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As home to some of the world’s most famous island hideaways and beach hotels, the Seychelles is famous for offering the ultimate in relaxation and luxury. The key to what separates our partner operation in the Seychelles (Fly Fish Seychelles) from other operations is the fact that they have a direct, long-term operational link to the fishery. Years of management of the Alphonse and St. Francois fishery (32 weeks a season) have yielded a knowledge of specific detail that cannot be matched or exceeded by a lesser level of exposure that other agents usually have. Simply put, the people that we work with in the Seychelles are the very best in the region! The Seychelles is made up of 115 granitic and coralline islands situated approximately 1000 miles off the east coast of Africa. The uniqueness that sets this particular fishing area – St. Francois – apart from many other destinations is the ability to wade over 10,000 acres of hard white sand flats in search of bonefish and numerous other species, allowing even novice fly anglers to spot and cast to fish with relative ease. As much as we hate to throw around the phrase, “Trip of a lifetime,” this is an experience that no doubt qualifies!
Typical Length of Stay
The standard Alphonse Island package is seven nights and six fishing days. Arrival and departure days onto Alphonse are on Saturdays. You will typically depart Mahe for your direct flight to Alphonse on Saturday afternoon at approximately 1:30-2:30 PM, which means that you will need to arrive into Mahe no later than 12:00 PM that same day. (We recommend an earlier arrival time to account for possible delays with your international flight). On the following Saturday, you should plan on departing Mahe no earlier than 6:30 PM, which is not really a problem since most international flights depart between 9:00 – 11:00 PM. Your flight from Mahe to Alphonse is included as part of your package.
Accommodations and Lodging
All accommodations on Alphonse are in one of ten private chalets with en-suite sunken baths, “open air” showers, air conditioning, and direct access to the beach. The lodge also features a main reception and dining area and a large, freshwater swimming pool. The island has its own reef-created lagoon with a fine beach where the hotel is located. Accommodations are usually one person to a chalet, unless you are traveling as a couple. Each chalet has plenty of room to spread out, sort gear and equipment, and to sleep comfortably in large, queen-sized beds.Each person is issued a bicycle for the week, which is the primary (i.e. only) form of transportation on this small island. You ride your bike to the main lodge and restaurant area for meals, and to the fishing center each morning to depart for your day of fishing. You can also use you bike to fish on your own in the late afternoons and early evenings.
Food and Beverages
The menu at Alphonse features exceptional European and Creole food served by a gracious staff in beautiful surroundings. After dinner each evening, guests can retire to their air conditioned chalet for an early night, or sip a cocktail or two in the common area bar, while sitting on the beach, or while relaxing around the pool. The bar at the resort is fully-stocked with everything you could want. You can run a bar tab over the course of the week and settle up when you check out at the end of the week.
Known to many anglers as the finest saltwater fly fishing destination in the world, the flats of St. Francois and Alphonse Atolls offer over 10,000 acres of perfect wading and amazing shallow-water opportunities to just ten rods per week. When you take into account the number of species in this fishery, the seclusion, the scenery and the action, this is without a doubt the number one saltwater flats destination in the world. Anglers are guided by professional, experienced guides using the latest skiffs and most up-to-date equipment. With a record of more than 60 different species landed on the fly, Alphonse offers what is arguably the most diverse fishery in the world. Here you will find bonefish in extraordinary numbers, trevally, milkfish, triggerfish, permit, and a host of other reef and flats species.
On your arrival day, once you have settled in at Alphonse Island Resort and enjoyed a refreshing tropical cocktail, you will be able to do an exploratory trip around the island of Alphonse. For those of you who are keen on grabbing a rod and heading out from the get-go, Alphonse has some of the most rewarding “home flats” bonefishing you will experience all week. Grab an 8 or 9 weight rod and head down to the southwestern point of the island. Resident schools of bones (all between 3 and 6 lbs.) have made the southwestern flats their home, and – if the tide is kind to you – tailing fish can be caught late into the evening. If you are keen on catching something other than bones, then standing on the edges of the lagoon and casting small weighted flies will produce numerous different species of snapper and grouper. Prized Bluefin Trevally and the occasional GT also cruise these edges.
Boats and Equipment
Fishing and access to the St. Francois Atoll is via the mothership “Tam Tam” or the slightly larger “St. Francois.” Each day you will typically fish two-anglers-to-a-boat out of individual skiffs, depending on client preference. All of the skiffs are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, radios, storage compartments, and coolers. Sodas and drinking water are also on board in ice-filled coolers. While the lodge does offer back-up rods and reels, it is recommended that you bring all of your own equipment. Flies, leaders, terminal tackle, and some soft goods are available for purchase on the island at the fishing center.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Those wanting to relax can take a swim in the freshwater pool or nap on one of the surrounding loungers, sipping a cocktail or enjoying a snooze in the warmth of the Indian Ocean sunshine. The more energetic can utilize the non-motorized watercraft, snorkel around the Alphonse lagoon, or wander the shoreline watching the island life go about its business. The island is equipped with pedal boats, windsurfers, laser sailboats and kayaks. All will allow you to easily explore the vast lagoon of Alphonse Island and all are available at no extra cost to guests.
Every guest on Alphonse Island will also have their own bicycle to be used as the primary mode of transport during their stay. This is the perfect way to explore Alphonse. There are many small paths and roads cut between the dense coconut groves allowing access to the most remote places on the island. Ride the edge of the runway, visit the far points of the island, or explore the old island cemetery by bike. The opportunities on Alphonse are endless. All you have to do is get there!
How To Get There
The Seychelles is served by several internationally scheduled flights, including direct services from London (Heathrow) with Air Seychelles, Paris with Air France, and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles. From the U.S. you will typically fly to Paris, London or Dubai, and from there fly directly to Mahe. Each flight is approximately 8-10 hours long. Transfers from Mahe to and from Alphonse are on Saturday afternoons.
Our Seychelles operator will help you identify the best-suited flights to fit your fishing and/or extension schedule. Often guests arrive with a full night or part of a day in the city of Mahe before catching the inter-island flight to Alphonse or before checking in for international flights back home. We will be delighted to assist you with restaurant recommendations or with choosing the correct hotel for an overnight stay in the city or a “day” room where you can rest and relax.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
You will typically depart Mahe for your direct flight to Alphonse on Saturday afternoon at approximately 1:30-2:30 PM, which means that you will need to arrive into Mahe no later than 12:00 PM that same day. (We recommend an earlier arrival time to account for possible delays with your international flight). On the following Saturday, you should plan on departing Mahe no earlier than 6:30 PM, which is not really a problem since most international flights depart between 9:00 – 11:00 PM.
Please contact us for the current pricing. Remember that there is no mark-up for going through FRA. You never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Because many deposits and final payments for trip packages are non-refundable, it is highly recommended that you purchase trip insurance in the event that you have to cancel, postpone or reschedule your trip for any reason. Please be aware that this is the only way that we can assist you with compensation for a cancelled trip. For more information or for assistance in purchasing trip insurance, please contact us or visit our Travel Insurance page.
- VIP meet and greet in Mahe
- Seven nights of accommodations on Alphonse
- Six fully guided days of fishing
- All meals on Alphonse
- Use of non-motorized water craft, bicycles and tennis courts
- Use of loaner rods and reels
What’s Not Included
- International flights to Mahe
- Round-trip charter flight from Mahe to Alphonse ($995.00 per person added to the base price)
- Per person Alphonse Conservation Levy of $175.00 (payable on island upon departure)
- Any overnight or other costs in Mahe
- Alcohol and other beverages on Alphonse
- Incidentals and gift shop purchases on the island
- Telephone calls
- Terminal tackle and flies
- Gratuities for staff and guides
- Mandatory travel and medical evacuation insurance (available through TravelGuard Sportsman’s Insurance)
Fishing days are approximately eight hours long, starting with your arrival on the flats each morning. Each day, breakfast is available from 6:00 AM. All anglers meet at the fishing office at 7:00 AM each morning, by which time the guides and staff will have organized your equipment to be transferred to the mother ship (the Tam Tam or the St. Francois). (Your rods and other equipment can stay on the transport boat for the remainder of your week, eliminating the necessity of off-loading and transporting gear each day. 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 the larger transport boat to commence the 40 minute trip to St. Francois.
On entering the St. Francois lagoon, you will be transferred to a skiff, the exact boat depending on who your guide is for the day. Guiding takes place on a rotational basis, allowing anglers to experience all facets of the fishery and to fish with a different guide each day. Anglers will fish in pairs sharing a skiff and a single guide. Virtually all fishing is done by wading, with both anglers fishing simultaneously. Casting from the boats for Trevally and milkfish, however, is productive in certain situations and skiffs often need to be used for following hooked milkfish or big trevally. Lunch is taken either on the Mothership or on the individual skiffs, depending on client preference. All of the small skiffs are equipped with flares, flotation devices, rod holders, storage compartments, radios, and coolers.