Before, during or after your fishing holidays: Food & Wine Tours, Active packs, Wellness-spa, helicopter flights, photo safaris and cultural tours.
2013-2014 & 2016 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
The opportunity to catch "striped" brown trout (zebra trout) in their native streams was especially exciting for this wild-trout nut, but I also enjoyed the rainbows, "regular" browns, and even brook trout.
Phil Monahan. Freelance Writer and Editor. (New York, USA)
Zebra brown trout
Striped (Zebra) native Pyrenees Trout are as fast as Yamame Trout, maybe more!
Fly Fisher Japan Magazine. JAPAN
The zebra trout -which is present in the Pyrenean waters of the Ebro drainage basin- is also known as the striped trout.
The zebra trout is easily recognized thanks to its four dark stripes which, provide perfect camouflage when seen from above over the background of a pebble and rock strewn river bed. It is also slightly paler than other trout species. Of course, food and habitat also play an important role in the color and markings of members of the trout family
SALVELINUS guides have remarked on the ability of the “zebra trout” to make the color of its body, especially its stripes lighter or darker in a matter of minutes.
This trait has been observed in saltwater fish but has no scientific backing in the case of freshwater fish. Nevertheless SALVELINUS has posted several videos on YouTube where this change can be observed.
Zebra trout have lived in Pyrenean waters for countless generations and are supremely adapted to their habitat.
A constant feature in upland streams is the upsurge in water level especially due to flash floods. As a result “zebra trout” have developed disproportionally large pectoral fins.
“Zebra trout” are known for their fast selective strikes. The rise and refusal is often so fast that the angler is misled into thinking that the trout is ignoring his fly. The angler should match his speed to that of the trout and strike faster.
Its fighting ability has led experts to claim that a 27cm (11 inches) long zebra trout fights as much as a 40 cm. (16 inches) long brown trout.
In big Pyrenean rivers especially in the lower stretches, they have been known to reach 6 kilos (12/13 pounds.) Exceptional specimens have tipped the scales at 9 kilos or approximately 20 pounds!
Specimens of up to 10 kilos or 22 pounds have been caught in reservoirs.
Once it grows to weigh 2•5 kilos approximately five and a half pounds a “zebra trout” evolves into a ferocious predator feeding mainly on fish, crayfish and large underwater insects.
A real challenge for the trophy hunter.
What a great trip to be capped off by a great brown. Thanks so much!
Rob Guarino (USA)
Brown trout tend to display a dark dorsal area, a whitish – yellow belly and dark flanks stippled with large spots - many of them red. However, it must be remembered that habitat and food bring about major variations in color and markings.
The South Atlantic Group. This strain inhabits southern Europe and those rivers, which flow into the Atlantic.
The Central European Group. This strain is a more modern one and is probably the result of small changes brought about during the expansion of trout from the Mediterranean and Atlantic areas into northern and central European rivers after the last Ice Age.
Brown trout can weigh up to 4 kilos (9 pounds). They prefer the middle and lower stretches of Pyrenean rivers although there are some colonies that have adapted perfectly to high mountain waters and glacial lakes.
The most oxygenated and highest water are home to the Brook Trout or to give it its Latin name: Salvelinus Fontinalis
The dominant color is green from the back to the belly. The flanks are marble patterned in pale yellow – brown and yellow – orange. Some individuals have an orange – red belly, which becomes more pronounced near spawning time. It is one of the world´s handsomest trout.
Brook trout thrive in very cold oxygen rich waters. This means that they are rarely found with other trout. They rise readily to dry flies.
In high mountain streams they may reach 16 inches in length whereas brook trout found in certain lakes can measure as much as 22 inches.
Bottom feeding brook trout up to 26 inches long have been caught in high mountain lakes that are some 7500 feet above sea level. These lakes are extremely cold and cut off by deep snow which means they can only be fished for two or three months a year. Access requires helicopter fly in or an arduous 3 to 4 hour hike.
The hidden spots where we can find wild rainbows in Spain are considered like “lost rivers” for many of the guests who visited SALVELINUS.
Rainbow trout have somewhat different habits to other species of trout that live in the Pyrenees. Rainbows tend to rove and so can be found in different parts of a river at different times of the year.
The rainbow trout is easily recognized. It is deep green above fading through silvery - yellow to a whitish belly. Its body is marked with spots and of course that trade mark slash of pink on the flanks. This stripe can vary from a strip of brilliant pink to a thinner and paler shade of rose, and in some cases to a faint pinkish line between spots.
Rainbows are generally more active and less selective than brown trout. When hooked rainbows often leap into the air.
Rainbows were first introduced into Pyrenean waters more than 100 years ago and are especially present in the middle and lower stretches of Pyrenean rivers.
Some small self-supporting populations of rainbows have been discovered in streams and lakes in the western Pyrenees.
Rainbow trout can reach up to 10 kilos or 22 pounds. Rainbows can be found with brown trout in quite a few big Pyrenean rivers.
Barbels are often referred to as the bonefish of freshwater due to the fight they put up when hooked.
Barbels are often found in large numbers in the lower courses of Pyrenean rivers, especially those which feed reservoirs
Catching a barbel is a real challenge because in although they are often found in large shoals they tend to spook easily.
Barbel are essentially bottom feeders but will readily feed on the surface when massive hatches occur and this is especially true when large numbers of ants are blown onto the water in the hot days of high summer.
Hatches at dusk are a good time to fish for rising barbel.
They fight as hard as trout. When a fish is hooked during a late evening hatch the angler is often unaware that he has caught a barbel until it is safely landed
Large shoals of spawning barbel are found in some Pyrenean rivers in May and June. Feeder streams produce excellent sight fishing for trophy barbel.