Film Review: Milkfish Fly Fishing Discovery and Exploration in Chanos Chanos


Occasionally a fly fishing film surfaces that triggers feelings of excitement, a desire to explore, and pushes an already high level of enthusiasm into overdrive. Chanos Chanos is such a film.

It is no secret that The Venturing Angler has a soft spot for exploration. And for saltwater lovers, there’s perhaps no better place to provoke saltwater stoke than The Seychelles. Years ago, I worked for a fly fishing magazine that was allegedly the first to feature a milkfish on the fly cover photo. Admittedly, I was suspicious of this cover shot, and I was not the only one. And a few months ago, when I saw that Austin Trayser was posting milkfish photos, my doubts remained. After all, milkfish cannot be caught on the fly … right? Wrong.

In Chanos Chanos, several South African veterans of the flats of The Seychelles take on milkfish on the fly and encounter great success. The film starts with several already iconic images from The Seychelles: perfect flats, backpack-wearing anglers with two rods (just in case), and board shorts and sky camo shirts. They explain it took two seasons of effort on the flats to finally find a channel that they call, “Nirvana.” And after swinging bonefish flies through Nirvana, the outcome was glorious.

Throughout the film, Austin Trayser, Jako Lucas, and the gang from Off The Grid Studios capture phenomenal footage of fly fishing for milkfish. Anglers are filmed sight fishing for massive milkfish and the action is explosive … literally. Milkfish are captured cruising, approaching flies, tailing, and blasting the surface when both feeding and giving anglers the ride of a lifetime once hooked up.

And with no shortage of extraordinary angling action, this film goes above highlighting the glory of Nirvana and beyond — Chanos Chanos is also educational, even including an animated scene that details the specie. From behavior to physique, viewers are treated to the lowdown on milkfish in addition to some most thrilling milkfish fly fishing action ever to be captured on film. In every regard, Chanos Chanos is excellent.

To check out more from Off The Grid Studios, please click here.

And to purchase Chanos Chanos, please click here.

– Tim Harden

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