St Brandon – my personal trip of a lifetime!
I couldn’t believe my luck when my mate Andrew dangled this carrot in front of me: an opening on a trip out to St Brandon – and my darling wife suggested I should go!
St Brandon, also known as the Cargados Carajos Shoals, is an Indian Ocean archipelago about 430 kilometres northeast of Mauritius consisting of a number of sandbanks, shoals and islets. I’m almost sure it’s the best bonefishing destination on our beautiful planet.
After enduring the 26-hour crossing from Mauritius by boat, we settled into our lodge and tackled up for the week’s fly fishing ahead of us. Joining us were five Americans and a Brit, a great bunch of guys all with the same mission – to fish hard and to have fun!
The first morning had us up bright an early, but the wind had picked up overnight and was blowing at near gale force. I doubted that we’d be doing any fishing, but to my surprise the guides didn’t seem to think much of it, so we played along and soon headed out to the flats clad in raincoats. When we reached our destination we hopped out of the boat and started wading out. It wasn’t long before I spotted something that resembled a tail some distance away. I pointed it out to our guide, and he confirmed that it was a bonefish – and a pretty good-looking one too. I made the cast, and as I started stripping the fly the fish ate it – judging by the reaction, I realized this was a very good fish indeed. Fifteen minutes later we netted a beautiful bonefish that tipped the scale at 11lb! Later that same day, I was rewarded with a lovely permit too. What a start to an epic trip!
Believe me, I could write another five pages about the trip, but let me rather just give you a summary.
St Brandon has some very good GT fishing as well. In general, the St B’s GTs are big and smart. We spent quite a lot of time hunting them, hooking some and losing them, but on day four I managed my personal best day with a 104cm GT, a bonefish and a permit. Me and my guide, Milan Germishuizen were super ecstatic as we had achieved an Indian Ocean Grand Slam!
I caught three permit in total, many bonefish, some bluefin trevally and the GT. Without a doubt, this was my best flats fishing trip, and will be etched into my memory forever.
Many thanks to Flycastaway for hosting an epic trip with great guides and an awesome vibe throughout our visit.