Small-Scale Operation For Anglers Seeking Adventure
The new Astove Atoll Lodge is finally open and complete, giving six lucky anglers per week the exclusivity of one of the wildest, most rugged atolls on the globe. Astove is wild, secluded and remarkably remote, making it the perfect small-scale destination for anglers seeking adventure and a unique, one-of-a-kind, totally isolated fishing experience. The new lodge is situated only 500 feet from the famous “Wall” of Astove, where the flat sheers off and immediately drops from two feet to well over 3000 feet deep. It’s a fishery and ecosystem that is completely frozen in time, where the daily dramas of predator and prey play out in front of your very eyes every single day of the season. Astove is known as the destination in the Seychelles where you have the greatest chance of catching a really big fish – from milkfish, dogtooth, and yellowfin tuna off the wall, to giant trevally and sharks in the waters of the inner lagoon as well as on the rugged ocean falts. In addition to the action for large fish, there are great permit opportunities in the inside of the lagoon, tailing triggerfish on the edges of the flats, and incredible skinny-water bonefishing. The bonefish found out the outer flats of Astove are some of the largest found anywhere in the Seychelles.
Uninhabited since 1969 this atoll has seen very little human pressure, something that always makes for a wild experience. To ensure that the atoll stays pristine, the small coral lodge caters exclusively to only six guests per week. The newly built lodge is very comfortable, accommodating its guests in six single occupancy, air-conditioned rooms that surround a central courtyard. Each private room has its own bathroom, and while the accommodations are fairly basic, the rooms are comfortable and private. In addition to the six rooms, there is also a main lodge area that serves as the dining room and social area for the lodge.
Food and Beverages
All meals are served in the lodge’s main dining area, with the chef preparing a mix of Creole and international food. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the package, and the lodge has plenty of local beer for sale. If you want liquor or any other beverages, we recommend that you buy what you need at the Duty-Free store at the airport en route.
Typical Length of Stay
All Astove trips are seven nights and include six and a half days of guided fishing. Because the island can only be accessed by a charter flight that runs once a week, all packages are fixed at one week in length.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The reason to make the trip to Astove 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 no Wi-Fi or cell reception on Astove. The guesthouse is however equipped with a satellite phone which can be used by guests if needed.
How To Get There
The primary airport and access hub for the Seychelles is the Mahe International Airport (SEZ). The Seychelles is served by several internationally scheduled flights, including direct services from London (Heathrow) with Air Seychelles, Paris with Air France, Dubai with Emirates, and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles. From the U.S. you will typically fly to Paris, London, or Dubai, and from there fly directly to Mahe (SEZ). Each flight is approximately eight to 10 hours long. Guests should plan to arrive on Mahe the day before and overnight in order to catch the morning shuttle to Astove.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guests should plan to arrive on Mahe the day before the start of the trip (Sunday) and overnight. The transfer flight departs Mahe early Monday morning and usually arrives on Astove around noon. That said, these charter flight times can vary, so it is best to play it safe and come in the day before. On the following Monday, you should plan your international flight to depart Mahe (SEZ) no earlier than 7:30 PM, which is not really a problem since most international flights depart between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. The private IDC charter flight from Mahe to Astove is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes long. All flights to Astove are aboard a Beechcraft 1900, operated by the IDC.
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 the 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 [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
Luggage Weight Restrictions
Beginning in late 2014, Mason’s Travel (the third party on-ground “guest handlers” in Mahe) was instructed to begin enforcing 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 years, most guests simply ignored the allowances. Beginning with the 2015 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.
General Fishing Information
Among the inner circle of hard-core Indian Ocean anglers, Astove Atoll has become famous in recent years as home to one of the most impressive GT population in the world. Its shallow lagoon – with one small entrance that is surrounded on all sides by sheer drop-offs – is truly unique. This lagoon is a sanctuary for juvenile fish that are often preyed on by the larger species and it’s this attraction that makes it one of the best and wildest saltwater fly fishing destinations on the planet. Not only does Astove offer great opportunities for GT’s, but also for bonefish, Indo-Pacific permit, barracuda, milkfish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, sailfish, and marlin.
One of the aspects that makes Astove so unique is a feature known as the “Wall,” which runs the entire length of the Western side of the atoll. The “Wall” of Astove is breathtakingly beautiful and is often-times compared to an underwater Grand Canyon. It is made even more incredible by the fact that the flat and reef drop off at a vertical 90 degrees – from ankle-deep, wadeable water to an immediate depth of over 3000 feet. The “Wall” is still known as one of the best dive sights on the planet. Jacques Cousteau made the Wall famous in 1956 when he filmed part of “The Silent World” along its edge. Prior to Cousteau’s visit, Astove Atoll had a desolate history, as the shallow waters where the cause of countless shipwrecks dating back to 1500 AC. It has been said that commercial ships used to pass by in the hope of rescuing and enslaving abandoned souls that had been shipwrecked and marooned on the island.
Astove is situated 655 miles southwest of Mahé and forms part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls. It’s a small and unique atoll that spans three and a half miles from north to south, only two miles east to west at its widest points. The shallow inner lagoon has one small entrance and –due to its elevation – creates a phenomenon whereby the tide falls like a river for ten hours of the twelve-hour tidal cycle and then turns to flood the entire lagoon in only two hours. The fishing terrain on Astove varies from hostile shore breaks on the windward side to flat and calm coral flats on the outside to snow-white sand flats within the lagoon. This unique lagoon system is home to countless aquatic species and seabirds, including the endemic Caspian Turn, Dimorphic Egret, and Red Tailed Tropic Bird along with a population of over 150 Giant Aldabra Tortoise. Over the past ten years, Astove Atoll has become synonymous with catching the largest flats-caught GT’s in the Indian Ocean and is fast becoming known for having one of the largest GT populations on the planet.
Boats and Equipment
The lodge utilizes 19-foot Mini-Mahe tender boats specifically designed for fly fishing Astove and moving anglers throughout the fishery. Each fishing team is typically comprised of two guests fishing with a different guide each day. Each guide is a qualified skipper, has first aid experience, speaks English, and is extremely experienced. While the lodge can offer back-up rods and reels, it is recommended that you bring your own equipment. Fly selections can be pre-ordered and area fly patterns are available and for sale at the lodge.
Rates and Terms
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.
2021 Fishing Package Rates: (Excluding Conservation Donation)
Package rates from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Neap Tide Rates:
– $10,555 per person (sharing/double occupancy)
– $11,255 per person (single occupancy)
Spring Tide Rates:
– $13,950 per person (sharing/double occupancy)
– $14,650 per person (single occupancy)
Single Skiff Rate $3600 per week / $600 per day
- Six and a half (6.5) full days of guided fishing (two anglers per guide)
- Seven (7) nights of single occupancy accommodations on Astove in private room
- All meals while at the lodge
- Round-trip inter-island IDC charter flights between Mahe and Astove
- Use of tender boat and all fuel for daily transportation
- Seychelles fishing license
- All applicable lodging and resort taxes and landing fees
- Water, soft drinks, coffee, and tea
What’s Not Included:
- Airfare to and from Mahe (SEZ)
- Hotel nights, meals, and ground transfers on Mahe (if needed)
- Bar tab and alcohol at lodge
- Gratuities for staff and guides
- Laundry services
- Mandatory travel and medical evacuation insurance
- Terminal tackle, flies, and fishing gear
- $175.00 per person Conservation Levy Tax that is payable in cash once on the island
Reservations will be held for 15 days. We require a 50% deposit to confirm the booking, and final payment is due in full 90 days prior to arrival
All activities require the client to sign an indemnity form once on location.
All clients require travel insurance to cover costs incurred due to flight delays for any reason.
All clients require “From Scene of Accident Medivac Insurance” (Global Rescue).
At the time of quote flight charges, island fees and government taxes are correct but are subject to change without prior notice. Increases in any of these facets are out of the control of Alphonse Island Limited and will be transferred to the client. Service providers used such as airlines and lodge operators are independent business concerns and are in no way affiliated to Alphonse Island Limited. Although all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour, Alphonse Island Limited cannot be held responsible in any way for bad or non-performance of service providers. While all possible efforts will be made to ensure the success of this tour, Alphonse island Limited cannot be held responsible in any way for the cancellation in total or in part or non-performance in any way, due to bad weather, insufficient bookings, or any other detrimental natural phenomenon/disaster, political unrest or war. Should the IDC be unable to provide its service, a 100 % refund of the package fee-only, will be made to the client and no further claims from the client will be made on Alphonse Island Lodge Limited. Likewise in any scenario in which certain costs for extracting or moving their guests are incurred, including but not limited to charter flights or other means of transportation off the Vessel or from an area, the guests agree to meet any and all such costs and no claims will be made against Alphonse Island Lodge Limited for such expenses.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
For all Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, L.L.C. (YDFA) Alphonse, Cosmoledo, Astove, Poivre and Farquhar fishing packages, both deposits and final payments are non-refundable. If a cancelled package is resold by either the lodge/operator or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be sent minus a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog. In the case of cancellation by the client, both deposit and final payment may be transferred to another guest or angler for those same (original) dates if facilitated and arranged by the client. In case of cancellation due to weather, a full or partial credit may be rolled over and credited to a future date, but this is wholly at the discretion of the operator. Yellow Dog reserves the right to charge a minimum handling fee of $100.00 per person for date changes (approved by the lodge) after the initial reservation has been made. At time of quote, all flight charges, island fees and government taxes are correct but nonetheless are subject to change without prior notice. All guests are REQUIRED to purchase a comprehensive medical emergency evacuation insurance policy, and Yellow Dog strongly recommend that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. It is the right of the lodge and operators to cancel any booking without refund if the client is not adequately insured. Please be aware that all guests will be required to sign and return the Alphonse Fishing Company Reservation and Indemnity Form prior to the trip, and there will be no exceptions to this. No refunds can be made for unused arrangements or fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these Seychelles packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment within 10 days of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 2% convenience fee for all American Express credit card transactions, and a 3% convenience fee for Visa, MasterCard and Discover transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
African Safari Trip Add-On
SafariScapes works hand-in-hand with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures to extend your fly fishing trips to include world-class African safari experiences. Whether fishing the flats in the Seychelles or fighting tigerfish in Tanzania there is no better way to top off a trip than with a visit to one of many beautiful safari lodges. At SafariScapes they work with you to plan a safari for family or friends that fits your interests and can support you in customizing itineraries as needed. From hot air ballooning to private aviation there is no limit to your dream safari.
“Astove is one of the best places I have visited—I cannot wait to return to see the masses of permit venturing out of the lagoon and it is highly recommended for anyone with stamina, strong boots, and plenty of spare rods required to fish it well.
Astove is a raw, wild place. It is unforgiving, shark-infested, and unforgettable.”
– Charlie B.