Maldives Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Maldives Report

Doc Garrett
05-07-2007, 06:32 AM
Just returned from fly fishing the Maldives for 6 days. I was part of a group exploring the northern atolls as a possible fly fishing destination. My first impression of the area was I have never seen the sheer density of bait fish and supporting biomass in all my days. The seas were very calm and the days very hot. We fished from a dori with enough room for two fly and two spin casters. We also fished from several surf boats to hit the shallow waters. Our primary target was the Giant Trevally that are well represented in the area, but we also wanted to explore the flats to see what they could produce.

Gear consisted of 12 weight rods for open water and 9 weight rods for the flats. We used everything from floating, intermediate, and sinking lines and threw everything from poppers to heavily weighted 6/0 Clouser flies (aka Big Chickens). The big GTs hang around the coral reefs and are deep. We were typically fishing in water depths of 20 to 40 feet. Getting down to the GTs to attract their attention was a challenge to say the least. We used 30, 50, & 70 pound mono as well as some wire leader to account for sharp teeth and coral.

We caught plenty of the Bluefin Trevally, blue spotted Trevally, a few skipjack, and lots of bonito. The largest GTs we caught on fly were in the 20 pound range. The only big GTs we caught were on spinning gear and we caught many in the 80 to 90 pound range. We had several bull dolphin hook ups on fly, but boating these freight trains was a little challenging. In all, we caught over 15 different species of fish on fly.

The flats were very disappointing considering how productive the Seychelles are for bonefish. We attributed this largely to the lack of vegetation and no significant presence of crustaceans in the flats. Lots of bait fish and blue tail patrol the flats, but we were far more productive in open water around the reefs.

Conclusion - Getting to this area of the world is a pain to say the least. Running though 9 time zones with connecting flights and layovers can take some of the excitement away from the trip. Our fishing operator is one of the oldest in the area but they are very new to the requirements necessary to exclusively cater to fly fishing. The general consciences is, the southern atolls around Male are more productive overall than in the north for fly fishing potential. Overall, I would rate this area behind the Seychelles and far behind Madagascar for big game fly fishing. It is a beautiful area to say the least, but at the end of the day, unless you are satisfied with spin casting and trolling, the fly fishing can be a little challenging to say the least.

Gear Note - I used the new Rio Powerflex core lines for the first time and was quite impressed. Shooting the full line was effortless, it lays like a dream in a stripping basket, and runs through the guides without a worry. Their performance was head and shoulders above everything else in my opinion. In fact, my fishing partners quickly switched to the Powerflex lines after a few casts.