The northern Wessel Islands are one of the most remote, untouched and truly unique saltwater fly fishing destinations left anywhere in the world. This region was first Fly fished in 2018, and the results were spectacular.
With beautiful sandy bays, beaches and an array of flats home to large Indo-Pacific permit (both T.anak and T.blochii), the iconic Australian Blue Bastard, and an array of saltwater species, the Wessel experience is capped off aboard the magnificent Phoenix One - 5-star 115ft luxury yacht.
Located in the remote East Arnhem land of the Northern Territory you will fly to Nhulunbuy before boarding the Phoenix One and steaming north overnight, to the far reaches of the Wessel Islands chain in the Arafura Sea. Nhulunbuy is home to the Yolngu People, traditional owners of the land and waters of Northeast Arnhem land, steeped in Aboriginal culture, stories and traditions.
The southern waters of the Wessel Islands chain are different to those in the north, lined with mangrove creeks holding large numbers of Barramundi, Mangrove Jack and some deeper flats systems.
In addition to Permit and Blue Bastards, there are Tusk fish, Queenfish, Giant Trevally, Diamond and Golden Trevally, Brassy Trevally, Longtail Tuna and an array of reef species to target on fly. It is a hidden gem on the world stage.
- Both Indo-Pacific Permit species in excellent numbers
- The iconic Australian Blue Bastard was formally identified in 2015
- Phoenix One is a 115m Super Yacht
- Wessel Islands extends 120kms north-east from the Napier Peninsula
- The Island group lies within the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve
The Phoenix One is a beautifully appointed ship with crew, chef, waitress, skipper and first mate who will provide an unforgettable week of luxury fly fishing. The meals and premium drinks provided in the dining room, bar and outdoor lounge areas are all included in the weekly rate. There is also a communal lounge, upper deck and spa to relax at the end of the day, with a selection of fine staterooms available all with a private en-suite, daily housekeeping and laundry services.
Foxtel Satellite television is available in most rooms and lounge area, Wi-Fi available within range of Nhulunbuy, emergency satellite phone available for use, as well as AIS satellite location tracking and VHF and HF radios equipped on board with extensive medical facilities.
Three course evening meals include freshly caught seafood such as tuna, lobster, oysters, barramundi and wild prawns while fine cuts of meat such as pork belly and kangaroo are served throughout the week. Matched with fine Australian and New Zealand wines and beers, premium sprits are also available from the open bar and cellar. Breakfast includes fruit platters, freshly brewed coffee, cereals and cooked menu options.
The fly fishing opportunities daily are quite endless. Fishing 2:1 with your guide on a shared skiff basis there are a huge amount of waters, bays, flats and beaches to fish during your time there. With three skiffs in operation, there is more than enough water to cover, all within short 5-15 minute runs from the mothership, to maximise your fishing time each day. Packed lunches are taken out daily or you have the options of returning to the Phoenix for lunch.
The Galeforce 4.8m Dories are perfect for fly fishing with casting deck and electric motors on the bow for a stealthy approach on the flats and island edges. At the stern, they are each powered by 70hp Yamaha engines and marine radios to keep in contact with the other guides and anglers throughout the day.
All species including Permit and Blue Bastards can be sight-casted targeted from the skiffs over the vast flats which range from 2-5 feet deep, interlined with deeper channels, some reef structure and adjacent islands in each bay. These large fish are very strong and provide excellent and challenging sport on ten weight outfits, with both available in excess of 10kgs.
With good visibility, some of these flats and sand-spits can be waded on foot or you can fish from the pristine sand beaches in bare feet to stalk Permit, Bastards, Queenfish and some GT’s. Well-presented shrimps and crabs work well, in conjunction with smooth drag systems, tropical floating and sink-tip lines.
Around the rocky headlands and shores of each Island, you will also find Brassy Trevally to 10kg’s which very similar to a GT provide great sport. On the backs of Sharks and Rays, you can often cast to dozens of fish, all willing to pounce on your fly and provide non-stop action. Coral Trout and the elusive green Tusk Fish can also be sight casted in and amongst the coral reef systems while out wide schools of Long Tail tuna do move through the region.
The Phoenix One will be moored in the northern bays for the majority of the week before changing anchorage down south on the final evening to chase Barramundi and mangrove species on the final day. All steaming in the mothership is done in the evenings and at night to ensure a full 6 days fly fishing. Ideal tides are either side of the low which will provide great water to sight-fish all week.
On booking you will be provided with a full and comprehensive pre-trip guide to ensure you are well prepared both on and off the water.
The rates for this destination vary throughout the season. We offer the best available rates for this destination and do not charge for our service. By calling we are able to tailor a package to specifically suit your requirements at the best available rate. As we have offices in both the United Kingdom and Australia we can also ensure you are being quoted in your local currency. Please enquire for the latest rates and availability, including information on any applicable special offers and group discounts.
CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL OFFICE
CONTACT OUR AUSTRALIAN OFFICE
Travel time from Cairns (Queensland) or Darwin (Northern Territory) in Australia is around 60-90 minutes by charter plane daily.
On arrival into Nhulunbuy (Gove) you will be transferred to the Phoenix One before steaming to the fishing grounds overnight, as you settle in and prepare. Connecting flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are all available daily for same day-travel, however we do recommend an overnight stay in Cairns, Darwin or Nhulunbuy to mitigate against any flight delays.