If you haven’t had the pleasure of fishing with him, you might have seen Alex Quatre of Alphonse Fishing Company in the film Cosmo. One of the most experienced guides in the Seychelles is this issue’s High Fives guide.
5 best destinations where you guide?
- St François Atoll is good for the bonefishing. There’s a lot of life for the bonefish.
- Cosmoledo, mostly for GT fishing.
- St Joseph Atoll for permit fishing.
- Farquhar for bumpies and big GTs. Big GTs.
- Astove mostly for triggers on the east side, going to North Point. Also, in the lagoon, when the water is milky, there is good permit fishing.
5 of the most difficult guiding/teaching experiences so far?
- When you see a nice fish on the white sand, in fact the only black thing on the sand, and you tell the guest, “There’s a black GT on the white sand!” and he says he doesn’t see it.
- Casting on a fish. When you tell the guest to cast a metre away from the fish and he puts the fly on its head. It just doesn’t work.
- Asking the guest, “Do you know the clock system on a skiff?”, and they say they know it well, 12, 9, 10, 11, etc. Then, when you see a fish and tell them “Nine o’clock!” but your guest is looking at three o’clock and can’t see the fish. This is very frustrating.
- When you get a new guide in for training and you spend a week trying to explain to him how to do something. Then two weeks later he asks you how to do that very same thing because he didn’t write anything down. I don’t have time to babysit for the whole season.
- When you tell a guide that you’re making a move to a specific area and just, “Give me a wide berth on the water of at least 150m.” He moves away, but the next thing you look and he’s 10m away from you, checking you out, spooking your fish. Then he comes at the end of the day and asks, “How did it go today?” Also, when you’re shadow-guiding a new guide and you tell them it’s time to move and they tell you they are still waiting. I find that difficult, because I know they are standing in a desert. On the sea, we look for fish, we don’t look for camels.
5 fish on your bucket list?
- Tarpon. 100%. It doesn’t have to be huge. I just want to hook one of those things and make it jump and tail walk. I want to see it with my own eyes and take it off my list.
- Like I said, I want to pick up a marlin. A blue marlin. I don’t want a 500kg marlin. I’d like something that can teach me a lesson, like a 150kg fish that I can put next to a boat and have a photo with. I’m planning to do this in December when I am back home. Go for a run, a couple of beers, take a friend to drive my boat while I tease up a marlin.
- Atlantic salmon.
- I want to catch a rainbow trout. I know it’s going to be hard for me to trout set because most of my time fly fishing I have been strip striking.
My last five casts were to GTs on Farquhar just before the season closed. I was helping a guide find his way around and he was poling for a bit. He poled me into a good position, I made a good cast, the fly landed right, I started stripping and then, as soon as the fish was about to eat the fly, I missed the strip. As guides we are pros at what we do, but we also make mistakes. We might get grumpy with the guests because they miss the strip or trout set, but sometimes we do the same things.
Alex also features in Yeti’s film “Cosmo”.
Read the rest in issue 40. It’s free!