ON THE FLY
The Maldives consists of 1190 islands grouped in 26 atolls, all of which are situated atop a submarine ridge than runs 960 kilometres from north to south. With one of the richest marine ecosystems anywhere in the world, it is a fly fisherman’s dream.
These shallow waters are prime habitat for yellow margin triggerfish, red snappers, bluefin trevallies and not least GTs – Giant Trevallies that do indeed live up to their name when fish up to 20, 30 or 40 kilos appear on flats that are only a few feet deep.
Now, we are proudly introducing fly fishing in the Maldives! It’s been under way a long, long time – but the result has been worth waiting for: Fly fishing in saltwater for a lower price than anywhere else, with the chance of hooking a bigger fish than almost everywhere else.
Welcome to Maldives on the Fly: Speedboat, dedicated crew, easy and efficient logistics and an intro-price that beats everything else out there!
SEASON: Year round.
FLY TO: Fly to Male.
TYPICAL ITINERATY: (longer trips possible)
Day 1: Departure Europe.
Day 2: Arrival Male and transfer to chosen atoll.
Day 3-7: Five full days of fishing.
Day 8: Last day of fishing and evening flight home.
Day 9: Arrival in Europe.
Longer trips possible.
PRICE: From $ 2900 without flights.
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Fly fishing the Maldives is a mix of flats and reefs. Low tide on some flats mean opportunities for trevallies, triggerfish and the occasional bonefish. Other flats can produce shots for cruising GTs, always looking for an easy meal, and the reefs or surf will mainly hold GTs, bluefin trevallies, snappers and sometimes sharks or barracudas.
Looking at nice pictures of successful anglers might make fly fishing for GTs look easy. Don’t be fooled, it isn’t. Most often, a short window of opportunity will open when you are wading a flat in water up to your waist, making distance casting more difficult. Or, when you are staked out on a coral brommie and fish are coming in from a direction that calls for a cast straight into the wind.
At other times, you are trying to spot fish that suddenly comes in from the breaking white water of the surf and suddenly appear out of nowhere on the darker bottom of the outer reefs. Sooner or later, you will get the cast just right and hook your GT. A tug-of-war that can be both heart and line breaking follows, and if your reel doesn’t give in, your rod doesn’t break or your hook doesn’t open – then you might just find yourself in pure paradise, holding the fish of any saltwater fly fisherman’s wildest dreams!
You need a multipurpose fly box for the Maldives. The GT’s demand large baitfish flies on sturdy hooks. GT’s are big fans of dark patterns, and black, blue and purple are the go-to colors.
Triggerfish are really into crabs – and tan crab flies will most often do the trick. It’s always recommendable to bring crabs of various sizes and weights for different spots and tides.
Smaller trevally species like baitfish flies too but downsizing a bit will get more strikes and make the flies more enjoyable to cast on the lighter gear.
Bonefish in the Maldives are no different from bonefish anywhere else in the world and you’ll do well with a selection of lightly colored proven patterns. Variations tied on heavier hooks will double as triggerfish flies.
In our experience, GTs don’t like fishing pressure. Fish the same flats over and over and the fish will soon learn and stay out in deeper water. For that reason, we wanted a product with maximum flexibility and long operational distance.
We found that nothing would fill our needs better than a speedboat carrying an inflatable dinghyon the front deck. We can literally choose any atoll with a guest house as our base for a trip, and from there we have a daily operational distance of up to 50 kilometres.
We can carry up to six fly anglers on the boat, and with the dinghy and the speed boat split them between two different spots during a tide, ensuring plenty of water to fish for everyone.
Accommodation is at local guest houses. Nothing fancy, but always clean, air conditioned rooms with private bathrooms and (limited) Wi-Fi.
9’ #11 or #12 saltwater rods for GT
9’ #8 or #9 saltwater rods for bluefin trevally, triggerfish, bonefish etc.
#12 saltwater reel with 300 m 80 lb braid backing
#9-10 saltwater reel with 200 m 50 lb braid backing
#11 or #12 floating tropical saltwater lines with extra strong core – 50 lb or more
9’ #8-9 floating tropical saltwater lines
Tapered saltwater leaders 16-25 lb
100-150 lb mono or fluorocarbon
Fight- / stripping gloves
Long-sleeved shirts (UPF30+)