Cocos Keeling Island, Australia
Cocos Keeling Island is fast emerging as Australia’s most exciting fly fishing destination
Cocos Keeling Island, a stunning tropical atoll in the Indian Ocean, is located a little over five hours from Perth. The main attraction on this 14km sq lagoon are the massive bonefish, with specimens in excess of 70cm a regular feature. Fish over a metre long are often sighted and are a serious possibility. Permit, triggerfish, milkfish, and big giant trevally are among the many other species to target here.
The big bonefish of Cocos Island
Expect to find bonefish averaging four to six pounds, with plenty much bigger than this, and a good chance to encounter a real monster. The fishery also offers three main species of trevally. Up in the skinny water small golden trevally haunt the same grounds as bonefish. Out on the reefy edges, bluefin trevally are common and can often be seen from a distance as their electric blue glows in the sunlight. Finally, big giant trevally can turn up anywhere, anytime. If you want the chance the wrestle with one of these island brutes, we suggest you bring the heavy gear along.
There are several species of triggerfish here, but of most interest to the travelling fly fisher are the yellow margins and mighty titans. These fish inhabit the reefy edges and flats but will also occasionally sneak in over the sand for a feed. These fish are super shy, very fussy and once hooked, have a very bad attitude! Then there are the silver bullets. Take your average silver biddy then jack him up on steroids and you have what the locals fondly call the “silvery”. These fish inhabit and feed along the same flats as the bonefish and provide a welcome bend in the rod between the bonefish chaos. If you’re looking for some fun bring along the light gear and have a blast.
Permit also inhabit the lagoon in small schools and can occasionally be seen alongside bonefish whilst grazing over the grassy flats. Numbers of permit are not huge, but are strong enough to provide a very real chance of an encounter. Anything is possible, so be ready for some surprises.
Accommodation in a stunning colonial house
Accommodation for fisherman is on Home Island at the stunning Oceania House, one of the most important heritage buildings in the Indian Ocean territories. Built in 1887, as the ancestral home of the Clunies-Ross family, this magnificent house is located within the surrounds of a 12 acre botanical garden, only metres from the edge of the lagoon and a short walk from the Cocos-Malay Kampgong.
The typically colonial house is majestically finished with wood panelling and furnished with beautiful antiques that complement the building and complete the old-world, colonial setting. Oceania House offers a truly luxurious way to wind down after a day on the flats. There are four bedrooms, each decorated with its own unique style.
Getting to Cocos Keeling Island
Situated 2,750km northwest of Perth, the Cocos Keeling Islands are a group of coral islands that form two atolls. Only two of the 27 islands are inhabited – the rest are waiting for you to explore them.
There are two flights a week on Virgin Australia from Perth, although the return leg stops at Christmas Island (Indian Ocean).