Explore One of the Most Remote and Inaccessible Saltwater Fisheries
Providence has always been legendary for its amazing numbers of Giant Trevally, bonefish, triggerfish and bumphead parrotfish. Having been closed for six long years, the Atoll was once again opened on a very limited basis for four weeks in the fall of 2015. Yellow Dog was lucky enough to be present for two of those four weeks, and we can state from personal experience that the fishery is as healthy, untouched, productive and as amazing as anything found anywhere in the entire word of saltwater flats fishing.
This is not a trip for everyone, as it is an expeditionary, adventurous week spent in one of the most remote and inaccessible places in the Indian Ocean. You spend the week based aboard the mothership vessel, exploring the flats and shallow waters of the largest atoll in the region. You can expect long fishing days, hard-working and adventurous guides, a wild and untouched marine environment, and some of the finest flats fishing for giant trevallies, bumpies, triggers and bones in the world.
The MV Maya’s Dugong is a former-research vessel that was upgraded and modified into a mother ship that specifically caters to long-range fly fishing expeditions. She is a rustic yet fully functional expeditionary boat designed to accommodate up to twelve fly fishermen, four guides and twelve crew members at a time. She is a large, spacious and extremely stable vessel – the perfect base from which to explore the remote outer atolls of the Seychelles. As a fly fisherman, it would be difficult to find a better boat from which to operate off of, with the ability to store and transport numerous tender boats and all of the gear required to fish this remote corner of the world. Because of its large size and high fuel storage capacity, the Dugong can cover long distances at good speed and comfort in almost any sea conditions. Indeed she is built for the large, open waters of the Indian Ocean. Although quite comfortable, it is important to mention that the Dugong is definitely not a full-service cruise ship and by no means a luxury vessel. What she is is a stable, fully-functional fishing platform that offers anglers amazing access opportunities and full support while fishing the finest, most productive flats in the world.
The Dugong has four levels and seven (7) private guest cabins situated on the middle, main and lower decks. Each stateroom features air conditioning, an en-suite shower and a flushing toilet. The vessel also offers a comfortable main salon and dining area and numerous outdoor deck and seating areas. All cabins and indoor dining areas are fully air-conditioned, allowing guests a chance to relax in a comfortable environment after a long day of fishing in the heat of the Indian Ocean. On the mid-deck, the ship is spacious and boasts a large elevated area with a magnificent view of its surroundings. This area is perfect for outdoor dining, post-fishing drinks and general relaxing. The larger, lower deck’s primary function is to store the tender boats, fishing tackle, and other equipment. The stern of the vessel has a set of stairs leading down to a large swimming platform, perfect for evening fishing. It is important to note that this is an open-seas program. While the boat does anchor in the lee of the Providence Atoll and surrounding reef, the boat will be moving and rocking most of the time. The crossing from Farquhar to Providence usually takes four to five hours as well.
Food and Beverages
All meals are served in the lodge’s indoor dining salon or on the covered outer deck area. The ship’s galley prepares a mix of Creole and international food, with an emphasis on fresh fish and other seafood served nightly. Creole cooking also includes a fair amount of garlic and curry flavors. All bottled water and soft drinks are included in the package, and the ship stocks plenty of local beer and imported wines for purchase. If you want liquor or any other beverages, you will need to buy what you need at the duty-free store in the airport in Mahe or en route.
Typical Length of Stay
All Providence trips are seven nights and include six full days of guided fishing. Because this is a fishery that can only be accessed by a charter flight to Farquhar and then a boat ride to Providence (approximately four to five hours) that runs once a week, all packages are fixed at one week in length.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
The only reason to make the trip to Providence is to fish. There is zero infrastructure on the atoll, and – aside from wading the flats, walking the beaches or snorkeling in the shallows – very little for the non-angler to do.
Internet / Communications
There is no Wi-Fi or cell reception on Providence. The mothership is equipped with a satellite phone, which can be used in the case of emergencies. Guests that need the ability to communicate with the outside world while on Providence are encouraged to bring their own sat phone.
Even though the Seychelles waters are considered safe, there will be three (3) security personal from the Seychelles Coast Guard and Vessel Protection Detachment on board during the 2016 season at all times as a precaution.
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, Abu Dhabi with Etihad, and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles. From the U.S. you will typically fly to Paris, London, Abu Dhabi 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 charter flight to Farquhar Atoll, where anglers will be met by the crew and guides from the Dugong. Yellow Dog is happy to assist with hotel reservations or recommendations on Mahe.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guests should plan to arrive on Mahe the day before the start of the trip and overnight. The transfer flight departs Mahe for Farquhar early the following morning. Charter flight times can vary, so it is best to play it safe and come in the day before. The flight from Mahe to Farquhar is just under two hours on board a private chartered Beechcraft 1900. Guests are then met by the crew at the Farquhar landing strip and then driven by tractor to the Farquhar guesthouse and boat ramp, where the transfer boats to the liveaboard will be waiting. On the last evening, the mothership will cruise back to Farquhar where the charter flight will pick the group up the following morning. On your departure day from Mahe, 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. For the 2016 season, all Providence trips will run Tuesday through Tuesday, meaning that it will be necessary to arrive on Mahe on a Monday to begin the trip.
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.
Luggage Weight Restrictions for Inter-Island Flights
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 IDC aircrafts to Alphonse Island, Farquhar, Assumption and Astove Atolls. 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. Please be aware that there is not an option to pay ‘overweight’ baggage fees, as the aircraft can only carry so much cargo. Since laundry is included aboard the mothership, you can definitely pack very little in the way of clothing. You can also leave a bag in Mahe with your international travel clothes, street shoes, etc.
General Fishing Information
While diversity on Providence is every bit as good (if not better) than any island found in the Seychelles, it is the overall lack of accessibility and pressure that truly makes this fishery unique. Having been completely closed and un-fished for six long years, the atoll was once again opened in the fall of 2015 for a very small window of only four weeks.
The main reasons to fish Providence include the large numbers of aggressive Giant Trevally (GT’s or “Geets”), the freakish and colorful bumphead parrotfish, several different types of triggerfish, and the largest bonefish in the entire Seychelles. There are also dozens of other species that are readily available and catchable, including milkfish, bluefin trevally, permit, sailfish, grouper, snapper, cuda and many more. The Geets range in size from 20 to over 100 pounds, and – once found – almost eat with reckless abandon and total and complete violence. Since almost all of the Geet fishing is done while wading, this is truly one of the most exciting species that can be pursued and caught on the fly. As for the bumphead parrotfish (“Bumpies”) there is no finer place in the world to target and catch these outlandish and exotic fish. They are found in huge numbers all throughout the waters of the atoll, and indeed this is the fishery where Bumpy fishing on the fly was first pioneered and developed. The bonefish found in the northern waters of the atoll (near Providence Island itself) are both large and numerous, and the average size easily runs into the five-to-six-pound range. While trophy, double-digit bonefish are rare throughout the Seychelles, they are very much a possibility when fishing Providence. And finally, triggerfish are another huge part of the Providence fishery, where several different trigger species are found all throughout the shallow waters of the atoll.
There are other fisheries in the Seychelles that are easier to access, less expensive, and that offer a higher degree of comfort or land-based amenities. When it comes to exploration, adventure, and remote fishing, however, there is no destination that is more “out there” and wild than Providence Atoll.
Boats and Equipment
The Dugong is equipped with five “Mini-Mahe Tender” boats that will be skippered by experienced Flycastaway guides. As most of the fishing is done while wading on the flats, there will always be a ratio of three guests fishing with one guide. The tenders are stored on the large equipment deck of the Dugong after being lifted with the large crane on the back platform of the ship. All of the Providence trips are led by a team of seasoned, experienced and professional fly fishing guides from Flycastaway Fishing Company (the same operation that operates Farquhar and St. Brandon’s Atoll). During your stay on the vessel, there will be four guides including one head guide onboard. Each guide is a qualified skipper, has first aid experience and is extremely experienced with regards all facets of fly fishing this remote atoll destination.
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.
2019 RATE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY STATEROOM AND SHARED GUIDE: $12,500.00
2020 RATE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY STATEROOM AND SHARED GUIDE: $13,500.00
- Six (6) full days of guided fishing (three anglers per guide)
- Seven (7) nights of double occupancy accommodations aboard the MV Maya’s Dugong mothership
- All meals while on board the ship
- Round-trip inter-island IDC charter flights between Mahe and Farquhar Atoll
- Water transfers from Farquhar to Providence Atoll
- Use of tender boat and all fuel for daily transportation
- Seychelles fishing license
- Seychelles conservation license of $175.00 per person
- Daily laundry services aboard the mothership
- All applicable 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)
- Beer and wine on board the ship (available for purchase)
- Gratuities for crew and guides
- Mandatory travel and medical evacuation insurance
- Terminal tackle, flies and fishing gear
Reservations will be held for two weeks once booked and confirmed with Yellow Dog. We require a 50% deposit within 15 days to confirm the booking, and final payment is to be made 90 prior to arrival and the start of the trip.
Terms and Conditions
All activities require the client to sign an indemnity once on location. All clients require travel insurance to cover costs incurred due to flight delays for any reason. All clients are required to have “From Scene of Accident” medivac insurance (Global Rescue) for all Providence trips. At the time of quoted package and 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 Yellow Dog and Flycastaway and will be transferred to the client. Service providers used such as airlines and charter boat operators are independent business concerns and are in no way affiliated with Yellow Dog. Although all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour, Yellow Dog cannot be held responsible in any way for bad or non-performance of third-party air or service providers. Should Silhouette Cruises be unable to provide M.V Maya’s Dugong for the cruise, Silhouette Cruises will attempt to provide a similar vessel instead. Should Silhouette Cruises be unable to provide a similar vessel, or the Charterer does not accept the replacement vessel, a 100 % refund of the cruise charter fee only, will be made to the client and no further claims from the client will be made on Yellow Dog.