Saltwater fly fishing is as good as fly fishing gets in my eyes. You are targeting amazing species like tarpon and giant trevally, which is as exciting as it gets, and in some of the most beautiful and pristine parts of the world.
From remote atolls in the middle of the Indian and Pacific oceans to remote coastlines that are full of life. A trip to one of the best saltwater fly fishing destinations is an experience of a lifetime.
So, what are the best saltwater fly fishing destinations to add to your bucket list? Seychelles is probably the most famous but there are lots more to explore too, let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
- The Best Saltwater Fly Fishing Destinations in the World
- Winding Up
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The Best Saltwater Fly Fishing Destinations in the World
Outer Islands, Seychelles
The outer islands of Seychelles are incredible. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean, these atolls offer the best saltwater fly fishing on the planet.
The operations on these islands are second to none, the number of species you can target in a single day is mind blowing, and you get to see turtles, manta rays, sharks, and dolphins while you do so.
If there is one place that should be on the top of your list, it is the outer island of Seychelles.
There is more than one outer island to choose from in Seychelles and these include: Alphonse & St Francois Island, Farquhar, Astove, Cosmoledo, Providence, and Poivre.
They all offer incredible saltwater fly fishing for various species, including GTs, milkfish, Indo-Pacific permit, bonefish, triggerfish, bumphead parrot fish, sailfish, and wahoo.
But, each island is a little different; for example, the only islands with bumphead parrot fish on the flats are Farquhar and Providence. Poivre is packed full of more Indo-Pacific permit than all the others and Cosmoledo is known as the GT capital of the world.
To book a trip to any of the outer islands mentioned, contact Alphonse Fishing Company. They run either high-end island camps or liveaboard trips to all of them with some of the best guides on the planet.
Oman is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the best saltwater fly fishing spots in the world. But why? Well, between the rugged empty coastline where desert mountains literally fall into the sea, it is stunning and full of fish.
Salalah, in Southern Oman, is the number one area in the country to cast a saltwater fly rod. You will either be walking along the remote beaches spotting permit in the crystal blue waters or casting to fish along the rocky shores from a boat.
Oman is one of the only places in the world you can target Africanus Permit, a species we all need to tick off our bucket lists.
You can also catch milkfish, bream, queenfish, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, wahoo, GTs, and other trevally species – it is incredible how many species you can hook in a day.
Outside of the fishing, what makes a trip to Oman so amazing is the cultural experience that comes with it. It is a unique country in so many ways and you should contact Arabian Fly or Ocean Active Fly to book a trip.
Jardines De La Reina, Cuba
Jardines De La Reina literally translates to “Gardens of the Queen” and is a remote marine park formed of numerous islands on the south coast of Cuba. It is an uninhabited island chain that is teeming with life and so remote the only way you can fish it is by staying on a boat.
Jardines De La Reina is full of tarpon between 40 and 80 lbs on average along with lots of bonefish, permit, barracuda, jacks and more. It is, without a doubt, home to some of the best saltwater fly fishing the Caribbean has to offer.
What makes a trip to Jardines De La Reina so special is that you get to experience Cuban culture on arrival and then sail into a remote marine park to fish for some of the top flats species in the world.
You will be staying on a luxury yacht with fantastic staff and guides. You can book a trip to Jardines De La Reina here.
Wessel Islands, Australia
The Wessel Islands are a place I haven’t managed to fish yet but it is very high on my list. The Wessels are an island chain sitting off the northern coast of Australia, and are about as remote as it gets.
The only way to fish the Wessels is on a live-aboard yacht. The diversity of fishy environments and species is insane, which is what makes it such a special place to cast a saltwater fly rod.
The islands are pristine with crystal clear waters that cover sand flats, rocky coves, mangroves, and freshwater creeks.
As you pole or wade your way around these islands, you can throw your fly at two species of Indo-Pacific permit, Queenfsh, Barramundi, GTs, Golden Trevally, “Blue Bastards”, and lots more species.
There is only one licensed operator who can take you to the Wessel Islands and that is Aussie Fly Fisher. You’ll be on board a 70 ft luxury yacht called Wildcard with skiffs in tow and excellent guides.
Los Roques, Venezuela
The Los Roques archipelago is one of the top saltwater fly fishing destinations in the Caribbean. It is a small island chain off the coast of Venezuela made up of some 350 small islands and is the perfect habitat for flat species.
The main target species in Los Roques is bonefish and there are thousands of them growing up to around 4-5 lbs on average. Wading the flats you will encounter shoals of 100 plus bonefish that are willing to take your fly.
Los Roques is also home to tarpon, both juvenile fish around the 10 lb mark and larger migratory fish of up to 80 lbs. You are going to need a great saltwater fly reel and rod to land one of these.
Atlantic Permit also frequent the flats of Los Roques but they are big ranging on average from 20 to 40 lbs. You can also target snook in the mangroves and lagoons too.
What makes Los Roques so special is the number of fish you can see in a day, especially bonefish, that are not shy to take a fly. The stunning natural beauty of this National Park is also hard to comprehend.
The thing I love most about Los Roques is that it is possible to DIY fish if you know what you are doing. Simply wade out off the main island and you will find bonefish to throw a fly at very quickly.
You can also book guided trips and lodging through Fly Fishing Los Roques.
The Baja Peninsula on the Pacific coast of Mexico is another world class saltwater fly fishing destination that everyone should visit once in their life.
There are two fisheries in Baja, Magdalena Bay on the west coast and the East Cape of Baja near La Paz.
Magdalena Bay gives saltwater fly anglers the chance to sight cast at shoals of striped marlin, sailfish, wahoo, and dorado. This is one of the only places in the world where sight casting to billfish is reality and with incredible results too.
Go inshore at Magdalena Bay and you have a plethora of island and mangrove systems where snook, roosterfish, jacks, and more reside. Los Locos are the best guys to fly fish with in Magdalena Bay.
The East Cape of Baja is the best place in the world to sight fish for roosterfish from the beach. Walking the beaches, the roosters come right along the shoreline and you will have to run to get ahead of the fish and make your shot.
You can also fish from a boat along the shore and target roosterfish, dorado, jacks, wahoo, and tuna too.
An excellent lodge with awesome saltwater guides on the East Cape of Baja is Bahia De Los Sueños.
Mexico’s Yucatan is another wild place to go saltwater fly fishing and it has been a favorite destination amongst fly fishers for many years.
The Yucatan is home to extensive oceanside flats, mangrove flats and more. The area is huge and is full of bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook – the 4 species that make up a saltwater grand slam.
The permit fishing around the town of Xcalak in the southern Yucatan, close to the Belize border, is particularly good. You can also go and target migratory tarpon that reach over 100 lbs here too.
Two of the best lodges to fish out of include Grand Slam Fly Fishing Lodge in Punta Allen and X-Flats in Xcalak. Both offer excellent accommodation, great guides, and the chance to land a grand slam in a single day!
Christmas Island, Kiribati
Christmas Island aka the island of the Republic of Kiribati is an atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The only way to get there is to fly to Hawaii and change planes making it an incredibly remote fishery which ensures the fish are abundant and not over pressured.
Christmas Island is made up of a huge system of hundreds of lagoons, coral fingers, and sand flats, making it the perfect habitat of bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish, GTs, and bluefin trevally.
Just imagine walking along coral flats sight fishing for tailing triggerfish and GTs or walking the sand flats in search of shoals of bonefish.
There is also an offshore fishery at Christmas Island where you can fish for pelagic species such as tuna, wahoo, and sailfish.
There are a few different fishing lodges on Christmas Island. I would recommend Christmas Island Lodge as they are one of the best operators there.
Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Turneffe Atoll lies off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean and is a protected area that is teeming with marine life. It is famous for diving, snorkeling, and of course saltwater fly fishing.
The numbers of bonefish on the flats of Turneffe Atoll is insane and you can fish to shoals of hundreds of bonefish all day long. It is about as consistent as bonefishing gets outside of Los Roques and St Francois Atoll in the Seychelles.
You can also target permit on Turneffe Atoll but they are known to be difficult, and permit are hard to catch to begin with, so these fish are very challenging.
The tarpon fishing on Turneffe is also excellent. You can cast to smaller fish all year round in the lagoons and creeks or go from the giant 100+ lb tarpon that migrate past between June and August.
What makes Turneffe so special is the diverse ecosystem and its remote location. Staying at a lodge in the middle of the ocean, chasing some of the most prized saltwater fly species in the world is incredible. Throw in a dive and snorkel to see the reef and it doesn’t get much better.
Turneffe Flats Lodge is a great place to stay with excellent accommodation, guides, and more.
Sette Cama, Gabon
The coastline of Gabon is about as untouched as it gets as the second largest rainforest in the world splurges out onto the Atlantic Ocean. For saltwater fly anglers looking for an adventure, this is about as good as it gets.
The shores of Gabon are home to some of the largest tarpon on the planet, pushing in excess of 200 lbs.
You can walk the beaches looking for cruising tarpon and threadfin, search for them from a boat, or head into the estuaries where you will find plenty of Jack Crevalle and Cubera Snapper willing to take a fly.
While fishing you will probably see elephants on the beach, as well as countless other species that live in the Loango National Park including low land chimpanzees.
It is a safari in “Africa’s Eden” with a fly rod in hand, that is why it is so special and African Waters are there to ensure you have the best experience of it.
Nubian Flats, Red Sea, Sudan
The Nubiian Flats fishery is a triggerfish paradise to say the least. Sitting on the coast of Sudan in the Red Sea, there are thousands of miles of pristine flats that triggerfish, GTs, bluefin trevally, permit, cubera snapper, and more, call home.
The Nubian Flats is definitely one of the best places in the world to catch triggerfish. The tidal change is so small that triggers tail on the flats all day long giving you countless shots at these awesome species.
The only way to fish this area is on a liveaboard that cruises down the coast of Sudan taking you to remote flats and islands. The environment is like no-other as the scarred Nubian desert and mountains meet the azure blue colors of the Red Sea.
Saltwater fly fishing, as you can see, will take you to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the world. If there is one saltwater fly fishing destination you should go to before all the rest, it is the Outer Islands of Seychelles as it is hands down as good as it gets.
If you have any questions about these destinations please let us know in the comments below or if you have any great saltwater fly fishing stories, we’d love to hear them!