Trigger Warning: Cracking the Code on Alphonse Island

“Nah, these won’t do for triggers,” says Keith Rose-Innes, thumbing through my box of stainless steel bonefish flies. “They’ll bite right through that.”

Rose-Innes, who was among the first to pioneer flyfishing in the Seychelles, knows from experience the power of our target species for the week: triggerfish. A box of green-and-white crab flies on a shelf are made with special-order tungsten hooks. He pulls it down and hands me a few.

We’re standing in the fly shop of Alphonse Island Resort. The weekly flight from Mahe, the largest island in the Seychelles, has just swapped out clients, and the shop is bubbling with anglers and guides rigging up for the days ahead. Hundred-pound leader is being pulled from spools and backing knots are under scrutiny. Repeat clients laugh and reminisce with veteran guides and first-timers like me stand quietly and wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Accents from England, America, Turkey, South Africa and the Czech Republic are echoing off the walls at an excited pitch.

Outside is a mosaic of a giant trevally made from washed-up flip-flops. The intimidating fish is watching over scuba divers who have just come in for the day. They’re chatting about manta rays and spraying down wet suits next to soggy wading boots. A slight scent of neoprene is on the breeze blowing in from across the bay…

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