Go on the fishing trip of your lifetime.

    Happy fly fisherman holding a moustache triggerfish caught on a fly at Astove Atoll.

    Triggerfish Fly Fishing

    There are three main species of triggerfish that we fly fish at Alphonse Fishing Company: the yellow margin triggerfish, the moustache triggerfish, and the Picasso triggerfish; all are equal in beauty and challenge!

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

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

    Picasso Triggerfish
    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.


    • Triggerfish average length 30 - 40 cm
    • Triggerfish average weight 5 kg
    • Triggerfish diet Carnivore

    The search for triggerfish


    The type of triggerfish found in Seychelles prefers the shallow coral reefs and flats. The yellow margin triggerfish 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.

    At the same time, both the moustache and Picasso triggerfish inhabit more reef-like bottoms filled with corals and seaweed.

    Best Triggerfish Flies

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

    • Alphlexo Crab Fly

      The Alphlexo Crab Fly is a very realistic crab-like pattern. It also has a relatively solid and rigid profile/structure to further fascinate 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 Fly

      The Spawning Shrimp 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
    • Kraken Crab Fly

      The Kraken Crab Fly doesn’t imitate a specific creature but rather an array of different crustaceans found in and around turtle grass, coral patches, and white sand. Common colours are olive, dark brown, tan, and white. The rule of thumb is to fish a dark fly over a dark bottom and lighter colours over lighter bottoms.

      available On Island
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    Best Triggerfish Rod Set Up

    When targeting these fish, you need to be accurate and, more importantly, subtle! Using an eight or nine weight rod will allow you to do this and also have enough backbone to pull these extremely hard fighters when needed.

    Best Tides For Triggerfish


    Triggerfish are not afraid of shallow water. This makes them extremely desirable to fly fishermen, and the allure of targeting feeding and 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 cycle 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 to target them very short.

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


    Triggerfish are notoriously skittish, partly because they feed in such shallow water. All of this makes approaching them quite challenging and extremely frustrating at times. There are three things you need to catch one of these:

    A Stealthy, Quiet Approach
    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.

    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. An accurate, aggressive cast is required.

    A Bucket Load of Luck
    Following all the rules, doesn’t guarantee you a trigger. They can be incredibly tricky at times, hence the nickname ‘Tricky Triggers’!

    Photos of triggerfish caught on a fly

    Some of the big ones that did not get away.
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    Past triggerfish catches with Alphonse Fishing Co™

    "This was my dream catch, she was huge and put up a heck of a fight." - Craig Williams

    Read more about the triggerfish species to catch with Alphonse Fishing Co™ READ MORE

    The ultimate saltwater fly fishing destinations

    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

      Two atolls and islands called Alphonse, Bijoutier and St Francois.

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    • Cosmoledo Atoll

      Cosmoledo Atoll

      One atoll with a vast lagoon surrounded by nineteen islands.

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    • Astove Atoll

      Astove Atoll

      One atoll with an enclosed lagoon surrounded by flats and sheer drop offs.

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    • Farquhar Atoll

      Farquhar Atoll

      One atoll with a vast lagoon surrounded by nine islands.

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    • Amirante Islands

      Amirante Islands

      African Banks, Remire Reef, St Joseph’s Atoll and Poivre Atoll.

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    • Providence Atoll

      Providence Atoll

      One vast atoll with a shallow lagoon, sand banks, flats and channels.

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    Make your triggerfish fly fishing dream come true

    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 fly fishing experiences like nowhere else


    • 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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