Free as the sea

Cosmoledo & Astove | Seychelles

A dream came true

In February 2014, I visited Cosmoledo/Astove for the first time – the trip with Helmut Alleze was unforgettable. We were lucky with the weather; aside from a few brief storms, it was always beautiful. And most importantly, the fishing was simply fantastic! Helmut and I had discussed repeating the trip together in 2015. But I was captivated by the incredible experiences and encounters with the first GTs. Fishing in the surf on Astove had me spellbound: Within seconds, you're in the midst of a swarm of many, including very large GTs. When you hook that first big GT, and the action starts, your adrenaline surges. Moments that are unforgettable! And a feeling that addicts every saltwater fly fisherman. The result: I just had to fly back to the Seychelles in the fall.

The decisive factor for my decision was that the Life Aboard expedition on the Maya Dugong was only going to take place one more time. The last opportunity to fish three different atolls – Assumption, Cosmoledo, Astove – in one week! Everyone I talked to regrets it deeply.

Cosmoledo & Astove | Seychelles
17. - 25. November 2014

Our Arrival

Currently, a runway and a small lodge are being built on Astove, which will accommodate six anglers. The same is set to happen on Cosmoledo a year later. My arrival goes smoothly once again. Etihad gets me to Mahe on time, where I spend a night at the Crown Beach Hotel. The next morning, I meet my colleagues for the week at the ITC Hangar. With a stopover in Alphonse, we fly directly to Assumption. Upon arrival around noon, we head straight to the boat, where I settle into my single cabin and immediately feel at home.



40 GTs

The group is mixed and friendly: a nice American family with a fishing enthusiast mother who should land some GTs; fun-loving Londoners with whom there's always something to laugh about, and a couple from Upper Austria.

Without further ado, we start fishing. On the first day at Assumption, I already land three GTs. It seems to me that fishing on Cosmoledo is better this time than in the spring. GTs are always to be found on the flats, and so I have a few extraordinary days with many good catches: on Cosmoledo alone, I catch over 40 GTs and also some other interesting reef inhabitants.


Astove, on the other hand, is less productive this time around. I wanted to repeat my surfing experiences from the spring - but it turned out differently.

The tides are not as strong, the big GTs hardly come into the channel or not as close to the shore. So, while I catch a lot of small GTs and countless bluefins, I don't hook any really big GTs. A nice change of pace is the many bonefish in the lagoon, and I also catch various other species.

From the boat, I have some nice experiences, like this one: I'm in the middle of reeling in a small Red Snapper on my 16-weight rod, and it already feels tired, so I think I just need to lift it up. Then suddenly, I feel an extremely hard jerk, and within a second, the fish darts under the boat. My 16-weight rod snaps in the middle!

I continue to fight the fish with the broken rod and then with the line in my hand. What a surprise: There are two fish on the fly! The mystery is solved: The strong jerk was caused by a gigantic grouper.


All images
of the trip