Farquhar Atoll – Indian Ocean

Overview

Cost 2014/2015 season: US$8500 per person sharing ex Mahe

Group Size: 10 Anglers

Trip Duration: 6 Days / 7 Nights

Peak Season: Oct-Dec | March – May

Farquhar Atoll is the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles chain of islands lying just over 700km to the southwest of the main island Mahe. This remote atoll has a total area, including the large lagoon, of 170.5 km which is 18 km north to south and 9 km east to west. The total island land mass is 7.5 km with a serviced concrete landing strip situated on the most northerly island. The main group of islands form a long curve which describes the eastern side of the atoll. Largest of these are Isle du Nord and Ile du Sud, with the smaller Manaha gaps and islands between them. Further south is Goelette and to the open western side of the atoll lies the small group known as Trois les. The large ear-shaped lagoon provides easy access to the countless flats, channels and surf zones which make Farquhar 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 which manage the island and service the airstrip.

Guests are expected to arrive in Mahe on the Friday before 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 forty five minutes onboard a private chartered Beechcraft 1900. Guests are then transferred in true island style via tractor and trailer on a short fifteen minute ride to the lodge, which will be their home and base for the weeks fishing.

Accommodation on Farquhar takes the form of a basic but comfortable guesthouse which caters for eight to ten anglers at one time. Everyone is accommodated in the main lodge which is fully air-conditioned and has four twin en-suite bedrooms and a central lounge. The lodge is equipped with 24 hour 220 volt electricity, air-conditioning and has a constant supply of hot water. There is full housekeeping as well as a daily laundry service available. An undercover dining area on the waters edge with a magnificent view forms an idyllic backdrop for both breakfast and dinner. All meals are served around the outside dining area with the chef preparing a mix of Creole and international food. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the price which has been quoted. The lodge has plenty of local beer for sale. Spirits and wine may be pre ordered to insure you have your preferred order. Alternatively you may bring your own bottle of preferred spirits and wine. The group will spend the next six days fishing and exploring the islands, flats and channels of Farquhar Atoll. On the seventh morning the group will have plenty of time to pack their gear and prepare to fly back to Mahe. The flight from Farquhar to Mahe will leave at midday and on arrival guests can connect to their international flights or overnight in Mahe.

The fishing

The fishing at Farquhar has over the past few years become synonymous with the term fly fishing paradise and has provided all those fortunate enough to visit her shores the opportunity to fish some of the finest and most productive flats the Indian Ocean has to offer. These flats consist of hard white sand, turtle grass and broken coral which make for comfortable wading.Anglers can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species which include Bonefish, various Trevally species including the ferocious trophy sized Giant Trevally, the finicky Indo-Pacific Permit, Triggerfish, Barracuda Bumphead Parrotfish and Milkfish. Farquhar is certainly best known for the sheer diversity of species it offers anglers fortunate enough to visit her shores, so if stalking Bonefish in skinny water, throwing crab flies at the colourful and charismatic tailing Triggerfish or holding your nerve as a large GT charges in at your fly interests you .well then Farquhar is certainly the venue for you. Deep water too begins very close to shore and spending some time tussling with some of the monsters which prowl the deep blue is certainly a very exciting and rewarding bonus. Here the most common species encountered are Giant Trevally, Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Dogtooth Tuna, Grouper, Bohar Snapper and Sailfish.all of which are guaranteed to show your backing the light of day!Whether its on the flats or offshore, the FlyCastaway guides will help you identify your desired target species, the areas which they frequent and explain the correct techniques with which to catch them they will without question go the extra mile for your fish of a lifetime. The first part of the season traditionally runs from early October to late December and the second part from late February to early May with a break over the festive season. These are the peak periods as January is one of the rainiest months in the Seychelles. From middle May to October the strong south-eastern monsoon winds blow incessantly. These winds bring cold water onto the flats and make fly fishing an unpleasant and unproductive experience. We stick to the fore mentioned dates to ensure all guests have an unforgettable fishing experience. Guests will have the use of our 17.3 ft Angler skiffs, each of which carries a single 90 HP 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. These Angler boats have a draft of approximately 9 inches allowing anglers to access some extremely shallow areas of the atoll; however the main attraction still lies in wading the flats. These boats are also sure to make the excellent offshore fishing far more enjoyable and rewarding as all of them are equipped with a fish finder. Other added features include fly rod storage fittings, bimini tops and cushioned seats. Each boat is skippered by one of the four world class professional FlyCastaway guides, all of whom are qualified skippers and speak English.

Details

Cost:

  • 2014/2015 Season: USD$8500 per person sharing excluding Mahe

Single supplement:  Special Request Max Pax: 10 anglers Inclusions:

  • Return flight Mahe-Farquhar-Mahe
  • 7 nights at the lodge
  • Shared accommodation
  • All meals
  • Soft drinks & Mineral Water
  • Landing fees
  • 6 days guided fishing (2 anglers to a boat and guide)

Exclusions:

  • International flights
  • Overnight accommodation on Mahe
  • Ground Transfers on Mahe
  • Tackle & Flies
  • Gratuities
  • Alcohol
  • Mandatory emergency medical evacuation policy (FlyCastaway recommends Global Rescue)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses

Location: 450 nautical miles S of Mahe Getting there: Guests are requested to fly into Mahe, Seychelles preferably the evening before the chartered Beechcraft 1900 takes off for the 1 hour 45 min flight to Farquhar. Guests are requested to contact us prior booking their international flights as the charter times are not fixed each season and the times are subject to change. Target Species: Bonefish, Giant Trevally, Indo-Pacific Permit, Triggerfish, Bumphead Parrotfish, Milkfish, Barracuda, Bluefin Trevally, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo etc Fishing Season: October until mid December and again from late Feb until early May Weather: Temperatures range between 30 – 35C with high humidity. Tender boats: 4 x 17 ft Anglers each carrying 1 x 90HP Yamaha engine +1 local panga

Pre trip

Tackle & Gear: Single-handed 9ft #9wt & 12wt saltwater outfits with matching tropical floating lines. The guesthouse at Farquhar will have 8 x 12 weight G-Loomis Crosscurrent Fly Rods and Shilton SL7 Reels and 8 x 9 weight G-Loomis Crosscurrent Fly Rods and Shilton SL6 Reels which can be rented on a weekly basis. A comprehensive tackle and gear list along with an order form (should you wish to purchase your tackle through us) is issued after your booking has been confirmed. The guides will also carry limited stock of suitable flies and other terminal tackle, should you run out.
Wading The hard white sand, turtlegrass or coral flats of Farquhar make for easy wading, thus separating it from other destinations in the world. As most of the fishing will be done whilst wading, good protective footwear is essential. Standard divers neoprene booties with a reinforced rubber sole are not appropriate. More protective flats wading boots must be worn. There are a number of purpose made boots on the market which are excellent. See suggested brands in tackle and gear list. Guests will not be taken onto the flats without proper footwear! Dangers to watch out for whilst wading

  • Stingrays some atolls host large numbers of stingrays on the flats. Most species have a poisonous, barbed spine near the base of their tails that they can use for defence. These spines can inflict a nasty wound, should an unwary wader inadvertently stand on a stingray. These often sedentary or slow moving fish are easy to see and avoid, and to date no anglers have had any problems with these docile creatures.
  • Stonefish found mainly in the shallows on the coral edges of reef flats, this fish is not only lethally toxic, but is also very well camouflaged and will not move unless touched. A stonefish has 13 strong hollow spines through which it injects its poison and these will pass through a thin rubber sole with ease. For this reason all wading should be done wearing thick- soled wading boots.
  • Cone shells fish-eating cones live in crevices among the coral or half covered by sand awaiting their prey which they attack by shooting out a dart that injects a paralyzing poison. The poison from certain species can be fatal, however proper footwear will ensure your safety.
  • Sharks although small sharks are frequently encountered whilst wading in Seychelles, they present the least danger of all. Sometimes inquisitive, they may pause for an instant and give you the once over but if you remain calm and quietly stand your ground, none of these magnificent creatures will bother you. To date there are no reports of any anglers or guides having been bitten by sharks in Seychelles.

Recommended Reading

  • Bonefish Fly Patterns by Dick Brown (ISBN: 1-558 21-392-9)
  • Practical Fishing Knots by Mark Sosin and Lefty Kreh (ISBN: 1-558-21-102-0)
  • Fly Fishing in Saltwater by Lefty Kreh (ISBN: 1-558-21-590-5)
  • www.flycastaway.com

Time Difference: GMT +4

Flight time from UK:  11 hours to Mahe

Passports Everyone travelling to Seychelles must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of travel

Visa Requirements: UK, US, EU, USSR and RSA passport holders do not require a visa for entering into the Seychelles for vacation purposes.

Medical & Health Requirements: Mandatory emergency medical evacuation insurance A Yellow Fever certificate is required if travelling from a Yellow Fever infected area.

Currency: The currency of Seychelles is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). US Dollar or Euro are however widely accepted and are the preferred currency for gratuities and expenditure on Farquhar.

Gratuities: The recommended gratuity for the guides are US$60.00pp per day, and for the lodge staff/boat crew is US$150pp per week. (Please note that this is only a guideline for guests interested in tipping the guides and the boat staff. All gratuities are up to the discretion of the individual guest.)

Credit Cards VISA is the most widely accepted on Mahe.

Travellers Checks Travellers checks are also widely accepted, particularly at hotels, shops and restaurants. Checks issued in US dollars and British pounds are preferred and less likely to incur additional exchange fees.

Currency Exchange Banks are available for all arriving flights in the airport for currency exchange. We recommend exchanging only a moderate amount of money. Language: Creole, English and French are spoken widely. All FlyCastaway guides speak English.

Satellite Phone & Communications: There is no cell phone reception on Farquhar. The guesthouse is however equipped with a satellite phone which can be used by guests at an additional cost of USD$4 per minute.

GSM There are two GSM network operators in Seychelles: Airtel (Telecom) and Cable & Wireless. Both networks are GSM 900. As of this writing, only C&W has any roaming agreements, and only with BT Cellnet in the United Kingdom. Both offer prepaid services; for about USD 40 you can get a GSM card and make international calls to any country, anytime for about USD 1.50 per minute.

Photos

Terms

Booking Procedures

  • All reservation made more than 12 months in advance requires an initial deposit of 20% of the total amount due to be received within 14 days of invoicing.
  • Twelve (12) months prior to departure 50% of the total amount is due.
  • All reservation made less than 12 months in advance requires an initial deposit of 50% of the total amount due to be received within 14 days of invoicing.
  • Three (3) months prior to departure 100% of the total amount is due.
  • If a booking is made less than 90 days prior to departure full payment is due immediately.

Cancellation 

  • If a cancellation is made 12 months or more prior to departure the 50% of the deposit will be forfeited.
  • Cancellations made 12 to 6 months prior to departure, 50% of charter rate shall be forfeited.
  • Cancellations made 6 months or less prior to departure, full individual charter rate shall be forfeited.
  • Reservation for which payment are not received as on time as per the terms are subject to cancellation by FCA 7 days after notification.
  • In case of cancellation by FlyCastaway money received will be paid back in full excluding bank charges.
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice

Conditions All Cancellations must be made in writing. Deposit will only be refunded if a replacement can be found. Reservation for which payment are not received as on time as per the terms are subject to cancellation by FCA 7 days after notification. *Once a deposit is received, all revisions are subject to a 100 handling fee. *All prices are subject to availability of bookings, change by service providers, and are quoted at low season fares. *Rates are subject to change. *The ship/lodge reserves the right to cancel a sailing/trip due to bad weather conditions. At 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 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 to FlyCastaway (FCA). Although all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour, FCA 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, FCA cannot be held responsible in any way for cancellation in total or in part or non-performance in any way, due to bad weather or any other detrimental natural phenomenon/disaster, political unrest or war. All guests must have a comprehensive medical emergency evacuation insurance policy, as well as travel insurance policy to cover them for the duration of the trip. It is the right of the live-aboard service provider to cancel any booking without refund, if the client is not adequately insured. In this case, adequate insurance means: an insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation from the scene of the illness or accident, to the nearest best hospital and then back to your hometown. Cancellation and curtailment insurance cover is also recommended. Furthermore all guests will be required to sign and return the Reservation and Indemnity Form prior to the trip.