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Fly Fishing Triggerfish

There are three main species of Triggerfish that we target at Alphonse Fishing Company: the Yellow Margin Triggerfish, Moustache Triggerfish and Picasso Triggerfish; all equal in beauty and challenge!

The Yellow Margin Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus) comprises of an array of colours. It has a tan body with dark spots, orange margins in the fins and a pale orange snout and cheeks.

The Moustache Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) is the most commonly caught Triggerfish. Its appropriately named as it boasts a very prominent dark line above its top lip, resembling a moustache. The rest of the body is mostly yellow with orange fins edged with black lines.

The Picasso Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus) might be the smallest out of the three, but definitely tips the scale in the looks department with its striking yellow lined lips, electric blue forehead and black and white markings along the body.


  • Average Length 60cm - 70cm
  • DIET Carnivore


All three species of Triggerfish can be found on the shallow reefs and flats. The Yellow Margin Trigger prefers sandy-bottomed areas close to patches of turtle grass and coral. It is also common to find a Yellow Margin close to a large coral “Bommie” situated on a white sandy flat.
Both the Moustache and Picasso Triggerfish inhabit more reef-like bottoms filled with corals and seaweed.



Here are 2 flies that will always be in our guides’ fly box.

  • Alphlexo Crab

    This is a very realistic crab-looking pattern. It also has a relatively solid and ridgid prolife/structure to further enhance the Triggerfish once it has been pounced on. A general rule of thumb is to use olive or tan colours when fishing darker bottoms, and white or lighter colours when fishing over sandy bottoms.

    available On Island
  • Spawning Shrimp

    This fly has been around for ages for a reason - it works! It can be tied in various colours and weights. A Spawning Shrimp tied with lightweight bead chain eyes is ideal for super shallow tailing Triggers. This also makes for a more delicate presentation when targeting these skittish fish.

    available On Island
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Fly fishing is an art form that not everyone can master. It takes skill, patience, determination and knowledge. The right rod will take you a lot closer to landing the catch.
  • Thomas and Thomas Exocette

    This is a fantastic rod as it loads the line easily, making for a quick cast. Its firm butt section has good pulling power when needed and a soft tip section to make accurate casts.

    Available On Island
  • G-Loomis Cross-Current

    This rod has been around for a very long time and there is a very simple reason for that – it’s indestructible!

    Not Available On Island
  • Scott Maridean

    After a big RnD push, this rod has been superbly developed to handle most conditions. It is lightweight, but at the same time packs a great deal of power when needed.

    Not Available On Island



Triggerfish are not afraid of shallow water. This makes them extremely desirable to fly fishermen and the allure of targeting feeding, tailing fish is very appealing.  Accordingly, the best tides to target Triggers are around the low tide cycle.

Targeting Triggers directly over the Neap Tide cyle can be tricky as the water level will not be low enough, whilst the opposite will happen during the Spring Tide cycle as the water will drop too quickly off the flats and race back on when the tide turns, making your window of opportunity very short to target them.  

The best time would therefore be two to three days before or after Spring Tide.


As previously mentioned, Triggerfish are notoriously skittish, partly due to the fact that they feed in such shallow water. All of this makes approaching them quite difficult and extremely frustrating at times. There are three rules to catching a Triggerfish: 1 - A stealthy, quiet approach is needed once a fish has been spotted. You know your own casting capabilities, so if you know you can reach, stop and make the cast. Getting unnecessarily close will most likely spook off the fish. 2 – You need to make your first cast count. Presenting too close will frighten the fish. Presenting too far away will result in the fish not seeing the fly and, even worse, it will probably spook off when lifting the line off the water to make a re-cast. An accurate, aggressive cast is required. 3 – A bucket load of luck! Following rules one and two on its own unfortunately doesn’t guarantee you a Trigger. They can be incredibly tricky at times, hence the nickname ‘Tricky Triggers’! Hooking the fish is only half the battle though. They have serious teeth that can cut through most leaders with ease, and they are dirty fighters as they burrow themselves into the nearest coral hole, again resulting in cut leaders. They will fight you every step of the way to the net, darting this way and that and bolting for the coral time and again, but once you claim victory, you would have added a serious notch to your fly fishing belt.

Triggerfish Gallery

Some of the big ones that did not get away.
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"This was my dream catch, she was huge and put up a heck of a fight." - Craig Williams

Read more about the Triggerfish below straight from our experts READ MORE


We choose destinations that meet our anglers’ needs and desires. You can focus on one atoll or combine several for a richer and more varied experience.
  • Alphonse Atoll


    Alphonse Atoll

    A dream destination for any fly fisherman, Alphonse Atoll in Seychelles is renowned for its expansive sea flats, which provide easy wading and world class fishing.  The atolls are regarded as some of the most pristine, untouched islands in the world yet Alphonse Atoll is just a 60-minute flight from Mahé.

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  • Cosmoledo Atoll


    Cosmoledo Atoll

    Cosmoledo Atoll is just a stone’s throw away from the world heritage site of Aldabra, often referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Its ecosystem is pristine with saltwater flats and a huge variety of fish species, attracting fly fishermen from around the world. It is home to a newly built eco-camp, dedicated to the atoll’s conservation.

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  • Astove Atoll


    Astove Atoll

    The home of the biggest giant trevallies in the Indian Ocean, this island in the Seychelles offers superb fly fishing in a shallow lagoon surrounded by sheer drop-offs. Just over a thousand kilometres from Mahe, this atoll forms part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls. Uninhabited since 1969, this atoll has seen very little human presence which makes for a wild and unique experience.

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  • Poivre Island


    Poivre Island

    Poivre Atoll offers the best of both worlds with stunning flats and arguably one of the best jigging and popping spots that the Amirantes Atolls have to offer. Known for record breaking Dogtooth Tuna and some of the best Indo-Pacific Permit fishing in the Seychelles, Poivre offers the ultimate challenge for any game fisherman worth his salt.

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Turn your fly into a fish’s ultimate temptation. The Seychelles, with its 115 islands and deserted atolls, ideal weather and warm Indian Ocean waters, is renowned for being home to some of the world’s richest fishing grounds. You don’t even have to venture too far to break fishing records!

Unique experiences like nowhere else


  • Home of the worlds best fly fishing
  • Unique, bespoke trips to suite your needs
  • Located in the pristine remote outer islands of the Seychelles
  • Luxury accommodation and exquisite food
  • Unrivaled professional guides
  • Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world
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