The Montebello Islands, lying some 120 nautical miles North-West of Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth in Western Australia, are a sub-tropical archipelago of over 170 small limestone islands, and coral reefs with colourful marine life. Fringed by coral reefs, the islands are interspersed with lagoons, bays, flats, and channels home to a huge variety of species to target on fly. Fly fishing targets include the Indo-Pacific Permit, Blue Bastard, Black-spotted Tuskfish, Queenfish, and Giant Trevally, while the deep waters surrounding the islands are also home to prolific numbers of Sailfish and Juvenile Black Marlin.
While Exmouth nearby is regarded as one of Australia’s best sportfishing destinations, the remoteness of the Montebello Islands means that it receives very little fishing pressure. And with over 450 species of fish available and marine sanctuary nearby, fly fishing the Montebello Islands is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. Accessed by the very comfortable 70ft monster sportfishing mothership, the overnight journey from Exmouth maximises fishing time, with a fleet including flats skiff, game boat, and sports fisher all available throughout the week. Complimented by arguably Australia’s best billfish skipper – Eddie Lawler and the experienced guide team, the week is an unforgettable adventure with great hospitality and memories that await.
Your home for the week is the 70ft Mothership “High Voltage”, which is a well-appointed survey vessel specifically re-fitted for adventure touring to the Montebello Islands. With a shallow-draft, the vessel is ideal for mooring in shallow, secluded bays powered by twin diesel engines which makes the easy 120km journey from Exmouth overnight.
Comprising of four bunk rooms, bathrooms, a lounge, kitchen, upper and lower deck areas, the mothership is ideal for groups of 8 anglers. There is also one double room available for couples. The staff and crew are energetic and attentive ensuring everyone has a great time both on and off the water. Hot showers, air conditioning and 240v three-pin mains power is available to ensure a comfortable stay and phones/cameras are charged for the day ahead.
The day starts with a fantastic breakfast of fresh fruits, brewed coffee, and cereals while a packed lunch can be had out on the water, or you can return to the mothership to relax before the afternoon and evening session. Dinner consists of a variety of seafood options, fresh fish, and assorted meats, great salads, bbq options, and plenty of it, to fuel you for the following day.
There is plenty of room to keep your drinks cold – alcoholic beverages can be pre-ordered or bought with you and enjoyed on the top deck as you watch the sunset over the horizon in the evenings.
The mothership is fitted with marine radio’s, charts, satellite phone and safety equipment, and will be moored in a number of clam bays throughout the week, depending on the conditions and minimising travel times to the targeted fishing grounds each day. You will essentially be off-grid, with no cell phone or Wi-Fi available while at sea.
The flat limestone islands that make up the vast Montebello Islands provide a fantastic habitat for targeting numerous species on Fly, consisting of lagoon flats, beaches, channels, and drop-offs. Very few people have ever cast a fly rod in these waters, however, like Exmouth down south, the Montebello Islands provide some of the premier saltwater fly fishing opportunities in Australia.
After the afternoon departure and overnight journey from Exmouth to the Montebello Islands, you will then fish over five full 10 hour days on the water and six nights. The journey takes around 8-10 hours, heading north with the boat moored and ready for your first days fishing when you awake the following morning.
The variety of fishing options and species to target with this highly experienced crew make the Montebello Islands one of the very few places in the world where you can land an Indo-Pacific Permit, Blue Bastard, and Sailfish on Fly, all in one day. Throw in the marauding Giant Trevally which is there in very good numbers, Bonefish, Queenfish, Tuskfish, Trevally, Milkfish, Giant Herring, and juvenile Balck Marlin which all add to the amazing diversity on offer.
Ideally suited to Intermediate to Advanced fly fishermen, this trip also suits anglers that would like to have the option of doing some lure-based sportfishing to mix up your days. Sailfish numbers of over 50 landed for the week are not uncommon, while Eddy and the team also excel in getting clients onto Marlin which is also a fantastic target on fly.
The fishing vessels consisting of the 36-foot Black Watch Game Boat and 25-foot Contender Sportfishers are ideal for this type of fishing (3:1), with teasers used to bring in the billfish before switching them to your fly and the ensuing battle that awaits. Intermediate or sinking lines can also be used to work the reefs for Coral Trout, GT’s, Spangled Emperor, and a range of different reef species.
The flats skiff (2:1) is used to work the lagoons and flats, fitted with an electric engine and casting deck which is ideal for these islands, bays, and beaches where the Permit, Blue Bastards, Brassy, Golden and Giant Trevally also reside. Some areas can be also waded on foot, with the crystal clear water providing ideal polaroiding opportunities throughout the day.
#Eight to Ten weight outfits with clear intermediate or sink-tip lines are ideal for most species, while #Twelve weight fly rods are recommended for larger Giant Trevally, Sailfish, and Marlin.
As per all Fly Odyssey bookings, we will provide a detailed pre-trip guide with all the information you need to assist with your preparation.
The six nights, five-day Montebello Mothership adventure departs Exmouth on a Sunday afternoon, arriving back the following Saturday morning. Fly Odyssey can manage your flight bookings and transfers, with several 2hour flights available from Perth to Learmonth Airport, which is situated around 20 minutes drive from the harbour.
There are several direct international and domestic flights to Perth daily.
A variety of transit accommodation options are available both in Perth and Exmouth, while we do advise arrival and departure from Exmouth, a day on either side of the trip. If you wish to extend your stay, guided fly fishing days in Exmouth on Ningaloo Reef, or the Gulf can also be arranged.
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 family, couples and group stays to the region, and our long involvement with our partners on the ground will ensure you are well looked after both on and off the water.
This includes extended stays in Perth and holidays to the Cocos Keeling Islands.
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.
Fly fishing and travel is our passion.
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