Any fly fisherman worth their salt has dreamed about tackling the remote waters of the Seychelles islands and has his/her eye on one of the 39 most legendary fish to catch on the fly. A number of these saltwater devils can be found in the isolated waters of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, and that’s where Alphonse Fishing Co. comes in. With in-depth knowledge gathered from fishing these waters since the early 2000’s, the AFC Team ensures the best saltwater fly fishing experience by far.
Based on Alphonse Island, in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Alphonse Fishing Co. gives fly fishermen access to the rugged, yet beautiful atolls of Astove, Cosmoledo and Poivre as well as the stunning waters around Alphonse Island. These remote atolls hold a variety of different terrains like large lagoons, jagged reefs, endless reef flats and bountiful bluewater, each offering a unique challenge.
These atolls are, amongst other things, home to the GT Capital of the World, some of the most impressive Permit ever caught, and the elusive and finicky Milkfish. Combine this with stunning scenery and an expert team to guide you, and what more could an angler want?
To ensure the best possible experience, the AFC Team has partnered with one of the leading fly reel manufacturers, Shilton Reels. Their gear is available in the tackle shops on the island and is the preferred brand of fly reels of the AFC Guides as well as Managing Director, Keith Rose-Innes.
The partnership between Alphonse Fishing Co. and Shilton Reels started in 2012 and has been a success story from the beginning. General Manager of AFCs, Devan van der Merwe, gives us some insight into the partnership:
“Individuals like myself and Keith Rose-Innes have fished with Shilton reels in the Seychelles outer islands since early 2001. Tested throughout many atolls in the Seychelles in the most challenging harsh saltwater environments, we believe that there is no better reel. Very easy to maintain and lightweight with an unbelievably smooth drag system. The slogan says it all – WE STOP FISH. Other reel brands just don’t have the need or the ability to withstand the ever-present abuse that a big Giant Trevally is responsible for.”
Devan reiterates AFC’s vote of confidence in the product by adding:
“As the Shilton slogan goes, we have stopped over 6000 GTs on Shilton reels and some behemoths of up to 120 LBS (55kgs). I have been fishing the exact same Shilton for over 10 years and it’s still my go-to weapon of choice. There is no other reel that serves AFC better.”
Shilton reels also play a big role in landing that perfect Milkfish on the fly. As the technique and fly to hook a Milkfish was pioneered at Alphonse Island, it provided an ideal opportunity to continue perfecting the technique.
As the guides’ skills improved, Alphonse surpassed all others as the destination where the most Milkies are landed on the fly. After the addition of Shilton reels, the catch numbers went through the proverbial roof. Now an average of 120 Milkfish are caught and released each season – the stats speak for themselves.
Along with getting a thumbs up from the AFC Team, Murray Peddler, Head of Sales in South Africa for Shilton Reels, described the partnership as a natural process.
“The best way to put any product on the map and to test its metal is to put it into the hands of world-class guides operating in a world class fishery and see how it holds up. Needless to say, Shilton Reels went beyond expectations and delivered the goods.“ – Murray Peddler
The partnership between the two leading companies extended into Keith Rose-Innes giving input for the new SR Range which lead to a new look product without changing Shilton’s basic design model.
The new SR Range holds a larger drag knob, three drag engagement plungers and a larger cork drag surface, giving the salt range more stopping power. Each fly fishing reel also comes with the official stamp of approval from Tony, the owner and engineer who personally checks each and every reel and component before leaving the factory.
This personal touch and intricate knowledge and research into the perfect equipment ensures that the reels can stand the test of landing you the perfect catch every time. Approved by the expert guides that face the biggest of the bigs in the most rugged of environments that the Seychelles islands have to offer, Shilton reels are the best option.
Why not test a Shilton Reel for yourself? Who knows, maybe you’ll finally land that Milky monster you’ve been eyeing?!
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