Tahiti, An Indo-Pacific Fishing Paradise

Anglers travel to flyfish the beautiful reefs and flats of Anaa Atoll, located within French Polynesia.

December 5, 2017
Tahiti, An Indo-Pacific Fishing Paradise

A part of French Polynesia, Anaa Atoll sits in the south Pacific Ocean between Mexico and New Zealand.

map showing anaa atoll
Anaa Atoll Courtesy Google Earth

Sure, “Tahiti” may conjure visions of an island paradise where nubile island maidens cavort ala Mutiny on the Bounty, but for angling enthusiasts, this part of French Polynesia offers visions of a very different sort of paradise — stunning, white-sand flats and rugged reefs teeming with game fish. Anaa Atoll, just over 200 miles east of Tahiti, offers the best of this idyllic fishery. Gavin Hodgson of has provided SF with 19 images that offer a compelling visual tableau.

Bohar snapper — aka “red bass” in Australia — are a common catch of anglers fishing the reef. These toothy Indo-Pacific snapper are one of the most aggressive game fishes among all species of snapper.

big bohar snapper
Bohar snapper Courtesy

Paradise: Crystal-clear sand flats, pristine islands and, beyond, a stunning reef system.

Paradise Courtesy

Most flyrodders here wade the white-sand flats for bonefish like this one.

bonefish anaa atoll
Bonefish Courtesy

Nothing lights up an angler’s face like seeing a bluefin trevally crush a fly just below the surface.

bluefin trevally
Bluefin Trevally Courtesy

Tidal fluctuation is very slight. Sandbars appear and disappear each day.

sabdbar anaa atoll
Lonely, endless beaches Courtesy

The weekly flight from Tahiti flies into the small community Airport of Anaa.

plane anaa tahiti
Unloading at the community airport, Anaa Atoll Courtesy

The Napoleon wrasse, also known as a humphead wrasse, can grow upward of a few hundred pounds. Even relative babies like this one are known for breaking anglers off in the reef.

humphead wrasse anaa atoll
Napoleon wrasse Courtesy

Fly fishing the reefs at Anaa Atoll will allow you to catch a mixed bag of fish, like this colorful Napoleon wrasse.

fly fishing wrasse anaa atoll
Napoleon wrasse Courtesy

Distinct markings and vibrant colors help the wrasse blend in with the reef.

markings on wrasse anaa atoll
Napoleon wrasse Courtesy

On occasion, Anaa flyfishers take some time to venture outside the reef for some vertical jigging , a productive tactic for targeting large reef predators, such as this hard-fighting dogtooth tuna.

dogtooth tuna anaa atoll
Dogtooth tuna Courtesy

Bohar snapper of trophy proportions wait on the reef for skiff anglers.

bohar snapper anaa atoll
Bohar snapper Courtesy

Anglers wander exposed reef, searching for big fish and covering the likely cuts where they might work.

exposed reef anaa atoll
Exposed reef Courtesy

A stunning coral trout, an impressive catch from Anna’s northern tip.

coral trout anaa atoll
Coral trout Courtesy

Waiting for the sun to emerge through the clouds, these anglers wade slowly looking for any signs of fish.

overcast wading flats anaa atoll
Wading the flats Courtesy

A blind cast produces a surprise flounder, this one striking a large streamer as it passed a deep spot on the reef.

fly fishing flounder anaa atoll
Flounder Courtesy

Bonefish can be taken off the flats with a stealthy approach and a small fly.

bonefish anaa atoll
Bonefish Courtesy

Large Bluefin trevally lurk around the reefs here in Anaa and may quickly snatch up a fast-moving fly.

bluefin trevally
Bluefin trevally Courtesy

Anaa Atoll accommodations are simple, clean, and most importantly, idyllic.

anaa atoll accommodations
Anaa Atoll Courtesy

Gavin Hodgson of, getting up-close and personal with the business end of a large snapper.

snapper anaa atoll
Toothy snapper Courtesy

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