Deep within the Indian Ocean, due east of Madagascar and 300 miles northeast of the island of Mauritius, lies an obscure and seldom visited atoll that may be the greatest bonefishing destination in the world. Scouted and eventually made accessible to fly anglers by the veteran South African saltwater outfitters at Fly Castaway, St. Brandon’s atoll is a wade fisherman’s paradise blessed with enormous hard sand flats and staggering numbers of huge bonefish. In addition to the incomparable bonefish resource, anglers will also encounter good numbers of Indo-Pacific permit, bluefin, golden, yellow dot and green spot and giant trevally.
If you have a lust for real adventure travel to experience the best bonefish the globe has to offer, this might be the trip for you.
On arriving at St. Brandon's no time is wasted as the guides put their vast Indian Ocean experience and planning into practice as you venture out to spend your days exploring the multitude of pure white sand flats and broken coral islands, all of which are infested with large naive Bonefish. This is some of the most spectacular bonefishing we have encountered. On most tides anglers can expect to see shoals of these shallow water speedsters as well as enormous singles and doubles. Over the past few seasons they have landed Bonefish of up to 87 cm fork length and weighing 15 lbs.
St. Brandon's is also a productive Indo-Pacific Permit fishery. When specifically targeting these gloriously finicky fish, guests are afforded multiple shots per day. Over the past seasons their guides have refined their tactics for the Permit of St. Brandon's and enjoy nothing more than watching their clients lean into sizeable specimens.
The GT fishing can be quite varied. Some days you can see a fair number and at other times none at all. St. Brandon's isn't a place where you are going to get shots at GTs everyday but it is certainly the place to break the 100 cm mark. The fish are all large and you catch more over a meter than under. We have in fact seen and hooked fish well over the 150 cm. Large bluefin and trevally are also around and we have caught some truly world class specimens. Other notable fish species one can encounter on the flats include Golden, Yellow Dot and Green Spot Trevally.
St. Brandon's flats are primarily made up of white compacted sand which makes for easy wading, thus separating it from other destinations in the world. As most of the fishing will be done via wading, good protective footwear is essential. Although the sand flats are easy on the feet, there are certain areas we fish which are made up of broken coral or littered with coral bommies, so having standard divers neoprene booties with a reinforced rubber sole are not appropriate. We recommend wearing proper flats wading boots. There are a number of purpose made boots on the market which are excellent. See suggested brands in tackle and gear list. Guests will not be taken onto the flats without proper footwear!
All FlyCastaway trips to St. Brandon's are led by a team of world class professional fly fishing guides. During your stay on the vessel there will be four guides including one head guide onboard. Each guide is a qualified skipper, has first aid experience and is extremely experienced with regards all facets of fly fishing the remote saltwater destinations of the Indian Ocean. Their passion and dedication is infectious and rest assured they will definitely go the extra mile in search of your fish of a lifetime. All FlyCastaway guides are fluent in English.
Guests will be accommodated in a simple but comfortable guesthouse on Raphael Island situated in the fish rich northern part of the atoll. Although the guesthouse is by no means luxurious, it is clean, comfortable and considering it’s remote location, is all a traveling angler needs to enjoy the finest trophy Bonefish, Indo–Pacific Permit and trophy GT fishing available in the Indian Ocean. To top it off, there is a highly productive and easy wading flat just meters away from the front porch of the guesthouse. Currently there are 4 bedrooms in the house, each containing two comfortable single beds and some basic amenities. The guesthouse currently has two fully renovated bathrooms for the guests, each containing a shower, basin and toilet.
Getting to St. Brandon:
Two 50 ft sport fishers will transfer guests to and from the atoll (4 guest, 1 guide and 3 crew per sport fisher), the crossing time from Mauritius to the atoll is approximately 26 hours. The two boats will do the crossing along side each other. Both boats are registered and licensed in Mauritius for offshore sailing, each boat fully equipped with latest marine navigation equipment. Each boat will be skippered by a 200T master. Each boat has three cabins, two of which are for the 4 guests (2 guest per cabin) the other for the guide and crew. Each boat has a bathroom, a kitchen, lounge area as well as a comfortable back deck. The sport fishers will depart Port Louis at approximately 10:00 am on the start day of the trip and will arrive at Ilse De Sud (South Island) around 10:00 am the following morning. A further two hours flat water cruising in the lee of atoll will see the boats arrive at Raphael Island. Guests and their luggage will then be transported by tender boat onto the island, following which they will have lunch, settle into their rooms, receive a briefing from the head guide and set up tackle. Should there be enough light left guests are welcome to fish unguided on foot around Raphael Island. Guests will then spend the following 7 full days out on the flats fully guided.
At the end of the fishing trip guests will depart Raphael Island mid morning. The sports fishers should arrive back in Port Louis around midday on the final day of the trip. Although every effort is made to stick to this schedule, weather and other factors associated with remote locations of this nature can affect timing. We ask all guests to go into this trip with an open mind towards the logistics, appreciating how remote a venue St Brandon’s really is and what a privilege it is we are allowed to fish it! Based on this schedule guests are asked to fly into Mauritius the day before the start date of the trip (to ensure there is a time buffer built in for missed flight connections, flight delays/lost luggage etc.). Return international flight can be booked which depart after 2:00 pm on the end date of the trip. Should you however wish to book a flight that departs Mauritius earlier, guests are kindly requested to contact us before doing this so that we can advise.
Day 1: Depart Home
Day 3: Arrive Mauritius, Overnight
Day 4: Depart for St. Brandon
Day 5: Arrive St Brandon's early in the morning and start fishing
Day 6-12: 7 full days of guided fishing
Day 13: Depart St. Brandon for Mauritius.
Day 14: Arrive Maurituis mid-day. Depart Maurituis late evening.
Day 15: Arrive Home.
2019 - 20 Rate: $8,500 per person for a 10 night/7 day package
Included: Transfers from Port Lewis to St. Brandon, Accommodation and meals, Seven days fully guided fishing (2 anglers per boat and guide), Fishing licenses, Soft drinks, water & local beers
Not Included: International flights to Port Louis, Mauritius, Ground transfers, Meals and accommodation in Port Louis, Spirits, wine, items of a personal nature, Gratuities for guides and boat staff, Travel & medical insurance, Tackle & flies
Species: Bonefish, permit, trevally
Season: October – December | April - May
Capacity: 8 anglers
Location: St. Brandon is located approximately 300 miles northeast of Mauritius
Time: The time in Mauritius is 11 hours ahead of Pacific Time.