Providence Atoll Live Aboard
- Experience one of the most prolific giant trevally destinations from a liveaboard boat
- Fish with engaging professional South African saltwater guides
- Enjoy endless wading opportunities on one of the world's largest and least visited atolls
- Target a vast array of highly sought-after saltwater species
Providence Atoll ranks among the largest and least discovered fisheries in the Seychelles. This remarkable atoll has remained largely untouched, with fewer than a thousand people having visited this tropical wilderness in the last century. Pioneered and operated by FlyCastaway, the guides are 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.
Providence offers fly anglers the opportunity to wade and sight-fish a possible 46 kilometers of pristine sand and turtle grass flats, an enormous lagoon system as well 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 from the comfrt of a large and well-equipped mothership.
Providence Atoll has two major land masses – Cerf Island in the south and North Island at the most northern part of the atoll. Seemingly endless flats surround both islands and extend uninterrupted for the entire 40-odd kilometers in between. The flats are primarily made up of turtle grass, with larger, white sand bottoms found around the islands. Most of the flats are hard-bottomed, making them ideal for wading. Fishing on these flats is extremely productive and anglers can target a variety of species such as giant trevally, bonefish, Indo-Pacific permit, milkfish, triggerfish, great barracuda and bumphead parrotfish. The guides are South African and English speaking, and they each will lead three anglers onto the flats every day by way of tender boats.
In addition to the incredible sightfishing on the flats, blue water begins very close to shore at most of the anchorages and it is possible to fish these waters from the tender boats. Here the most common species encountered are giant trevally, yellowfin and dogtooth tuna, barracuda, wahoo, sailfish, and the occasional striped marlin. All FlyCastaway guides are experts in rigging, teasing and handling of blue water fish.
Anglers are up early and after a quick breakfast, head out to the flats to fish the first tide. After the morning session, anglers return to the mothership for lunch. During the midday break, anglers can snorkel, or simply recharge in an air-conditioned environment while preparing for the afternoon's fishing. On days of ideal tidal movements, there is the option to stay out on the flats with a packed lunch. Each day's schedule is planned the night before between the guides and the captain. If guests have specific preferences, they are free to mention it and discuss with the guides. Anglers will fish three per guide and all guides speak perfect English.
While fishing Providence Atoll, anglers stay on the Mayas Dugong, an ex-research vessel which has been upgraded and modified into a mothership catering for long-range fly fishing expeditions. The ship is rustic but comfortable and can accommodate up to 12 fly fishermen, four guides, as well as an eight-person crew and four-person security team. A large, spacious, and extremely stable vessel, it is the perfect base by which to explore the remote outer atolls of Seychelles and other Indian Ocean waters. 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 Seychelles and surrounding areas.
The Dugong is four-level vessel which offers seven guest cabins, each with an en-suite shower and flushing toilet. The vessel also offers a salon and dining area. All cabins and indoor areas are air-conditioned, allowing guests a chance to relax in a comfortable environment after a long day's fishing out on the flats or offshore. The mid-deck boasts a large, elevated area with a magnificent view of the surroundings, which is perfect for dining and general relaxation. 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 swimming platform, allowing for a safe and easy 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.
Day 1: Depart home
Day 3: Arrive Mahé, overnight
Day 4: Charter flight from Mahé to Farquhar. Once on Farquar you will board the boat and sail approximately 8 hours to Providence
Day 5 - 10: Six days of guided fishing on the flats of the Providence. After your last day of fishing, you will depart for Farquhar.
Day 11: Charter flight from Farquhar to Mahé, depart for home
Day 12: Arrive home
Rates & Details
2024 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy
7 night/6 day package: $15,400
Included: Round trip flight from Mahé to Farquhar and back, 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 – December, February – April
Capacity: 12 anglers
Fly Water Q&A
Who is best suited to this destination? Anglers of all skill levels are welcome. To best take advantage of everything this destination has to offer, we would suggest anglers have previous saltwater experience. Being able to comfortably cast a 12-weight for extended periods of time is important. Providence atoll is also in one of the most remote corners of the world, guests should expect a big adventure and be prepared to roll with the travel-related punches.
Where is the lodge? The atoll is located approximately 438 miles southwest of the Seychelles capital of Mahe.
How do I get there? There are several flight options but most guests from the US fly through Dubai to reach Mahe and then overnight. From Mahe all guests take a charter flight approximately 1.5 hours to Farquhar Atoll. Once at Farquhar the mothership, Mayas Dugong, will pick you up. While you get settled in, it is about a five-hour journey to Providence.
When should I go? Providence has two limited seasons. October through November and then again March through April. Both seasons are in the heart of the best weather in the Seychelles. If you are looking to have the best shoots at giant trevally (GT’s) you will want to be aware of the moon phases. There are very large tide swings in the Seychelles so making sure the full or new moon is at the beginning, middle or end of your trip can be a great advantage.
How will I fish? Most of the fishing is wading the flats but depending on the tide's anglers can spend up to a few hours fishing from the boat some days. Boat fishing is often a combination of drifting over coral heads casting to a wide variety of reef fish(the guides call this bommi bashing), hunting milkfish or going to the nearby blue water with 14- to 15-weight rods for dogtooth tuna, GT’s, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and billfish. What fish you target when on the flats will be determined by the tides and the guides. Each evening the guides study the tides for the following day and make a game plan. Each morning, the guides will go over the plan, so you know what to expect. Because this part of the world experiences big tide swings fishing days often can vary greatly throughout the course a trip. A fair bit of flats time is spent near one of two major landmasses, namely Cerf island in the south and North Island in the North but there is some 40 uninterrupted kilometers of hard sand flats between the two islands to explore as well.
Is there wade fishing? Yes. On average you will spend 70- to 90-percent of your time wading.
Where will I fish? Guests can fish the interior flats, outer flats, ocean-side reefs, and the blue water surrounding the atoll.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? The closest flats are minutes from the mothership and a long run is about 45 minutes.
What type(s) of fish will I catch? The primary targets are GT’s, bonefish, bumphead parrotfish, triggerfish, Indo-Pacific permit, bohar snapper, and barracuda.
How many fish will I catch? This can vary greatly from angler to angler depending on what species you decide to target. When targeting bonefish, it is not unusual to land up to ten fish in a session. However, most guests spend a limited amount of time chasing bonefish. This means a good deal of time is spent on triggerfish, trevally, and other species that are much harder to land. On average we would say Providence ranks second only to Cosmoledo when it comes to total GT catches.
Will I see other anglers? No. The atoll will be exclusive to your group.
What are the guides like? The guides are almost all from South Africa. As a rule, we find them to be some of the hardest working and most professional guides in the saltwater world. They all speak English.
What are the physical demands? There are not major physical demands, but you should be prepared to spend most of the day walking the flats. They can vary from easy beach walking to ocean-side flats where you are navigating a fair bit of coral.
Are there any special skills required? Being proficient at casting a 12-weight will greatly increase your odds at catching a fish of a lifetime.
Does the lodge provide equipment? You should come well prepared with all your personnel equipment, but they do have a limited supply of rod and reel set ups and flies.
What is your favorite setup for the trip? I always travel with fast action 9-weights and 12-weights. The 9-weight is for bones, triggers, and permit and the 12-weight is for the larger species.
What are the top flies? The guides are very particular about the flies used. We recommend that all guests purchase custom fly selections from the outfitter in advance of the trip.
What are the options if weather conditions become challenging? The Fly Castaway guides are total professionals about having a plan A, plan B, plan C and even D. We trust them implicitly to adjust to conditions and provide a good experience on the water regardless of conditions.
What is a typical day like? Anglers begin their days early depending on the previous night’s fishing plan devised by the guide crew. Each day’s schedule may be unique depending on the conditions, fishing goals for the day and given tides. It is best for anglers to remain very flexible in terms of the schedule to take advantage of the best fishing windows.
What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The atmosphere aboard the yacht is light-hearted casual and comfortable. Guests mingle in t-shirts and flip-flops with a cold beverage in hand.
Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? There is always a head-guide on site or lodge manager that can help with any questions or issues that arise.
Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Meals are taken communally in the vessel’s substantial air-conditioned dining salon or outside as conditions allow. There is often a good mix of fresh seafood and western fare.
What is the alcohol policy? A basic selection of alcohol is available on the yacht that will be added to your bar bill.
Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Home base is the Mayas Dugong. It is an ex-research vessel that was modified into a mothership. We consider it the perfect basecamp to fish Providence. It is a no-frills, stout and comfortable ship. It has seven air conditioned, guest cabins to accommodate a group of 12 anglers, a salon and dining area for meals, a mid-deck with a large, elevated area perfect for morning coffee and evening cocktails, and a lower deck to store the tender boats and fishing tackle.
Is there internet and/or cell service? No. Currently the only communication is a satellite phone.
Are there other activities? No, this is really a hardcore fishing experience.
Are there any other expenses? We advise that all guests take advantage of the outfitter’s custom fly selections in advance of the trip. Guides for this operation are very particular about the patterns used.
Do I need a visa? Anglers visiting the Seychelles do not currently require any special documentation other than a valid passport.
Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? Although the island environment is quite benign, there are stingrays, stone fish, cone shells, and sharks to be aware of. The guides are very cautious and make a point of giving a safety briefing prior to fishing. We recommend that all guests check the CDC’s website for the most current information pertaining to the region.