MALDIVES

ON THE FLY

AN UPDATE ON THE MALDIVES

We’re in the middle of our second fly fishing season in the Maldives, and with such a relatively young fishery it’s only natural that things are changing fast. Luckily, only for the better.

Below you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we get asked most often.

THE MALDIVES Q&A

Where do you fish?
We have fished many different areas, and we decide on the destination of each fly fishing trip based on tides, species targeted and previous trips.

Do you fish a different area on every trip?
No, not necessarily. When we started fly fishing the Maldives, we were very focused on changing areas as much as possible, to limit the fishing pressure. We are still careful about how much pressure we apply to a certain area. However, we have also found some areas with so many spots that we can fish there several times in a season, without hitting the same spots again and again. There more experience we get the better we also become at finding fish in spots we haven’t even fished before. So, while we will be fishing spots we know quite well most of the time, we are no longer afraid of doing a session or two at ­new spots.

Do you have fly fishing trips every week of the season?
No, not at all. The tides are very ­important for fly fishing in the Maldives, so we only do fly fishing trips during weeks with good tides. During our scouting period we fly fished during a week where the timing in relation to the tides was all wrong. No need to repeat that mistake again!

How do you fish?
All our fly fishing is done on foot, there is no fishing out of a boat. We mainly fish the inside of the surf and that wouldn’t be possible from a boat. Typically, we are six fly fishermen in each group so most of the time we fish two-and-two, occasionally three-and-three. A lot of the reefs we wade are quite long so we average three different spots per fishing day.

Is it guided fishing?
No, at least not in the typical sense of guiding fishing. Our three-man crew is getting a really good understanding of where to find good fly fishing but they rarely wade the reefs or flats with us. Instead, captain Mohamed will run the 36-foot boat to the chosen areas, and Adbul and Wahid will use the dinghy to bring guests to the reefs or flats, and pick them up again when we move to a new spot.

How many fish will I catch?
That depends how good you are! And what species you target. Fishing a Clouser-type fly behind the reef, we have tried catching 12 fish in 12 casts; smaller snappers, groupers and other stuff we don’t even know what was. That’s probably not what you came for.

On the other hand, if you only target big GTs you might not catch a whole lot. They aren’t easy to hook, and the big ones are even harder to land. You are basically fishing for that really special fish that might save your trip, or your whole year.

Luckily, there is somewhere in between: You can still fish tackle heavy enough to handle bigger GTs and at the same time have some great fun by catching smaller bluefin trevallies. And not all the bluefins are small: Some run 5 kilos, or more, and they are as much fun, as challenging and even cooler looking that GTs of the same size.

What species can I catch?
In theory, too many to mention here – but when fishing the heavier rods, the most common catches are giant trevally, bluefin trevally, golden spotted trevally and red snapper.
On a lighter rod it could be golden spotted trevally, bluefin trevally and bonefish (and all the small stuff, if you want to have a bit of fun fishing).
The Maldives also has a good number of triggerfish but we have now realized that to seriously target them, we should be focusing on other areas than where we find the most productive fishing for GTs and bluefins.

How far is it to the fishing grounds?
The most productive spots are quite far from the inhabited islands so it’s typically between 30 and 50 minutes to the first spot of the day, cruising at 28-30 knots. Once we are there, it’s rarely very far to the next spot of the day.

What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Most of the time we fish an eleven or twelve weight rod. You can bring a lighter rod, eight or nine weight, for some flats fishing. We’re currently toying more with the idea of sometimes fishing a ten weight with baitflies a bit smaller than the typical GT flies. Then would enable us to target bluefin trevallies more efficiently, have more fun catching them – and still have some chance of landing a GT that might suddenly show up and eat the smaller fly.

Do you carry two rods at the same time?
Yes, sometimes. It’s really a matter of personal taste, and whether you want to go all-in for big fish opportunities, or whether you like to catch a higher number of fish.

What kind of flies should I bring?
Big baitfish flies on heavy hooks for GTs, big bluefin trevallies and snappers, and smaller baitfish flies – also on strong hooks – for bluefins in all sizes. Some shrimps and crab patterns for golden spotted trevallies, bonefish and the odd triggerfish.

Who is best suited for this destination?
Fly fishing in the Maldives is best suited for anglers that trust their own ability to see fish, and with some self sufficiency. You should be in reasonable good shape as you are wading in knee to waist deep water most of the time, and sometimes even in waves. You also need some mental strength when the fishing is hard. Take the Zen-approach: If it happens, it happens. And if it happens, and that monster GT eats your fly, you will never, never forget it!

How do I get there?
You fly to Male, and from there we will either pick you up by boat or have booked a domestic flight to the chosen atoll for the week. All transfers in the Maldives are included so there is nothing you need to worry about beforehand.

When should I go?
From November to April. The fish are there year-round but the weather is more staple during those months.

Where do we stay?
At local guest houses. The standard of these guest houses has gotten a lot better during the last few years and though they don’t have the fancy locations of the (very expensive) resorts they are really nice, with air condition and private bathrooms.

Can I enjoy a drink after fishing?
Unfortunately not! Alcohol is forbidden in the Maldives (with the exception of the tourist resorts) so it’s not possible to get alcohol on the local islands. You’ll probably get used to it faster that you may think – and a week without alcohol shouldn’t harm you too much.

Is there internet and cell service?
Yes, the guest house will have WiFi and your mobile will have reception on the island.

Are you doing bookings for the 2021 season by now?
Yes, we certainly are – but we still have available spots from November 2020 until April 2021. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    error: Content is protected !!