For the most committed and adventuresome saltwater anglers, it is appropriate and even fortunate that the wildest and most productive ecosystem in the Seychelles, and likely the world, is named Providence. Providence, after all, is one’s fate, destiny or divine predestination. For those that are serious about finding the most pristine and rewarding flats fishing in the world today, all points lead to here.
Providence is a specific atoll within the Seychelles archipelago located in the Indian ocean east of Tanzania and north of Madagascar. Located 440 miles south of the capital city of Mahé, Providence is a large uninhabited complex consisting of two islands (North Island and Cerf Island), and a vast array of flats in-between that has received less than 1,000 total visitors in its recorded history. For the consummate saltwater fly fishing professionals and explorers at FlyCastaway, this complex is truly their providence; the largest, most diverse and exciting saltwater wilderness on earth.
The sheer size and amount of habitat, both on the flats and offshore, create an endless array of angling options. Providence offers fly fishermen the opportunity to wade and sight fish a possible 29 miles of pristine sand and turtle grass flats, an enormous lagoon system as well as the numerous channels which link these structures to the Indian Ocean. Anglers can expect to target enormous giant trevally, bonefish, triggerfish, Indo-Pacific permit, milkfish, and bumphead parrot-fish. Add to that a chance at Napoleon wrasse, Bohar snapper, barracuda, sailfish and multiple species of tuna and it won’t take long to recognize this as one of the greatest multi-species destinations our sport has to offer.
The Providence fishing program is based on 12 anglers. The mothership carries four large sea-worthy skiffs, each captained by an experienced South African guide, that fish three per boat. Due to their intimate knowledge of tides and fish behavior, each day the guides will decide which type of fishing to focus on. When the tides are big, they might elect to spend most of the day targeting giant trevally. When the conditions offer minimal tidal movement they might choose to spend the day walking the most productive flats for bonefish, permit, triggerfish and bumphead parrotfish. During a specific shift in tides they might make the call to look for milkfish, and during slack tide they might decide to wind-drift through coral heads blind casting for a wide range of hard fighting fish including grouper and bluefin trevally. All anglers will spend the majority of their time wading. Guests will often spend long periods away from the boat, making this a physically rigorous trip.
The Mayas Dugong is an ex-research vessel that has been upgraded and modified into a mothership specializing in long-range fly fishing expeditions. The ship is a bit rustic, but it is large, spacious and extremely stable, making it a perfect base from which to explore the remote outer atolls of the Seychelles. It is a four-level vessel and can accommodate 12 anglers in seven snug guest cabins situated either on the middle, main or lower deck. Each cabin has an en-suite shower and flush toilet. There is also a comfortable salon and dining area. Both the cabins and indoor dining areas are fully air-conditioned, allowing guests a chance to relax in a comfortable environment after a long day’s fishing on the flats. On the mid-deck there is a spacious partially-covered seating area with magnificent views that is used often by guests. This area is perfect for sundowners and socializing. 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 and fishing plat-form. This feature also allows for a safe and comfortable transfer from the tender boats to the main vessel. Basic but hearty Creole and international meals are served by the helpful crew in the dining area on the main deck.