2023 TRIPS TO MALDIVES NORTHERN ATOLLS
UFUDU FLY FISHING SAFARIS
Covid- 19 protocols have made international travel a minefield of protocols and PCR testing. Despite these challenges our 2022 season has to date been hugely successful in complying with all the protocols and PCR testing without undue inconvenience to our guests and their fishing schedule.
We are therefore very confident that your 2023 season will be just as successful and hassle free.
In addition we have been able to confirm that the Covid- 19 related cancellation policy that we have secured with the boat charted company in 2022 will also be applicable for the 2023 trips. This is a very generous policy in the light of this pandemic and should give prospective guests the confidence to make trip commitments.
I have accordingly set five dates for the 2023 season to the northern atolls of the Maldives. Please see details below.
MALDIVES – THE NORTHERN ATOLLS 2023
It is here in the north that I have discovered several places where we have encountered some of the biggest GTs I have ever seen and have had the privilege of sight casting flies to these fish in the surf zone and on the flats.
We will fish several different venues that will provide anglers with a good variety of species and challenges.
We are pleased to report that during our 2022 season guests landed 5 permit and added to this, we discovered venues that regularly produced big bonefish which makes these trips even more attractive to any intrepid fly angler.
If your ambition is to land a big GT there are two venues in particular that will get your adrenalin pumping. Here we will be sight fishing to them in the surf zone which, in my opinion, is the most exciting yet challenging way of targeting these amazing predators on fly.
At both venues you will have the choice of fishing huge flats as well as the surf zone. We will be stalking and casting flies to huge GTs on the flats as well as triggers, bonefish, permit, snappers, bonito and bluefin. In the surf zone GTs and bluefin abound.
OUR 2023 TRIPS (All fully booked – please consider our Maldives 2024 Trips to these atolls)
The trips are all 10 nights in duration and have been carefully planned that they all coincide with ideal tides, moon phase and season. Guests will be fishing selected flats and surf zone hotspots with the emphasis on targeting big GTs (flats and surf), triggers, bluefin, yellowspot trevally, bones and permit.
- The trips are all aboard the very comfortable safari dhoni Gahaa, a boat and crew that I have used for 10 years.
- The boat can accommodate a maximum of 6 guests in 4 cabins
- Two of the trips are limited to a maximum four anglers in single accommodation
- Three of the trips are limited to a maximum of 6 angles with 4 guests sharing (sharing rate) and 2 guests in single accommodation (single supplementary rate)
- I will host all the trips sharing my fly fishing knowledge, skills and experience with all the guests.
TRIP DATES AND AVAILABILITY
19 – 28 JANUARY 2023 10 NIGHTS (MAX 4 GUESTS) FULL
3 – 12 FEBRUARY 2023 10 NIGHTS (MAX 6 GUESTS) FULL
18 – 27 FEBRUARY 2023 10 NIGHTS (MAX 6 GUESTS) FULL
5 – 14 MARCH 2023 10 NIGHTS (MAX 4 GUESTS) FULL
19 – 28 MARCH 2023 10 NIGHTS (MAX 6 GUESTS) FULL
To see our latest promo video about our trips to the northern atolls of the
Maldives, please follow the link below
For a trip with the maximum of 4 guests
4 guests at the single supplementary rate of $5550pp
For a trip with the maximum of 6 guests.
Sharing rate: $4600pp -available for a maximum of 4 guest per trip
Single supplementary rate: $5000pp – available for a maximum of 2 guests
Trip costs include the following:
- 10 night’s full board accommodation aboard the safari dhoni Gahaa.
- All hosted fly fishing with Ben Pretorius
- All ground transfers
Trip costs exclude the following:
- international flights
- Travel insurance
- Bar and gratuities
- PCR test costs
- Personal items
OUR BOOKING POLICY
- To confirm your reservation, we require a 50% non-refundable deposit (read with cancellation policy below)
- The final payment is due 35 days prior to departure
OUR GENERAL CANCELLATION POLICY
- A minimum of 4 pax are require for the trip to go ahead. Once a minimum of 4 pax have been confirmed the final payment becomes due and non-refundable 35 days prior to departure.
- Ufudu Fly Fishing Safaris has the right to cancel the trip 90 days from the start of the trip if less than 4 pax less are confirmed and will refund all deposits paid to date.
- A monthly update of confirmed bookings will be sent to clients who have paid their deposits.
OUR COVID 19 RELATED CANCELLATION POLICY IN RESPECT OF THE 2023 TRIPS TO THE NORTHERN ATOLLS OF MALDIVES
THE FOLLOWING CANCELLATION POLICY HAS BEEN AGREED TO BETWEEN UFUDU FLY FISHING AND IT’S SUPLIERS IN THE MALDIVES AND IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO OUR 2022 TRIPS TO THE MALDIVES SPECIFIC TO COVID 19.
- THE CANCELLATION POLICY REFERED TO IS WITH REFERENCE TO CANCELLATIONS THAT ARE AS A RESULT OF COVID 19 RELATED REASONS ONLY
- CANCELLATION 14- 04 DAYS PRIOR TO DATE OF ARRIVAL- 25% DEDUCTION OF COST OF THE TOTAL STAY
- CANCELLATION 03 – 00 DAYS PRIOR TO DATE OF ARRIVAL WILL BE CHARGED 100% OF THE COST OF THE STAY
- IF CANCELLATION IS MADE 15 DAYS PRIOR TO DATE OF ARRIVAL FUNDS WILL BE REFUNDED IN FULL OR THEY CAN CHANGE TO A TRIP ON A LATER DATE.
- IF ONE OR TWO ANGLERS ON A TRIP WITH SIX ANGLERS CANCELS THEIR TRIP ONE DAY BEFORE THE START OF THE TRIP DUE TO BEING COVID POSITIVE, AND PROVIDED THE TRIP GOES AHEAD, (A MINIMUM OF FOUR PAX CONSTITUTES A TRIP) THEY WILL BE REFUNDED THEIR MONIES IN FULL.
- WITH REGARDS THE CANCELLATION OF INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, PLEASE GET YOUR TRAVEL AGENT TO CONFIRM THE POLICY DETAILS OF THE RELAVANT AIRLINE AND TO ARRANGE FOR THE MOST APPROPRIATE TRAVEL INSURANCE TO COVER YOU FROM ANY LOSS.
TRAVELLING TO/FROM TO THE MALDIVES
Please Note: All the trips start and end in Male’ with the boat departing at 10am at the start of the trip and arriving back in Male’ at 6pm at the conclusion of each trip.
International Flights – arrivals/departures to/from Male’
With regards to folk flying great distances from USA, Canada, Alaska it is advisable to arrive in Male’ the day before the start of the trip and stay the night in a small hotel/B&B on Hulhumale Island. (Near the Airport)
For guests coming from Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa there are several flights that will arrive in Male before 08.00 on the morning of the start of a trip. Please note that it normally takes about an hour to clear customs and your arrival/ departure times must take into account the boat departure and arrival time as above.
In due course I will send you flight plans as soon as they become available.
MALDIVIAN TOURIST VISAS
All guest will be issued with a tourist visa on entering the country with a valid passport.
PACKING LIST, FLIES AND GEAR
I have attached a packing list which is comprehensive.
Stripping baskets will be supplied for those wanting them.
I carry a stock of flies that guests can purchase on a need-to-have basis. I will also carry a stock of spare fly lines should the need arise.
Maldives is a Muslim country and no alcohol is permitted to be brought into the country. Guests can however buy alcohol which will only be available on the boat.
Should you require any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
PACKING LIST- 2023 MALDIVES FLY FISHING TRIPS
PLEASE NOTE: No alcohol is allowed to be brought into the Maldives by visitors as it is a Muslim country. Alcohol can only be purchased at resorts and on charter boats.
Tackle and accessory list
It is important to keep your baggage down to the bare essentials. With Air Emirates there is a weight limit of 20 kilograms per person on the international flights.
PLEASE NOTE: Please do not carry your reels, backing or fly lines onto the plane as these have previously been confiscated at Dubai International Airport. Pack these items with your luggage that is stowed in the aircraft’s hold.
The checklist below is comprehensive and we suggest you do not pack items that may be unnecessary.
- CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES:
The weather will be hot and you will be fishing for most of your time. So keep your clothing to a minimum.
- Travel and overnight clothes: keep to the minimum
- 1 Pair of shorts and 2 x Tee-shirts
- Flyfishing shirts x 2: Cotton UV proof and long sleeves
- Flyfishing pants x2: Longs or zip-offs and UV proof
- Lycra shorts to prevent salt chaffing and gunnel bum
- Flats wading boots with gravel guards: Must be hard soled
- Socks: wool or neoprene
- Fly fishing gloves or sun gloves
- Sunglasses x 2: polarised with neck strap
- Lens tissues for camera and sun glasses
- Buff/sun gaiter- UV proof – essential
- Flats wader pack or backpack with hydration bladder or water bottles
- Light weight rain jacket
- Camera plus spares (220 Volts power available on the boat to recharge batteries)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Personal first aid kit: just the minimum
- Toiletries, including bath soap
- Energy bars
- Zip locks
- Waist pack
- Tape measure
- Line snips
- Hook remover
- Multi tool
- Reel oil
- 10 x clothes pegs
- cable ties
- Finger guards: optional
- Valid passport
- Copy of passport ID
- Copy of your Covid-19 Vaccination certificate
- Airline E-ticket
- Travel and medical rescue insurance
- Cash in USD (USD 700 normally sufficient)
You are going to one of the better flyfishing destinations in the world where you are likely to encounter big and strong fish that will test your equipment to the limit, so buy the best equipment that you can afford.
HIRE GEAR -Please note: We do offer the option of hiring a 9 wt. and 12 wt. reel/rod/ line combinations at R150per day.
When packing rods, avoid individual rod tubes. Rather pack them in a lightweight robust multi-rod holder.
3.1. Rods, Reels and Line
Flats fishing for Bonefish, Triggerfish and smaller kingfish species
- Rods: 2 x 9 weight 9 foot
- Reel: To match rod. Must be sturdy with a smooth drag
- Backing: 150 – 200 yards of 30 LB Dacron
- Fly lines: 1 x 9 or 10wt floating line with saltwater taper
1 x 9 or 1wt floating line with intermediate wet tip -queries to Ben
Giant Trevally (GT), Great Barracuda and Snappers
- Rods: 2 x 12 weight 9 foot
- Reels: To match rods. Must be sturdy with smooth drag and palming spool.
- Backing: At least two hundred yards of 50 LB Dacron or Gelspun
- Fly lines: 2 x 12 weight floating lines with intermediate sinking tips – queries to Ben
3.2. Terminal Tackle
Flats Fishing (Bonefish, Triggerfish, and small Kingfish):
I recommend that you make up your own leaders to suit the conditions and situation at any particular time. For this I suggest the following:
Maxima Ultragreen. 17 kg
Berkley Trilene Fluro: 15 kg, 11 kg and 9 kg.
For targeting the big Kingfish (Trevally) and other species on your 12 weight outfits we recommend the following:
Zippy Sufix 46 kg
Most anglers have their personal choice of flies, which they will bring. However the flies listed below have been used in these waters with great success. I will always have a stock of these flies on hand that you can purchase on a need –to-have basis during the trip. Before spending unnecessary money on flies please contact Ben for advice.
3.3.1. Giant Kingfish (GT) and Great Barracuda
- Poppers and Gurglers. 6/0 to 10/0
- Sin Profiles. 5/0 to 8/0 (chartreuse, shades of green/olive, greys, purple/black,)
- Sempers: 5/0 to 8/0 (black, tan, olive, shades of green)
- Baitfsh: 4/0 (silversides, glassies, mullet)
3.3.2. Bluefin Trevally and Snappers
- Sin Clousers: 1/0 and 2/0 (grey/white; tan/white; olive/white; shrimp/white.)
- 3.3. Triggerfish
- Ufudu ghost crabs #2 and 2/0 (Tan)
- Flexo Crabs in white and Tan #2,4 and 6
- Flexo Crabs in whit and tan size# 4 and 6
- Crazy Charlies: # 4 ( tan over white; olive over white and brown over white)
Gotchas: # 4 ( tan)
YOUR HOST: BEN PRETORIUS – WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM HIM
It must be stated upfront that I do not tease, trawl or chum for fish.
Since 2008 I have hosted more than 35 live- aboard fly fishing trips to the northern and southern atolls of the Maldives hosting a maximum of seven fly anglers on each trip.
During my extensive travels to the north and south atolls, I have discovered many islands, sand banks and surf zones that have produced some of the biggest GTs, triggerfish, barracuda and bluefin trevally ever caught on fly in the Maldives
In the Maldives 99% of the fly fishing is sight casting to fish and the ability to see fish early is but one critical skill to be successful. Other essential skills are the ability to strip at the right speed, the ability to make quick, accurate and at times long casts.
As you host, I will assist guests with the following:
- Travel logistics
- Boat accommodation and dietary requirements
- All matters related to tackle set up and fly choice
- Safety precautions
- Where and when to fish
- Fly fishing tactics
- Stripping and casting advice
- I will make every effort to upskill guests where needed during the trip and help them spot fish but the rest is up to the skills or lack thereof of the angler.
- With regards to the practise of blind casting in the surf zone I wish to make it clear that, conditions permitting, I strongly promote the practise of casting to sighted fish only and will assist any guest to spot fish if they choose to fish this way (two anglers on the flats and one in the surf zone)
- If a guest however choses to blind cast (normally only in the surf zone) I will advise him of the best tactics and the timing of his casts, but will not fish with him.
In conclusion, I will always attempt to up-skill anglers where necessary and in so doing improve their catch rate .