After a 36 hour delay, we finally got a weather clearance to fly from Mahé to Assumption Island. Tropical Cyclone Fantala had been as strong as any storm on record in the Indian Ocean, but the news from Pangaea – our home for the next 4 days – was ‘blue skies, and the fishing is heavenly.’
We had the very good fortune to be hosted on the 191 foot fishing and expedition yacht, Pangaea, for a few days. Pangaea’s, and Todd’s, story is fascinating, and we would acquire a new appreciation for the passion and amazingly generous philanthropic spirit guiding Pangaea’s mission. For example, after our departure, the boat and crew were being donated to host scientists in Chagos (near Mauritius) studying the health and status of the shark, dolphin and other fish populations there.
Before moving to Cosmoledo, we did some blue water fishing just off Assumption. These remote islands of the Seychelles are considered by anglers around the globe to be the ultimate fishing playground. The size and variety of fish species here is unique and as ‘unspoiled’ as it gets.
Our captain moved Pangaea from Assumption to Cosmoledo that first night, while we were rocked to sleep by the boat’s movements. But aside from catching dinner, the real reason to fish Cosmoledo: it is the ultimate saltwater flats destination, making it a dream for saltwater fly fishing.
The tide entering and leaving the lagoon creates walkable salt flats that are prime territory for bonefish, permit fish, giant trevally and other sought-after gamefish. The variance in tidal swings in Cosmoledo is nothing short of incredible and over the course of an incoming or outgoing tide, the water will rise or fall 10 to 11 feet within 6 hours. Ground that is bone dry and far removed from the sea will become flooded. Flats fish tend to feed and move from deeper to shallow water depending on the tidal cycles, and saltwater flats fly fishing combines the tracking and stalking of hunting with the sport and skill of fly fishing.
Why all the fuss about a little silver fish? Anyone asking that question has never stalked these beautiful fish in beautiful surroundings. Bonefishing brings together skill, finesse and stealth like no other form of fishing (of course we didn’t achieve any of these in our 2 short lessons, but we had fun learning). There’s no big boat under you, no big winch of a reel and thick rod, no ‘fighting belt or chair’ for leverage. Instead, you’re either wading on foot or balancing on the casting deck of a small boat designed for shallow water. And it’s addicting!
Special thanks to Khashana Travel for this amazing experience and magical stay on Pangaea.