ALPHONSE ISLAND RESORT
ALPHONSE ISLAND RESORT
As a fly fisher, when you hear Alphonse Island, you certainly imagine incredible numbers of Bonefish, eager Giant Trevally, large Permit and the atolls are also home to 3 different types of Triggerfish, Barracuda, Snapper, Grouper, Parrotfish, 7 more species of Trevally and the incomparable Milkfish! All these exotic species in a pristine and hardly fished environment. The good news is, your imagination is spot on!
Alphonse Island Resort is an intimate private lodge situated on Alphonse Island, the largest in the Alphonse group of atolls. This group of atolls is considered one of the most pristine, untouched Eden’s of the world, making it a nature lover’s paradise.
The magnificent island ‘threesome’ comprised by Alphonse, St François and Bijoutier lies in the very heart of the Indian Ocean as part of the Seychelles outer islands. Considered a fly-angler's paradise, the expansive flats surrounding the Alphonse atolls provide the fly-fishing experience of a lifetime.
This spectacular wilderness has ten thousand acres of hard white sand flats which provide easy wading and world class sight-fishing. The Alphonse group is one of the most famed saltwater fly fishing destinations in the Indian Ocean and is one of the most prolific Bonefish fisheries in the world.
The St. Francois fishery caters for just 12 fly-anglers at a time to maintain exclusivity and sustainability (although this has been reduced to 10 for this season) and, due to the remote location, will probably not even see that many. The uniqueness that sets St. Francois apart from many other destinations is the ability to wade thousands of acres of white sand flats allowing even novice fly anglers to spot and cast at fish with relative ease.
This tropical paradise is fished by very few people each year, making for maximum opportunity to sight fish to all your favorite flats species.
At a Glance
Location: Alphonse Island, Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Target Fish: Bonefish, Trevally (Brassy, Giant, and Bluefin), Permit, Milkfish, Triggerfish
Time of Year: Mid-October to mid-May
Lodge Capacity: Limited to 12 anglers per week
Nearest Airport: Seychelles International Airport, Mahe Island
Documents Required: 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 vacation travel.
The main fishing season at Alphonse runs from the second week in October to the first weeks in May. Rain can occur in almost any month. The Seychelles are typically warm, at about 85 degrees but a slight breeze keeps it comfortable. Evenings are also warm except the first few weeks of the season, when there may be a cooling breeze.
The sun rises quickly at 6.15am and sets with equal swiftness at about 6.30pm. It is dark by 7 o'clock! This varies by only minutes throughout the year. This gives nearly full 12 hours of daylight 365 days a year. You are very close to the equator.
Bonefishing is best done when the tide is on the move and is least productive on the low tide. A typical session will involve wading from the skiff for a few hours either fishing to cruising or tailing fish. This will last for as long as the fish remain on the flats.
On the dropping tide, huge shoals of Bonefish can be targeted leaving the flats in what has been described as a continuous river of bones. The bonefishing at St. Francois is as diverse as the fishery itself and will cater to all levels of anglers. Whether you’re after tailing singles or mudding shoals, the guides have the ability to make it happen. St. Francois is rumored to have the densest population of Bonefish recorded worldwide.
St. Francois has seven species of Trevally present throughout the atoll. The three most common are the Brassy, Bluefin and Giant Trevally. The Brassy grows to around 12lbs but gives an excellent account for itself on a ten weight rod. It is slightly longer than the usual Trevally shape which gives it tremendous stamina.
The Bluefin Trevally attains 18lbs. and when caught in the surf can be a real handful. The Giant Trevally or GT is the real king, reaching weights of 150 lbs. The biggest GT landed on St. Francois last season and was estimated at 115lbs. 20-40 lb. fish are common and can be found cruising the flats in search of Mullet and Bonefish or on the edge of the reef. Their ability to close on a fly at warp speed is legendary, and the strike of even a modest-sized fish is mind-blowing.
At certain times of the year, Milkfish feed on plankton near the surface and are enticed to eat flies. They are incredibly strong fighters and the use of a skiff is necessary to land them. Once again, it is imperative to listen to your guide while fishing for these phenomenally strong fighting fish as they have the experience of landing and fighting these fish.
The term “species bashing” refers to a form of fishing that takes place using small Clousers around coral heads and drop-offs with sinking or intermediate lines. This can produce numerous species of fish from Wrasse, Snapper and Grouper to Garfish, Goatfish and numerous other species. It is a great way to pass time during slack tides and can be tremendous fun.
Fishing days are approximately 8 hours, starting on your arrival at the flats. Breakfast is available from 6:00. All anglers meet at the fishing office at 7:00 each morning, by which time the guides and staff will have organized your equipment to be transferred to the mother ship, Tam Tam.
Your rods will stay on Tam Tam for the remainder of your week. Fresh water will be provided to rinse your tackle at the end of each fishing day. Once all anglers are assembled you will be ferried to Tam Tam to commence the 40 minute trip to St. Francois.
On entering the St. Francois lagoon, you will be transferred to your relevant skiff depending on your guide for the day. Guiding takes place on a rotational basis allowing anglers to experience all facets of the fishery. Anglers will fish in pairs sharing a skiff and guide each day. Virtually all fishing is done by wading, with both anglers fishing simultaneously.
However, casting from the boats for Trevally is productive in certain situations and skiffs often need to be used for following hooked milkfish or big trevally. Once again the guides have strict safety protocols and boat rules should be adhered to at all times.
Lunch is taken either on the mother ship or on the individual skiffs, depending on client preference. All the small boats are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, storage compartments, and coolers. Sodas and desalinated drinking water are provided.
Alphonse offers high quality European and Creole food served by gracious staff in beautiful surroundings where guests can retire to their en-suite, air conditioned, thatched chalets for a rest or sip a cocktail if the mood suits. The dining facility offers a variety of traditional, fresh cuisine, with a heavy focus on seafood. The atmosphere on the island is relaxed and informal.
Guests on Alphonse generally stay in the ensuite A-frame chalets or the larger villas if that option has been reserved in advance. Both are near the fishing center and the beach bar and restaurant.
Bicycles are provided for all guests and tracks around the island make for an interesting ride during time away from fishing or other activities. A driver and golf cart are always available if desired. There is a floodlit tennis court. Guests can play at any time with rackets and balls available at reception.
Standards of accommodation are good, comfortable and air-conditioned. Service is attentive and sincere led by island managers.
The bar is fun and perfectly positioned between the freshwater pool and beach.
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.
Alphonse Island is accessed via a private charter from the main island of Mahe. Most US and UK clients access Mahe via Dubai with Emirates Airlines. Dubai can be accessed from many major airports in the US; Emirates Airlines or Delta Airlines are the most popular.
Access to the Seychelles can also be made via Condor Airlines through Frankfurt, Germany and Etihad Airways through Abu Dhabi. Other international flights are from London (Heathrow) with Air Seychelles, Paris with Air France and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles.
It is a good idea to plan on arriving 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 Alphonse. Arriving a day early also gives you some time to adjust to the jet lag and climate after the long travel.
There is a weight limit of 15 kilograms (approximately 33 pounds) per person on the charter flight to Alphonse Island Resort. If you have more luggage, it can be arranged for it to be stored on Mahe.
Chalet Fishing Package
7 night/6 days fishing (per person, double occupancy): $7,850.00
Villa Fishing Package
7 night/6 days fishing (per person, double occupancy): $9,580.00
Prices subject to change with exchange rate
Included: Your angling package at Alphonse Island Resort includes 7 nights at the lodge, private accommodations, all meals, soft drinks and water, 6 days guided fishing (2 anglers per boat and guide)
Not Included: International flights, overnight accommodation in Mahe, ground transfers on Mahe, tackle, flies, gratuities and alcohol.
Inter-Island return flight – US $1,370.00
Island Conservation Levy, anglers (paid in cash on island) – US $175.00
Island Conservation Levy, non-anglers (paid in cash on island) – US $70.00