The Mauritian archipelago of St Brandon’s is a saltwater fly fishing paradise, and quite possibly the most remote and hard to access fishery in the world. Granted it takes a full day’s boat travel from Mauritius to access, however, it’s worth it. Particularly if wading and sight casting to double-digit Bonefish, tailing Indo-Pacific Permit and a host of Trevally species on powder white sand flats appeals then St Brandon’s Atoll is the destination for you.
St Brandon’s (also known as Cargados Carajos Shoals) is a coral atoll consisting of over 50 small islands, coral ridges and vast sand flats stretching 50 km from north to south. Situated 268 nautical miles northeast of Mauritius’s main island this area is rich in fish stocks, flora and fauna.
This magical atoll has quickly risen to iconic status in the world of saltwater fly-fishing and for good reason; it’s very remote, has very little fishing pressure and the flats fishing for Bonefish, Indo-Pacific Permit and a host of Trevally species is simply world-class.
Guests depart Mauritius for St Brandon every Monday in season onboard one of two 65ft transport vessels, crossing time from Mauritius to the atoll taking +/-26 hours. Each vessel is licensed in Mauritius for offshore sailing and is fully equipped with the latest marine navigation and safety equipment. Each vessel has two air-conditioned guest cabins (3 guests sharing a cabin), a bathroom, small galley, indoor seating area as well as a large covered back deck which can be used during daylight hours. Upon arriving at Raphael Island, guests and their luggage are transported by tender boat onto the island.
On St.Brandon’s, guests are accommodated in a low key but charming guesthouse on Raphael Island in the north of the atoll. The guesthouse accommodates a maximum of six guests in four twin, air-conditioned rooms. Although the guesthouse is by no means luxurious, it is clean and comfortable despite its remote location with all meals included.
Each room has two large single beds, is tastefully decorated and is serviced daily. Laundry is done twice during a standard seven fishing day tour. The guesthouse currently has two fully renovated bathrooms. A covered outdoor dining and lounge area provides an idyllic setting for enjoying a cold Phoenix (local beer) at the end of a great day of fishing. A separate mudroom/tackle room ensures all your gear has been cleaned and is neatly stored away and ready for another great day of wading.
There is no internet connection.
The large Bonefish of St Brandon’s is one of its main attractions to saltwater fly-anglers. Typically a day’s fishing includes exploring the multitude of pure white sand flats and broken coral islands, all of which produce large Bonefish. The fishing is all wade fishing and in the shallow water, you will find tailing singles and doubles as well as large shoals as they move on and off the flats with the tide. Over the past few seasons, Bonefish of up to eighty-seven centimetres fork length and weighing fifteen pounds in weight have been caught.
There are good numbers of Indo-Pacific Permit in the right tides, and you will get shots at them throughout the week. Like most Permit, patience, persistence and good presentation are essential.
The GT fishing can be quite varied although this is a location where large Giant Trevally will be encountered at some point during your stay. St Brandon’s isn’t a place where you are going to get shots at GTs every day but it is certainly the place to break the one hundred centimetres mark. The fish are all large and you catch more over a metre than under.
Large Bluefin Trevally are also around and we have caught some truly world-class specimens. Other notable fish species one can encounter on the flats include Golden, Yellow Dot and Green Spot Trevally.
The St Brandon’s team of guides is world-class and they will ensure you maximise your time at this unique location. Four, seventeen-foot tenders are available to transport you around the fishing waters, and all guides are very experienced, with good English and first aid training.
As per all Fly Odyssey bookings, will provide a comprehensive & detailed pre-trip fly fishing guide, prior to your departure.
Passport with minimum six months validity. No visas are required.
Please note that this is considered a very remote location and as such, you must bring with you proof of Medevac Insurance cover and all the information regarding Medevac and emergency details.
There are numerous international flight options to the capital, Port Louis from Australia, Europe, and Asia. After spending a night in Port Louis, guests depart Mauritius for St Brandon’s every Monday onboard one of two 65ft transport vessels, crossing time from Mauritius to the atoll taking +/-26 hours. Each vessel is licensed in Mauritius for offshore sailing and is fully equipped with the latest marine navigation and safety equipment. Each vessel has two air-conditioned guest cabins (3 guests sharing a cabin), a bathroom, small galley, indoor seating area as well as a large covered back deck which can be used during daylight hours. The transport vessel departs Port Louis on Mondays at +/- 13:00pm on the start day of the trip and will arrive at Ilse De Sud (South Island) at +/- 13:00pm the following day. A further two hours flat water cruising in the lee of the atoll will see the boats arrive at Raphael Island at +/-15:00pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Coming home the following Wednesday, the crossing back to Mauritius is usually slightly faster (+/-24 hours) than the way out due to the current direction and as such guests are expected to arrive back in Port Louis at +/-07:00am on Thursday morning.
Based on this schedule guests are requested to fly into Mauritius the day before the start date of the trip to ensure there is a time buffer built-in for missed flight connections, flight delays/ lost luggage, etc. Return international flights can be booked and depart after 16:00 pm on the end date of the trip. Should you, however, wish to book a flight that departs Mauritius earlier, guests are kindly requested to contact us before doing this so that we can advise.
Let us do the groundwork for you.
Our tailored fly fishing and accommodation itineraries are designed with you in mind to suit your preferences. They are also quoted in your local currency with very favourable exchange rates.
Fly Odyssey has access to the best guiding and lodging rates, suitable tides and updated availability to this destination which can vary throughout the season.
This includes flight bookings, transit accommodation, transfers and a host of non-angling activities and experiences.
We specialise in group stays to the region, and our long involvement with our partners on the ground in Mauritius will ensure you are well looked after both on and off the water. This includes extended stays in Port Louis, South Africa, Dubai and Doha.
Please enquire for the latest rates and availability, including information on any applicable special offers.
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Creating and sharing memorable travel experiences with our clients and friends provides us with genuine satisfaction. All of our trips are bespoke, tailored to your needs, and we always love hearing all about the adventure on your return.
Our knowledge of travel logistics saves you time, and our highly experienced team is here to ensure it’s spent on the water and not at the desk or on a long flight connection that you didn’t require. Since 2006 we have developed a valued client-base that has travelled to all corners of the globe.
We are a fully-accredited travel agency, where all of our flights, accommodation and associated travel bookings are made in-house, which means that you pay less. We have access to a huge range of specials, deals, great volume pricing, and excellent currency exchange rates which allows us to pass these benefits directly onto you.
On the fishing front, our extensive expertise and experience around prime seasons, species, moon-phases, tides, and personalised customer service is centred around one principal – preparation. This includes detailed gear and equipment lists, the fly patterns, transfer details, up-to-date fishing reports and some of the finer aspects that can often be overlooked.
We travel extensively and understand that your free-time is important. Just as we all understand from experience, that the key to a successful trip is pre-trip preparation.
Our highly experienced team has fly fished the world for the last 25 years, and we understand the considerations and gear needed to turn a good fly fishing trip into a great one.
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