Before, during or after your fishing holidays: Food & Wine Tours, Active packs, Wellness-spa, helicopter flights, photo safaris and cultural tours.
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The rivers of the Spanish Pyrenees, while being varied in style, all have the common theme of challenging wild trout in spectacular surroundings
Patrick Senior (Bristol, UK)
The Pyrenees extends for about 267 miles from the Bay of Biscay in the west to the Mediterranean Sea on the eastern coast of the peninsula. They are about 100 miles wide in the central area
Wild and unspoiled, the Pyrenees is home to innumerable rivers and glacial lakes populated with wild trout.
You will find a massive territory, impressive mountains, stunning scenarios and friendly people.
The southern slopes of the Pyrenees include Navarre, the province of Huesca in Aragon and the provinces of Lleida and Gerona in Catalonia.
The small tax-free country of Andorra is between Spain and France.
The northern slopes of the Pyrenees extend from Aquitaine on the Atlantic coast to Rosellón in the eastern Pyrenees.
After several years of studying both sides of the Pyrenees, SALVELINUS opted for the southern or Spanish side. The choice was based on diversity of waters, climate and the local authorities´ support for catch and release.
For those thinking of planning a fishing holiday in the Pyrenees, the most interesting areas for trout are on the southern slopes, in north-eastern Navarre, northern Aragon and north-western Catalonia.
The western part of this extensive area is considered one of the most pristine areas in Western Europe. There are very few areas in the world with such an enormous variety of climates, altitudes and landscapes than this region.
SALVELINUS operates from two different bases so as to cover locations in both the western and eastern Pyrenees.
The Pyrenees include peaks over 10,000 feet: Aneto (3.404 m), Posets (3.375 m), Monte Perdido (3.355 m) and Vignemale (3.298 m), small glaciers, lakes and cirques of glacial origin and a tremendous range of valleys and canyons.
There are the impressive granite ridges of Maladetas and Balaitus, the deep valleys of Ordesa National Park and the extensive native forests of the western valleys of Ansó, Echo and Aragüés, where our Santa Cilia Fishing Lodge is located.
Deeper into the towering mountains and above the 7700ft tree line, you emerge from the mountain pine forests, the valley opening up before you to reveal a lake of vivid turquoise fringed by haphazard wild flowers of almost every color imaginable. Before you´ve had a chance to string up your rod, good sized browns are spotted from higher ground as they languidly cruise along lake margins and drop-offs making for perfect sight fishing fodder
Marcus Janssen (Stamford, UK) Editor at Fieldsports
Typical high mountain streams with large rocks and rapids
These are the typical high mountain streams for fly fishing and feature fast waters, large rocks and boulders and small deep pools where big trout lurk.
The further you go up Pyrenean valleys the more high mountain streams you find. They make for thrilling fishing.
At present, fly fishing the high mountain lakes known as "lacs", "ibones" or "estanys" depending on where you are in the Pyrenees (and wich languaje is used in the area), is hardly ever practised in Spain.
2.512 high mountain lakes have been identified and catalogued. Some are totally or partially frozen 9 months a year which creates incredibly hard conditions for the resident trout, and brook trout population.
These lakes are so remote that the access is via a 2 to 6 hour hike or by helicopter.
Countless hours spent scouting and exploring many of the high mountain lakes enable us to guide our guest to the most productive areas to fish.
Smooth waters, full of food for trout, selective trout and sight fishing are the four features that sum up spring creeks.
They are very few and far between in the Pyrenees so visiting anglers really appreciate the opportunity.
“We saw more trout than I thought possible. I still can´t forget it. I didn´t catch a single trout on my first day at that pool where they were rising. Trout at least 55 cm (20 inch) long.”
Antonio Cruellas. (Fraga, SPAIN)
These are ideal fly fishing waters and there are many of them in the Pyrenees.
They are very comfortable to fish. These waters display pebble strewn beds, alternating pools and rapids. We are talking about rivers that –on average– are from 15 to 25 meters wide.
The lakes and reservoirs in the middle area of these mountains are home to the biggest native trout.
Specimens of over 5 kilos (11 pounds) are hooked and landed every year and trophy fish tipping the scales at 9 kilos or 20 pounds have been caught.
Trout this size feed on other fish, small mammals and large nymphs that are brought in by inlet waters.
Float tubes and boats can be used on certain reservoirs for those interested in hooking the fish of a lifetime.
“The low country rivers were pristine and fished well with steady hookups throughout the day. I was quite surprised by the size of the fish that I was able to hook and land, most were much bigger that I had anticipated.”
Marc Deloux. (Memphis, USA)
Comfortable wading waters with long glides and pools summarize angling in the lower stretches of the majority of Pyrenean rivers. The average depth varies from 65 cm to 2 meters and the average temperature is between 11ºC to 17 ºC (51 to 62 F)
SALVELINUS has access to 14 big rivers in the Pyrenees that house big trout. It is extremely important to know when to fish and what flies to use.
These waters have certain specific features that make them different to other trout waters. The stable water level and temperature produce vast populations of aquatic insects which produce a healthy population of trout
The average size of trout in these waters is superior to that of fish from other rivers. This habitat and the quality of the water produce 55 cm ( 22 inches) long fish who spend a great deal of their time surface feeding
A real challenge for fly fishing anglers in the Pyrenees.