Thanks, Guys...that was awesome!
Tide is incoming...cocktails can wait.
I went on the trip of a lifetime for my 60th birthday. A few years ago, I saw a video produced by Jako Lucas called the "Gangsters of the Flats" about giant trevally fishing in Seychelles and specifically, a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean called the Aldabra Group. Seychelles offers a wide variety of gamefish, including Indo-Pacific permit, bumphead parrotfish, various triggerfish, bluefin trevally, and the aforementioned giant trevally. As an avid flats fisherman, this sure looked like a fantastic adventure.
I contacted Jim Klug at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures and inquired about trips and tides. It ended up the best tides coincided with one of Yellow Dogs' hosted trips with none other than Jako Lukas himself! That sealed the deal. Meant to be. I was headed for the least populated atoll called Cosmoldeo, which is considered to be one of the top giant trevally destinations in the world. Yellow Dog does a great job with pre-trip planning, so I went to town tying flies and organizing gear, not worried one bit about the logistics. Honestly, the preparation was one of the best parts.
Farquhar Atoll, SeychellesI'll do a trip report with all the fishy details at another time, but I do want to recognize a handful of companies that made this trip exceptional.
Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures - Yellow Dog is a travel company that adds real value for those planning a fishing adventure. Especially to a far-flung destination. If you have a trip in mind, they have been there and have done that. Their staff is super attentive, ready to help and their service does not cost anything extra. Our trip went sideways due to a cyclone, and Yellow Dog stuck with it to salvage our trip and make some memories. Great job in a tough situation. Thank you, Brenda!
Bears Den Fly Fishing Company - Scott Wessels and his crew have always been super accommodating to me personally and to the Saltwater Edge. There have been times when one of us has made the drive to swap Korker soles to get one of our customers out of a jam, and they have always been my "go-to" shop for my lifelong trout and increasingly steelhead addiction. For my Cosmoldeo trip, in particular, I was looking for a compact sling pack to replace a corroded Patagonia bag that had served me well along with a specific 10/0 hook. The Bears Den had both a broad selection of sling packs and my obscure hook! I appreciate them waiting patiently as I ran around the store at 5 minutes of 5 on a Saturday. It's a blessing to have one of the best fly shops on the planet just a short drive away. Sincere thanks to Sarah, Val, Anthony, Brie, and Scott.
Saltwaterflies.com - Chris Windram has been saltwater fly-rodding in Southern New England for as long as I can remember. He's a super-talented fly tier, a student of the game, and was very helpful as I prepared for Cosmoledo. He helped me dissect a few patterns through text and offered his expert opinion on materials (and he had them in stock!) and got me what I needed to tie a simple, yet elegant, squid pattern that Dave Skok developed many years ago. The GT's never saw Dave's squid fly (now the stripers will), but I was appreciative of Chris's extensive knowledge and willingness to help.Vedavoo - I wanted to try their rod holster so I could have my nine weight at the ready while I was away from the boat. The problem was I was set to leave in less than a week. Recognizing the handmade nature of their products I was concerned that they might not be able to turn my order around in time. My rod holster arrived just three days later. Done. Good to go. Thanks, Scott.
Giant Trevally - T&T Exocett 12wt and Van Staal Cvex 9/12
Thomas & Thomas Rodmakers - My 9 weight Zone (great rod for the NE salt) got stepped on during a wild morning with 10-pound bonito chewing in Mackeral Cove last fall. Shit happens. My bad for waiting to send it in, but the turn around was less than two weeks, and they took the time to put the Saltwater Edge inscription back on the butt section. Nice touch. Excellent repair service on a great stick. For the record, the T&T Exocett 12 wt is money. It threw big flies with ease.
Simms Fishing - It was clear I would need a backpack that could triple as a boat bag and also a carry-on. Justin Sterner, my Simms rep, let me borrow his sample of the new Dry Creek Simple Pack. At 25 liters, it was the perfect carry on and let me carry a lot of gear and a second rod on the flats. I'll be getting one for personal use. Great item. Thank you, Justin.
I just wanted to say "Thanks Guys" and keep doing what you are doing. I appreciate your extra effort that allowed me to have a trip of a lifetime.
Tight lines and continued success.