Albany Island – Cape York, Australia with Gil Greenberg

Albany Island – Cape York, Australia with Gil Greenberg

Why Australia? 

According to Lefty, Australia boasts without a doubt, the best light tackle, saltwater fly fishing on the planet. Well, we happen to agree! Australia, particularly the tropical north is home to a vast array of species, willing to take a well presented fly. 

Compared to the flats of Florida or the Caribbean, where you can chase bonefish, permit and tarpon, aussie flats are home to golden trevally, GT, blue bastards, black spot tuskfish, milkfish, spangled emperor, and not one, but 2 species of true permit, anak, and blochii. All of these fish can be stalked from a poled skiff in 1 to 3 feet of water. Though all of these fish may inhabit the same reef system, their individual preferences for habitat and food sources make targeting each specific species a challenge. While their habits and patterns – how and when they come onto the various flats has been documented thoroughly over the years by dedicated saltwater fly fisherman, only in the past decade have anglers really started to develop right presentations matched with the correct flies to catch these fish with consistency.

Sight fishing the flats may be the pinnacle of saltwater fishing downunder, estuary and tidal creek fishing is not to be overlooked. While Florida Everglades, Chesapeake bay, and Louisiana’s marshes might provide fantastic fishing opportunities, they really don’t stack up very well against those found downunder. Simply the fish in Australian waters are just badass. Barramundi, the local favorite, can best be thought of as a snook with roid rage. They grow to over 50lbs, and fish over 1.5m are caught annually. They can be caught using a variety of different methods, with “snag bashing” being a local favorite. Your guide will pole you along the edges of mangroves as you pick apart the pockets between the roots. As the tide drops baitfish and prawns get sucked out of the thick mangrove systems and are violently ambushed by waiting barramundi. With the right timing, guide will station you within proximity of “drains”, small channels in which the retreating tidal water drains into as it pulls back into the main channels and creeks. While the phenomenon may only last a couple minutes, schools of bait and prawns are funneled into a small choke point where hundreds of waiting barramundi lie ready to devour them. In addition to barramundi, permit, golden trevally, GT, queenfish, grunter, bream and mangrove jack (mangrove snapper) can all be targeted along the mudflats, sandbars and shoals of Queenslands tropical estuaries. 

After reading the paragraphs above, you may believe that I am a little biased as to where the best fishing on the planet really is. Well, you’re not wrong! I wet my teeth fly fishing the flats of Queensland’s east coast during my time studying marine biology at James Cook University. During this time, I met my fishing partner, Brad Morris who is now the head guide at Albany Island fishing lodge. Brad is without a doubt, one of the most skilled small craft captains I have ever fished with, a hardcore angler and all round solid person. Three years ago, Brad and I spoke about what destination would be best to highlight the uniqueness of Australia’s tropical saltwater fishing and we both agreed Albany Island would be the perfect place. 

Located just kilometers away from the tip of cape york (the most northern point on mainland australia), Albany Island is a private island surrounded by reef flats, small islands and the rugged coastline of eastern Cape York. While most anglers stick to the west side of the cape, out of fear of high winds, Brad and his team have developed a seasonal fishing program where for a few weeks each year they able to tuck in and out of islands and bays, offering anglers a chance to fish remote, completely unpressured flats. Fishing is done out of “Fly caster” boats, that can be best described as a cross between a boston whaler and a traditional poling skiff. These boats were built for the cape and are able to handle open while maintaining a shallow draft. Gear wise, 9wt and 10wt rods, lined with aggressive tapered floating and intermediate lines, with plenty of backing are standard. Sinking lines and heavier rods can be used for dredging reefs for big GT, pelagics such as tuna and spanish mackerel and bottomfish such as coral trout, and snapper.

The lodge itself is built on an old oyster facility and can hold up to 8 angler. It consists of a sleeping quarters as well as a beachfront communal main structure for meals and post fishing snacks and drinks. Albany islands has always prided itself on the culinary experience. Guests are served fresh seafood daily cooked islander style, unless otherwise requested. Meat and non seafood options are available.  Please let us know beforehand if you have any dietary restrictions.

Trip Dates

October 26 November 3
Total Days: 8


Barramundi, Blue Bastards, Mac Tuna, Mangrove Jack, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Permit, Queenfish


$4900 USD per person (double occupancy)/person

Group Size

5 Guests

Meet Your Host

Gillie Greenberg

The aptly named Gillie Greenberg, known by friends as Gil, has always felt most at home when on the water. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, he spent his summer’s bass fishing with his uncle and father. At age 18, Gil bought his first fly rod to experiment with on his family’s annual walleye trip. Armed with the knowledge one gains from watching hundreds of YouTube videos, Gil managed to land a handful of pike on his first morning with a fly rod. Just like many great fly fishermen before him, he was instantly hooked on the fly.

Upon finishing his military service a few years later, Gil moved to Australia to study marine biology at James Cook University, located on the Great Barrier Reef. Gil became obsessed with fly fishing as a way of life and ended up spending more time on the flats than in the classroom. It was a steep learning curve, but with the help of his fishing partner, Brad Morris and local fishing club, the NQ Fly Fishers, he became quite an angler.

By combining fly fishing with marine biology Gil has been granted access to contacts and locations that most anglers can only dream about. In 2015, he was offered a job by the German government to gather fisheries data as part of the Choiseul Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation project. The project was located hundreds of miles away from civilization in a remote corner of the Solomon Islands. Spending a season off the grid and living off the sea solidified his dedication to fishing as a lifestyle. In total, Gil has fly fished over 20 countries, spanning 5 continents. He brings experience, passion, and leadership to the MidCurrent Travel team.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Land in Sydney/Brisbane fly to cairns. Spend evening at hotel.

Day 2

Fly from Cairns to Seisia, Transfer via ferry to Albany island. Fish the island flats.

Days 3-6

Fish the Islands of the Torres Strait, and Cape York’s East Coast.

Day 7

Pack up and fly back to Cairns/Sydney.

Day Extra

Please let us know if you wish to extend your trip and add a second destination. Gil highly recommends booking a week in Tasmania or New Zealand. Both offer fantastic trout fishing, and are quite accessible once in Australia. For the saltwater purist, breaking up the trip home with a stop in CXI, the Solomon Islands, Aitutaki or Fiji is also possible.

The Albany Island – Cape York, Australia with Gil Greenberg Experience

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