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    Giant trevally swimming under turquoise blue water at Alphonse Island - shot by Alphonse Fishing Co™

    Fly fishing for giant trevally

    Targeting giant trevally on the fly is not for the faint-hearted angler. They are fierce, big, aggressive and incredibly powerful, all of which are quite often completely underestimated by new anglers, but are respected by new and seasoned fishermen alike.

    Giant trevally have in the past been referred to as being the gangsters of the flats, and they have a reputation for being thugs, bullish and unforgiving. They prey on almost anything that moves. From crabs, lobsters, squid, and eels to mantis shrimps; however, their favorite prey will be the wide variety of smaller fish that populate the shallow flats. Those will mainly consist of shoaling fish like mullet, bonefish, smaller trevally species like brassy trevally and even small shoals of powter lips.

    You need more than the best giant trevally flies, the best rods and ideal conditions to catch a GT – this is no easy feat!

    Key facts about the giant trevally

    • Giant trevally average length 85 cm
    • Giant trevally average weight 13 kg
    • Giant trevally diet Carnivore
    • Giant trevally time to maturity 3 - 4 years
    • Giant trevally average age 6 - 7 years
    • Average giant trevallies caught on a fly with us 1,450 per year
    • Giant trevally top speed 60 km/h

    The search for the giant trevally

    It is not uncommon to hook giant trevally whilst trawling for tuna, wahoo and sailfish in the deep blue. It has been noted that GTs have been caught in water depths exceeding 80m. On the extreme opposite side of that, as fly fishermen, the most appealing way to hook a GT is in knee-deep water wading the flats. This just proves that they are an apex predator which hunts from the deep waters around the islands to the lagoons and shallow flats of all the atolls.

    Fly fisher getting ready to fight the giant trevally on a fly with Alphonse Fishing Co™

    Best flies to catch a giant trevally

    A similar approach to giant trevally fly choice can be taken as with big barracuda. The fly choice should be dictated by the area you are fishing and the bait species that inhabit that locality. Brush flies, sempers and poppers are all effective. As a general rule, lighter coloured flies should be used on the white sand e.g. tan and white, as these lighter colours are more representative of species such as mullet, small trevally and bream. Darker coloured patterns are more suitable for surf areas and coral fingers e.g. red, black, and brown, making a realistic impression of various types of reef dwellers, grouper, snapper and emperors.

    Here are 3 flies that will always be in our guides’ boxes.

    • Black Brush (Giant trevally fly)

      This fly has probably taken down more GTs than any other fly that we use. The combination of adding a hint of purple, red or olive to the black brush fly also works really well. Often I get asked by guests: “What fly works the best?” My standard reply is: “You can use any fly you want, as long as it is a black brush fly!”

      available On Island
    • Olive & Red Semper (Giant trevally fly)

      This fly, like all semper patterns, has an incredible movement in the water which makes it irresistible to any cruising Giant Trevally. Long and fast-as-possible strips/retrieves need to take place. Guaranteed to lure the GT at the time you need it!

      available On Island
    • Popper Fly (Giant trevally fly)

      Traditional popper patterns are becoming very popular as they create a greater disturbance on the water. Poppers are generally fished over deeper waters such as drifting on the skiff in the lagoons, casting into the channels as well as floating the outer shallow reef of the atolls. Be sure to have this one ready too.

      available On Island
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    Best fly rods for giant trevally

    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. Everything about GTs are big! Big fight, big flies, big fish, so naturally a big rod is needed. 12 Weight fly rods are therefore used to target giant trevally. This needs to be paired with a high-quality large arbour saltwater series reel with a strong smooth drag to match the 12-weight fly rod. The reel should be loaded with three hundred yards of 80 lbs braid. Once hooked, these fish love to head straight for the coral or drop-off into the deeper water which very often results in a lost fish. Having a rod that you can pull very hard is very necessary, and therefore any rod with a strong butt section is recommended.
    Wading for giant trevally with professional fly fishing guides at Alphonse Fishing Co™

    Best tides to fly fish for GT's


    A pushing tide is considered to be the best time to target giant trevally. This is because the fish know that they have plenty of water pushing behind them on the flats, and are more at ease as to not get trapped, as opposed to a dropping tide. As the cool freshwater flows onto the shallow flats many invertebrates such as crab, shrimp and worms leave their holes. This, in turn, brings bonefish and other small fish onto the flats to feed and the chain continues up to the bigger predatory fish like the giant trevally.


    Upon seeing a giant trevally, it is crucial to remain calm. Listen to your guide. Move into position quickly whilst trying not to make too much noise and keeping your fly line clear of any potential snags. Under the guide's instruction make the cast. Leading the fish by 3 - 4 rod lengths is the general rule. If the fly lands on the head or behind the GT, the chances of the fish eating it are almost none. Once the fly has been presented and all is still well, a long and fast retrieve is necessary. Once the fish eats the fly, keep the rod tip pointing down, and set the hook by strip/line setting. Lifting the rod in an attempt to set the hook will not be effective and is a sure way to get the hairs on the back of your guide’s neck to stand on end. Only once the giant trevally is on the reel can you lift the rod and fight. And to be clear, you will need to get ready for one hell of a fight!

    Photos of giant trevally caught on a fly

    Explore our latest photos of the giant trevallies caught here. Some of the big GTs 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

    Tips to catch the giant trevally on a fly READ MORE

    The ultimate saltwater fly fishing destinations

    We choose destinations that meet our fly fishers’ 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 fly 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.

      View Destination
    • 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 an 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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    • Farquhar Atoll

      Farquhar Atoll

      Farquhar Atoll is the most southerly atoll in the Seychelles chain of islands lying just over 700km to the southwest of the main island Mahe. This remote atoll has a total area, including the large lagoon, of 170.5 km² which is 18 km north to south and 9 km east to west.

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    Turn your fly into a fish’s ultimate temptation. 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!

    Happy man, enjoying his moment with the flats caught giant trevally (caught on the fly at Cosmoledo) during his holiday with Alphonse Fishing Co™
    Unique experiences like nowhere else

    Our Fly Fishing Highlights

    • Home of the world's best fly fishing
    • Unique, bespoke trips to suit your needs
    • Located in the pristine remote outer islands of the Seychelles
    • Luxury accommodation and exquisite food
    • Unrivalled professional guides
    • Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world
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    Latest Fly Fishing Blog Posts

    Read what our expert guides have to say or what fish our guests have been catching
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    Let us craft the ultimate giant trevally fly fishing experiences for you Enquire Now