If you have ever flipped through the pages of a fly fishing magazine or have attended one of the popular fly fishing film tours, you have most likely come across this individual. Keith Rose-Innes (@keithroseinnesflyfishing) is in a realm where very few other anglers will ever dwell – having traveled, fished, and explored over twenty-five countries and counting. From his grit to uncover Earth’s wildest freshwater fisheries to his role in pioneering many of the outer Seychelles atolls, Keith is as “go-getter” as they come. Keith is an ambassador to several well-known brands, including YETI and Thomas & Thomas Fly Rods. He has captured some of the industry’s most jaw-dropping footage throughout his travels and exploration, which has evolved into numerous films, including Dragon’s Gold, 9-Degrees South, Alphlexo, and Lybalakh.
Currently, as the managing director of Alphonse Fishing Company, Keith spends most of his time in the Seychelles, an archipelago off the coast of east Africa. At this point, Keith’s name is synonymous with fly fishing the Seychelles – where he has trained many of the world’s top saltwater fishing guides, hosted a considerable amount of fortunate anglers, and developed one of the most sought-after saltwater fishing programs in existence.
Rapid Fire Questions
What does the perfect day on the water look like for you?
“Being from a saltwater background and guiding the Seychelles for so many years, when I’m personally fishing, I like to get a break from the salt. I love going out and salmon fishing – spey casting for salmon or any salmonoid. One of my personal favorite experiences is fishing for permit or tarpon as well. Anything that is visual or different than what I do on a weekly basis.”
Is there a particular fly fishing memory that stands out to you?
“Many! Obviously, as you tend to get older, you forget the exact experiences from your younger days. I still remember catching fish on Astove for the first time – catching these monster GTs or experiencing any of the outer atolls for the first time. We were fishing to these massive GTs (giant trevally) and whether you land them or lose them it was so in the moment that you remember it for the rest of your life. I recently fished the Alta River and in a week I brought in two Atlantic Salmon over thirty pounds. I have fished for giant taimen in Russia. My biggest giant taimen there is 111 pounds! So, I’ve had many great experiences.”
What are a few pieces of gear that you never leave home without?
“I always like to carry a Leatherman because of all the different tools versus your stand-alone saltwater pliers that just have a plier edge and a cutting edge. I like to have that and a hook sharpener, screwdriver for opening up reels, a knife for maybe filleting a fish – so I’m a Leatherman man still.”
If you could fish with a celebrity, who would it be?
“Celebrity-wise? That’s a tough one. It can’t be a gorgeous model, right? No, obviously it would be one of my heroes like Flip Pallot. Recently, I fished with Yvon Chouinard…for me, it’s really more about going with somebody that is conservation driven. Going with someone who is conservation oriented, we can talk about more than just the fishing.”
If you could only catch one species in the Seychelles for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“I think it would have to be permit.”
What is the process in trying to figure out how to catch a certain species - like a bumphead parrotfish?
“Like all these fish species, there’s never ever one guide just doing it themselves. There’s always discussion amongst the guide team – if you have a good guide team. With a bumphead parrotfish, I was fortunate enough to take the first guest out to go catch and successfully land one. I remember even the night before sitting with Paul Boice and Arno Matthee and clearly going, well, we think we’ve got this right now, who’s actually going to go out and get that fish? It’s the same kind of discussion that happened at Alphonse many years ago with the guides trying to decide how to catch milkfish. The process is very discussion orientated, like the Alphlexo fly. The Alphlexo was a series of additions (by the guide team) over the years. This is very much a team effort.”
Alphonse Fishing Company Destinations
What are trips that are on your bucket list?
“This is a tough one because I’ve been fortunate enough to fish around the world. I think I’d lean more toward pursuing certain species than particular destinations. I still want to do a lot more Atlantic permit fishing. I wouldn’t shy away from going to catch a big arapaima. I would love to catch a giant tigerfish. I’ve caught very big tigerfish in Tanzania, but I’d love to catch a Goliath Tigerfish – there’s only one place that is safe enough to catch them. But right at the top of my list, would be two or three really great Atlantic permit fishing trips.”
Why Fly Fishing Destination Travel?
“For me, at the moment, it’s more of a group experience, going and fishing places with my mates rather than going off by myself and ticking another species off the list. I think, over the years when you’ve caught most of the species, it becomes more of a vacation. I’d rather travel with a good group of people – my mates!”