Set Foot on Pristine and Incredibly Productive Saltwater Flats
Farquhar, located 450 nautical miles southwest of Mahe, is easily one of the top saltwater fly fishing destinations on the planet. Home to giant trevally, milkfish, and numerous other exotic fish species, this is the perfect destination for anglers who want the finest, most diverse fishing action available. It takes some time to get there, but once you set foot on these pristine and incredibly productive flats, you will quickly agree that the effort is worth it. Farquhar Atoll is the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles chain of islands, lying just over 450 miles to the southwest of the Seychellois’ main island of Mahe. The main group of islands on the Atoll forms a long curve. The largest of these is Ile du Nord and Ile du Sud, with smaller islands, tucked in between them. Further south is Goelette, and to the open west side of the atoll lies the small group of islands known as Les Trois Freres. The large, ear-shaped lagoon on Farquhar provides easy access to the huge area flats, channels and surf zones which make this such a diverse fishery. Farquhar has a small population of local Seychellois, whose main roles include running a small line-fish operation as well as acting as a skeleton crew to manage the island and service the airstrip.
Accommodations on Farquhar are in a basic-but-comfortable guesthouse, which was totally rebuilt and redone in 2017. All double-occupancy bedrooms are fully air-conditioned and spacious, with two single beds, bedside tables, mini bar and coffee station. Each room also has its own phone (guests can purchase calling cards at the lodge) and as of this year, there is also fairly dependable wi-fi. The lodge is equipped with 24-hour, 220-volt electricity, air-conditioning and a constant supply of hot water. There are daily housekeeping services as well as a daily laundry service that is included. Groups as large as 12 can be accommodated. In short, the new guest house is very comfortable and nice, and the facilities have undergone a major upgrade from how things were prior to 2017. The old “house” where all the rooms were is now an indoor dining area, bar, and lounge. The bar also faces onto the veranda where there is an outdoor lounge. Meals are served on the veranda overlooking the moorings. In bad weather, meals can be served inside.
Whilst the new guesthouse facilities is a huge improvement from the previous one, the vegetation will still need years to recover as a result of the cyclone of April 2016. The big old Casuarina trees that used to be around the lodge are gone along with 90% of the coconut palms on the island. The low-level vegetation has grown back very quickly, and there is an ongoing rehabilitation program to help the trees and other vegetation recover in the shortest amount of time possible. Guest visiting the island will be able to see first-hand see how the island rehabilitation program works – an interesting and a massive job. One positive from the storm is that the guides have managed to identify and create a few paths from the lagoon side of the island across the north and south parts of the island, which means that guests can access surf areas that were previously only accessible by walking the entire length of the island.
Food and Beverages
A covered dining area on the water’s edge provides an idyllic setting for both breakfast and dinner each day on the Atoll. Most meals are served in this outside dining area (weather permitting), and the lodge chef prepares a mix of Creole and international food on a daily basis. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the package, and the lodge has plenty of local beer for sale. Spirits and wine may be pre-ordered or you may bring your own bottle(s) of preferred liquor and wine.
Typical Length of Stay
All packages are seven (7) nights / six (6) fishing days.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The reason to make this trip to Farquhar is to fish. There is very little infrastructure on the island, and – aside from wading the flats, walking the beach or snorkeling – very little for the non-angler to do.
Internet / Communications
There is now wi-fi on the island and the guesthouse is equipped with satellite phones in the rooms, which can be used at a cost of $4 US per minute.
How To Get There
The primary airport and access hub for the Seychelles is Mahe International Airport (SEZ). It is recommended that guests arrive on to Mahe and overnight the night before the weekly transfer flight to Farquhar. If you do plan on arriving the same day as the transfer to Farquhar, it is recommended that you try to arrive as early as possible in the morning. The return flight from Farquhar to Mahe will leave at mid-day, which means that on arrival, guests can connect to their international flights for the evening trip home, or overnight in Mahe.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guests are expected to arrive in Mahe (SEZ) on the Friday before their flight to Farquhar, or early on the Saturday morning of the day of the charter flight to Farquhar. The group will meet an hour before the scheduled departure time at the domestic terminal (next to the international terminal). The flight from Mahe to Farquhar is one hour and forty-five minutes onboard a private chartered Beechcraft 1900. Guests are then transferred in true island style via tractor and trailer on a short 15-minute ride to the guesthouse.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. UK, US, EU, and RSA passport holders do not require a visa for entering the country of the Seychelles for vacation purposes.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING LUGGAGE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
Beginning in late 2014, Mason’s Travel (the third party on-ground “guest handlers” in Mahe) has been instructed to enforce the 15 kilograms (33 pounds) main luggage / 5 kilograms (11 pounds) hand luggage rule for all passengers boarding the IDC aircrafts to Alphonse Island, Farquhar, Cosmoledo and Astove Atolls. Although these weight restrictions have been in place for the past few years, most guests simply ignored the allowances. Beginning this season, passengers that fail to comply with the restrictions will be instructed to unpack their overweight luggage and will have to leave the unpacked goods in Mahe at their expense. We are being told that IDC will not make any exceptions to this rule, as all flights to the outer islands and atolls will be full. Please be aware that there is not an option to pay ‘overweight’ baggage fees, as the aircraft can only carry so much cargo.
The fishing at Farquhar has over the past few years become synonymous with the term “fly fishing paradise.” Since first opening, this destination has given a select group of anglers the opportunity to fish some of the finest and most productive flats the Indian Ocean has to offer. These flats are characterized by hard white sand, turtle grass, and broken coral, which all combine to create a situation for very easy wading. Overall, Farquhar is best-known for an impressive diversity of species. Anglers can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species on Farquhar, including bonefish, various trevally species (including trophy-sized giant trevally), the finicky Indo-Pacific permit, triggerfish, barracuda, Bumphead Parrotfish, milkfish and more.
If stalking bonefish in skinny water, throwing crab flies at colorful tailing triggerfish, or trying to maintain your composure as a large GT charges in at your fly sound interesting, then Farquhar is certainly a venue that should make the top of your list. Aside from fantastic flats fishing, there are also some legitimate bluewater opportunities, as deep water begins very close to shore. Here the most common bluewater species encountered are giant trevally, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin, dogtooth tuna, grouper, bohar snapper and sailfish. Whether it’s on the flats or offshore, the guides of Farquhar will help you identify your desired target species, access the areas they frequent, and explain the correct techniques with which to catch each species. They will without question go the extra mile to put you on to the fish of a lifetime. The first part of the fishing season on Farquhar traditionally runs from early October to late December. The second part runs from late February to early May, with a break over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. These are the peak periods, as January is one of the rainiest months in the Seychelles. (From middle May to October, the strong southeastern monsoon winds blow incessantly. These winds bring cold water onto the flats and make fly fishing a fairly unpleasant and unproductive experience.)
Boats and Equipment
Guests will have access to 17-foot skiffs, each of which is outfitted with a 90HP, 2-stroke Yamaha engine. These boats have been specifically designed and fitted to fish both the flats and offshore waters of the Seychelles in comfort and safety. The boats have a draft of approximately nine inches, allowing anglers to access extremely shallow areas of the atoll. That said, the main attraction of Farquhar still lies in wading the flats. Each boat is skippered by one of the professional guides on the island, all of whom are qualified skippers who speak fluent English. Anglers should plan on bringing all equipment such as rods, reels, extra fly lines, and quality, heavy-duty wading boots. The guides do have some flies available for purchase at the lodge and fly selections can be pre-ordered for your trip through Yellow Dog. A comprehensive tackle and gear list will be provided by Yellow Dog after your booking has been confirmed.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person and quoted in U.S. dollars.
2019 Trip Rate: 7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days = $9,500.00 per person
2020 Trip Rate: 7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days = $10,000.00 per person (applicable for all trip beginning March 2020 or later)
- All accommodation on Farquhar for seven nights (based on two people sharing a room)
- Six (6) days of guided fishing (2 anglers per boat/guide)
- Three meals per day on the island
- All bottled water, coffee, tea and juice
- Round-trip flights from Mahe (SEZ) to Farquhar
- Landing fees on Farquhar
- All applicable taxes and GSTs
- Daily laundry and housekeeping services
What’s Not Included:
- International flight to Mahe (SEZ)
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Liquor and wine (BYO!) and beer (available for purchase at the lodge)
- Meals and accommodation in Mahe or any other en route cities
- Travel insurance and Global Rescue coverage (mandatory)
- All fishing equipment, tackle, and flies
- Island Conservation Levy of $175 per person (the amount of which will be added to the invoice)