Cast away

Desroches | Seychelles


Our daughter Anna is seven years old and has been in school since the fall. Therefore, we need to plan our family vacations according to Anna's school breaks. For the Easter holidays from March 22nd to April 2nd, 2013, we've chosen Desroches Island in the Seychelles. The island is located about 250 kilometers from the main island of Mahé in the middle of the Indian Ocean and can only be reached by plane. // Desroches Island is relatively newly developed; the management is in the hands of a South African company group, and the leadership team is primarily from South Africa. Deep-sea fishing is professionally organized under the guidance of "Cast Away."

The island is a paradise for vacationers seeking luxury and relaxation, but it's also a top fishing destination. Desroches is located in the middle of an atoll, and its abundance of fish is unmatched. Due to its remote location and shallow waters, there is almost no commercial fishing.

A family vacation that doesn't neglect fly fishing – the perfect combination! For me, it's the first time I'll be fly fishing in saltwater, and I'm excited. From my colleagues, I've heard that saltwater fly fishing is the epitome of strength and aggressiveness when it comes to fish.

Desroches | Seychelles
11. - 18. March 2013


The journey is exhausting: We fly from Munich to Dubai, where we have almost four hours of layover in the middle of the night. Then, after another four and a half hours, we continue to Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles. From there, after an additional two hours of waiting in the hotel's lounge, we take a smaller plane and continue for 50 minutes to Desroches. We are welcomed by the management and taken to our accommodation. Our beach villa is a dream: We have our own beach with a lagoon! The bonefish are just 20 meters away from the villa. The food, service, and atmosphere are top-notch; we can absolutely recommend the island for those seeking relaxation. // In the evening, we go to sleep right after dinner; we are exhausted from the long journey and sleep wonderfully in the canopy bed with mosquito net.

Start the Day

Right after sunrise, I wake up and set up an eight-weight rod. I start with a few false casts, and after the fifth or sixth cast, I already get a bite. The fish immediately takes out the entire fly line and runs ten meters into the backing. Soon, I realize I've hooked a bonefish. How can a fish weighing about 2 kilograms have so much power? And the speed at which these bonefish take off – it's incredible! Before breakfast, I've already landed five bonefish and I'm absolutely thrilled.

During this trip, my main focus is to spend time with my family. My wife knows and tolerates my passion, and in consultation with her, I've booked a large boat for two full days and two half-days.


Jardine Flyfish Adventures 2021 - 05


First days of fishing

1st Fishing Day

We set off by boat to the island of St. Joseph, which is approximately 27 miles away. The journey takes only 50 minutes with the fast boats (2 × 300 HP outboard motors). David, a South African, is on the boat with us, and we split the costs.

Around St. Joseph and the neighboring islands, there are picture-perfect flats that usually have many bonefish and a healthy population of Indo-Pacific permits. Head guide Cameron tells me that many fishermen come here mainly for the permits, which are hard to catch because they usually move quickly through the flats, making it rare to get a good casting opportunity. They are extremely shy and have excellent vision.

We are here during the warmest season, and unfortunately, we soon notice that there are no bonefish on the flats. Instead, there are blacktip reef sharks, lemon sharks, many rays, and turtles. Our original plan was to catch plenty of bonefish. We keep seeing permits, but they never come close enough for us to cast. It's quite thrilling.

I film tailing permits feeding in the turtle grass. However, it seems they sense our presence because they always keep a safe distance from us. If I manage to get within casting range, they quickly swim away. It's quite a tricky situation. The guide attributes the absence of bonefish to the high temperature. We fish both outgoing and incoming tides, but the bonefish remain elusive.

We decide to give up and return to our boat. Just before reaching the boat, I spot a permit about 30 meters away, but it disappears shortly after.

Soon after that, Cameron spots two permits at about 20 meters distance. The wind is favorable, so on my first cast, I make an optimal cast to the larger of the two. I let the crab fly sink first and then begin to strip slowly. The permit approaches and follows my fly. My heart nearly stops when I realize how big the fish is. However, it doesn't take the bait and slowly swims away. It hasn't detected us, and both fish continue to feed undisturbed. We can still see them well, and they come back into casting range. The wind isn't strong, but it's now coming from the side. I cast, but my fly lands less than perfectly stretched out and too far to the right of the permits. As soon as the fly sinks, I realize my stroke of luck. The current from the incoming tide is heading directly towards the permits, and I let the crab fly swing under tension towards the fish. Then I suspect I'm quite close to the larger fish's nose and start stripping. It immediately swims toward and takes the bait. Now the action begins.

It feels like my reel is about to flip over. What powerhouses and what speed! After three or four minutes, the fish's strength diminishes, and it keeps circling around us. Cameron is even nervous himself and wants us to land the permit. He advises me not to apply too much pressure because permits have a soft mouth, and we don't want to tear it. // Another danger looms: a lemon shark is following our fish and attempting to attack. Cameron stops filming. David, with his guide, joins us and helps scare off the shark.

The day seems like it's over, and it appears that I'm a real lucky guy. On the first day, with only my second serious cast, I land a sizable permit weighing around 6-7 kilograms! I'm thrilled with the catch; it's absolutely stunning.

2nd Fishing Day

I've booked a half-day offshore trip with the "Predator" boat, and I'm already excited. We troll two teasers in parallel at a depth of 40-60 meters. After five minutes, we witness the first attack on one of the teasers, followed by another on the second.

The skipper and the guide pull back the teasers, and I cast my fly. Kyle, the guide, knows right away that these are bonitos. I've hooked my first offshore fish, a 4-5 kilogram bonito. Once again, I realize how aggressive the bite is and how much strength saltwater fish have. The bonito is filleted, and the fillets are mounted on the teasers. In the meantime, I'm becoming more confident and understanding the process.

"Wahoo!" Kyle shouts, and I can see the fish with the teaser in its mouth leap out of the water. Then there's another attack on the second teaser. I cast my fly again and see a flash through the water heading directly for my fly. The strip strike is a wishful thought. The bite and the initial run are so aggressive that I burn my finger with the fly line. However, I manage to land my first wahoo. An incredible experience! We have several more attacks on the teasers that morning. I catch another bonito, and that's the end of it.



I'm sharing another half-day with David, and we're heading offshore once again. The fishing fever has taken hold of us! We're determined to catch the big ones. The day before, two Englishmen caught two sailfish and a yellowfin tuna. We take turns every 30 minutes. The bonitos don't keep us waiting long. We simultaneously catch three of them, keeping one for fillets to bait the teasers.

We have continuous attacks on the teasers, but it's wahoo, and they aggressively go after the teasers and usually sense that something's amiss. // After an hour, Kyle reports a sailfish, then a second one. The two sails keep attacking the teasers. My fly is in the water, and the teasers are being reeled in. When my fly is at the same level as the teasers, I get the first bite but can't set the hook.

Then comes the next bite; the sailfish comes from the side, and I can feel how well I set the hook in its mouth. Then the action begins! The reel is singing, and the sailfish jumps completely out of the water four times. After two minutes, during the last jump, it comes off. I'm utterly disappointed but also motivated to get another bite. There's activity at the teasers every ten minutes. That morning, we catch more bonitos. David has the same opportunity as I do: the sails are close to the boat, but he can't hook them.

Make a Catch


More fish


I booked a full-day tour and have the boat and crew all to myself today. It has to work today – I want to catch a sailfish or something big. In the morning, we head back to St. Joseph. We try our luck there, hoping to find bonefish on the flats. However, we soon notice that there are only a few individual fish to spot.

I manage to hook one, but I lose it right after its first run. We realize that it makes more sense to fish offshore because the flats are nearly empty. The tide is rising. We catch bonitos again and use them to bait our teasers. Within five minutes, I already have the first attack. A wahoo takes off with about 100 meters of my line, and then it shakes off the hook.

Half an hour later, I have another chance with sailfish: two sails behind the boat! I hook one, but the hook doesn't set, and in a split second, the sailfish shakes it off. My fly is still in the water, and one sail is still behind the boat. Another chance, but once again, I fail to hook properly. I'm on edge and frustrated.

It's almost 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and for the past 70 minutes, nothing significant has happened. Kyle decides to go to another spot. There, I have another chance with a sailfish, but I don't want to talk about it...

And then, it happens! A dogtooth tuna takes my fly, and my reel almost overturns. Kyle shouts to me, "Very big doggy!" And I reply, "It's spooling me!" The tuna has already taken at least 400 meters of backing during its first run! But now, it has turned, thankfully.

I'm working hard to keep the line tight and reel as fast as I can. The battle lasts almost 40 minutes, and in the end, it's just pumping and pumping. When the dogtooth tuna finally surfaces, I see what a monster I've caught! The fish weighs between 50 and 60 kilograms and is nearly 1.4 meters long. Unfortunately, we have to head back because we're 90 minutes away from Desroches. What a shame! I'm highly motivated and would have loved to hook another one.

During the ride back, about 15 minutes before Desroches, I see seagulls and fish leaping out of the water. Kyle turns the boat and heads there. I suspect dolphins and get my camera ready. Soon, I realize that it's tuna chasing baitfish. The water is boiling with small fish jumping out. Yellowfin tunas and bonitos! We get an immediate strike, and a fish takes my fly. Unfortunately, it's just a bonito, but it puts up a tough fight. We realize it's hooked on the side just before reaching the boat. Nervousness rises again as a big tuna tries to take my bonito. However, the tuna spots us and gives up its pursuit.

The fish continue leaping out of the water. Kyle thinks they might be GTs or kingfish. I cast my fly, and the action begins once more. I catch another yellow spot kingfish weighing around 9-10 kilograms. What a way to end the day! I thank the guides for a fantastic day.

Fishing on the Hotel Island

On Desroches, I occasionally fish on our beach and in front of the restaurant and catch numerous bonefish. Fishing in saltwater fascinates me! After these incredible experiences, I'm definitely going to do it again.


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