is four level vessel which offers 7 spacious guest cabins situated either on the middle, main or lower deck. Each has an en suite shower and flushing toilet. The vessel also offers a comfortable salon and dining area. All cabins and indoor dining or entertainment areas are fully air conditioned, allowing guests a chance to relax in a comfortable environment after a long days fishing out on the flats or offshore. On the mid deck she is spacious and boasts a large elevated area with a magnificent view of its surroundings. This area is perfect for dining, sundowners and general relaxing. The lower deck’s primary function is to store the tender boats and fishing tackle. The stern of the vessel has a set of stairs leading down to a large swimming platform, perfect for fishing from. This feature also allows for a safe and comfortable transfer from the tender boats to the main vessel. The chef prepares a mix of Creole and international food. Fresh fish can be served everyday if requested.
Safety and Piracy
A risk assessment performed by an international security company has concluded that the risk of attack is low. They provide an armed security force on board and it was stated that this would bring the security level of the operation to a necessary level. According to official sources there has never been a successful piracy attack on a vessel with an armed security force onboard. The Security personnel will be located on the upper deck in order not to interfere with the clients’ living space.
In addition to the safety precautions undertaken by the mother ship there are 4 drone planes based in the Seychelles with a Swedish coast guard patrol plane. There are Seychelles European, Japanese, Indian, American and Russian Coast Guard vessels in and around Seychelles waters at all times. There is also three major centers setup around the Indian Ocean; Seychelles, UAE and Tanzania that collect and relay all information on potential piracy. The Seychelles Coast guard has also just received their new aircraft to help the fight against piracy. The mother ship is equipped with VMS, tracking device that can ensure early detection of suspicious activity. Although every possible step and measure has been undertaken to avoid acts of piracy, it remains a risk undertaken by each angler on the trip.
As most of the fishing will be wading, good protective footwear is essential. It is essential for anglers to look after their feet on a fishing trip to the outer atolls. Although sand flats can be rough on the feet, coral flats are particularly bad. Wading on Providence requires a more protective wading boot. There are a number of purposed made boots on the market that are excellent and that provide adequate protection. Fisherman must be able to cover up to 3 km (2 miles) of challenging terrain in a single fishing session.
Dangers to watch out for while wading
Stingrays – Most species have a poisonous, barbed spine near the base of their tails that they can use for defense and these spines can inflict a nasty wound. These often sedentary or slow moving fish are sometimes difficult to see, but can be avoided. Even if a stingray has buried itself, its tail is usually visible. It is best to take evasive action and walk around the area where stingrays are feeding or resting. To date no anglers have had any problems with these docile creatures.
Stonefish – found mainly in the shallows on the coral edges of reef flats, this fish is not only lethally toxic, but is also very well camouflaged and will not move unless touched. A stonefish has 13 strong hollow spines through which it injects its poison, good wading boot will provide adequate protection against stonefish.
Cone shells – fish-eating cones live in crevices among the coral or half covered by sand awaiting their prey that they attack by a using a retractable hypodermic needle that injects a paralyzing poison. The poison from certain species can be fatal however proper footwear will ensure 100% safety when standing on one. Most injuries by Cone shells occur when the live shells are picked up and handled.
Sharks – although small sharks are frequently encountered whilst wading in Seychelles, they present little danger. Sometimes inquisitive, they may pause for an instant and give you the once over but if you remain calm and quietly stand your ground, these magnificent creatures will not bother you. To date there are no reports of any anglers or guides having been attacked by a shark in Seychelles.
Seasons and weather
The season at Providence is from late October after the southeast monsoon to the end of April, before the southeast monsoon starts again. The wind speed and direction is less constant at this time of year and the temperature is higher. It is a very arid atoll and experiences seasonal droughts during this time. The temperatures and humidity can range from 25 C at 80% to 35 C at 95%.
Passports: Everyone traveling to Seychelles must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of travel.
Visas: Visas are not required. Travelers must have a return (or onward) air ticket, pre-booked accommodation and sufficient money for their stay
Waiver of Liability: All clients / participants are required to sign the “Providence Terms and Conditions” waiver
2019-20 Rate: $12,300 per person for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Round trip flight Mahé – Farquhar – Mahé, meals, landing and mooring fees, 6 days guided fishing
Not Included: International flights, overnight accommodation on Mahé (if needed), ground transfers on Mahé, tackle & flies, gratuities, alcohol, personal expenses
Species: Bonefish, milkfish, triggerfish, barracuda, giant trevally
Season: October Dec / Feb - April
Capacity: 12 anglers (3 anglers per guide)