10 Best Fly Fishing Rivers in the Pyrenees

On the sunny side of the Pyrenees, you'll find the best fly-fishing rivers in Spain. Here are the top 10 rivers

To fish the best rivers in the Pyrenees, a fishing guide is absolutely necessary. From our experience, these are the best rivers for fly fishing in the Pyrenees:

1 –ARA RIVER🥇

Description: The Ara River, located in the province of Huesca, flows on the southern slope of the Pyrenees in Aragón, Spain. Its course originates on the southern flank of the Viñamala massif, very close to the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park. Receiving contributions from tributaries such as the Ordiso and Arazas rivers, it stands out for its flow, especially during the spring thaw. It flows into the Cinca River in Aínsa after covering approximately 70 kilometers. The Ara is distinguished by its turquoise waters, stunning beauty, and the presence of naturally fed beautiful trout. It is a completely wild river, as there are no reservoirs along its course.

Species: Marble trout, barbel, and chub.

Fishing season: March to October.

Best months: June, July, and October.

Fishing license: Aragón Fishing License.

Best fishing spots: Boltaña and Fiscal.

Size of catches: Medium and small-sized trout. Barbel and chub can reach significant sizes.

Most effective technique: Dry fly and dropper fly fishing.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
80%
Scenic beauty
100%
Extended fishing season
80%
Possibility of trophy trout
30%
Dry fly fishing
100%
Fishing pressure
90%

2 – GÁLLEGO RIVER

Description: The Gállego River is a significant tributary of the Ebro River in Aragón, with a length of 193.2 km, of which less than half are inhabited by trout. Its name comes from the Latin «Gallicus,» related to Gaul. It originates at Col d’Aneu, flowing through the Tena Valley and receiving tributaries such as Aguas Limpias and Caldarés. This river offers numerous fishing opportunities, both in the main course and its tributaries.

In the upper part of the river, in the Pyrenees, it harbors excellent trout populations, especially in its tributary rivers. However, it is essential to have a deep understanding of the river’s behavior in its middle course, around Oliván, as it is regulated by hydroelectric power stations and undergoes abrupt changes in flow.

Species in the upper part of the river (in the Pyrenees): zebra trout.

Fishing season: March to October.

Best months: June to October.

Fishing license: Aragón Fishing License.

Best fishing spots: Oliván.

Size of catches: medium to small.

Most effective technique: Nymph fishing is very effective in the main river in its middle course, while dry fly fishing is highly effective in the upper part and tributaries.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
90%
Extended fishing season
80%
Possibility of trophy trout
50%
Dry fly fishing
60%
Fishing pressure
90%

3 – VERAL RIVER

Description: The Veral River, a tributary of the Aragón in the province of Huesca, originates in Zuriza within the Natural Park of the Western Valleys and collects the waters of the Petretxema ravine from Linza. It flows along the Ansó Valley until it reaches Villarreal de la Canal, where it meets the Aragón River. Its course has been shaped by erosion in limestone terrain, leading to the formation of the Biniés Gorge.

It is a highly appealing river for dry fly fishing, featuring beautiful pools where sight fishing is possible. The trout inhabiting this river are 100% wild zebra trout. However, the river is affected by climate change, experiencing increasingly dry and prolonged summers.

Species: Wild zebra trout and, in the lower course, barbel.

Fishing season: March to October.

Best months: June, July, and October.

Fishing license: Aragón Fishing License.

Best fishing spots: Lower Ansó.

Size of catches: Small to medium.

Most effective technique: Dry fly fishing.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
100%
Extended fishing season
100%
Possibility of trophy trout
30%
Dry fly fishing
100%
Fishing pressure
80%

4 – ÉSERA RIVER

Description: The Ésera River is a tributary of the Cinca in the province of Huesca and is part of the Ebro basin. Its source lies on the north face of the Maladeta massif, fed by the Aneto glacier melt and high rainfall in its headwaters. The area between Plan de Turpí and Castejón de Sos in its upper course is protected as a special conservation zone, serving as an example of a well-preserved Pyrenean ecosystem. It traverses the Posets Maladeta Natural Park and hosts a prominent population of wild zebra trout from its source to its confluence with the Cinca River.

The upper part of the river is excellent for dry fly fishing, while the middle and lower course are regulated for electricity generation, making it an outstanding location for trophy trout fishing. It is crucial to be informed about water release schedules in this river, as it can pose potential dangers.

Species: Zebra trout and barbel.

Fishing season: March to October.

Best months: May to October.

Fishing license: Aragón Fishing License.

Best fishing spots: Congosto del Ventamillo and Campo.

Size of catches: Varies depending on the river section. In the lower part, it is possible to catch trophy trout.

Most effective technique: All.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
100%
Extended fishing season
100%
Possibility of trophy trout
50%
Dry fly fishing
80%
Fishing pressure
80%

5 – NOGUERA RIBAGORZANA RIVER

Description: The Noguera Ribagorzana is a Pyrenean river that flows from north to south and is a right tributary of the Segre, belonging to the Ebro River basin. It originates in the headwaters of the Barravés Valley on the southern slope of the Pyrenees and flows into the Segre in Corbins. Along its 130 km course, it serves as a natural border between Catalonia and Aragon. The river is dammed by several reservoirs, such as Baserca, Escales, Canelles, and Santa Anna, used for both hydroelectric power generation and supplying water channels in Catalonia and Aragon.

The Noguera Ribagorzana has strong populations of wild trout in its middle and upper courses. Additionally, in the lower part, there is an intensive fishing area that allows year-round fishing, renowned for the impressive size of its trout.

Species in the upper part of the river (in the Pyrenees): Zebra trout.

Fishing season: March to mid-October.

Best months: May to October.

Fishing license: Aragón and Catalonia Fishing Licenses.

Best fishing spot: NR-01b – Alta Ribagorça sense mort

Size of catches: Small to medium.

Most effective technique: Dry fly and dropper

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
70%
Extended fishing season
80%
Possibility of trophy trout
40%
Dry fly fishing
90%
Fishing pressure
80%

6 – GARONA RIVER

Description: The Garonne River originates in the Pyrenees, specifically in the Aran Valley in Spain, fed by mountain waters on the north face of the Pyrenees. As it traverses France, it increases in length and becomes navigable. In 2013, the river experienced a flood that resulted in a drastic decline in its trout populations. A decade after this event, the trout populations have recovered, although the river’s composition has undergone significant changes since then.

The trout inhabiting this river belong to the Atlantic brown species, as the rivers in this basin flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

Species: Brown trout.

Fishing season: April to the end of September.

Best months: May to September.

Fishing license: Catalonia.

Best fishing spots: VA-00; NP-00, and NR-00.

Catch size: average.

Most effective technique: dry fly and dropper.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
70%
Extended fishing season
70%
Possibility of trophy trout
60%
Dry fly fishing
80%
Fishing pressure
70%

7 – CINCA RIVER

Descriptión: The Cinca River originates in the Aragonese Pyrenees, very close to the Ordesa National Park, and flows towards the Segre River. During its course, it passes through places like Pineta, joins the Barrosa and Cinqueta rivers, and receives tributaries such as the Irués and Ésera. The river’s Pyrenean region is renowned for hosting populations of wild trout. The town of Aínsa stands out as a focal point from which one can enjoy fishing on this river.

Species: Zebra trout and barbel.

Fishing season: March to October.

Best months: May, June, July, September, and October.

Fishing license: Aragon fishing license.

Best fishing spots: Labuerda fishing reserve.

Catch size: varied.

Most effective technique: varied.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
60%
Scenic beauty
90%
Extended fishing season
90%
Possibility of trophy trout
60%
Dry fly fishing
80%
Fishing pressure
80%

8 – NOGUERA PALLARESA RIVER

Description: The Noguera Pallaresa River, a tributary of the Segre in the province of Lleida, originates in Pla de Beret and initially flows northeast through the Alto Arán. It crosses Pallars Sobirá and Pallars Jussá, highlighting places such as Montgarri, Sort, and the Collegats gorge along its course. This river offers excellent opportunities for fly fishing amidst an incomparable landscape.

Imagine fishing in a small mountain river, surrounded by beautiful wild zebra trout, with the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montgarri as a backdrop. Additionally, in its middle course, near the town of Sort, it is a favorable spot for catching medium-sized brown trout. All this without forgetting the stretch of intensive fishing near the town of La Guingueta d’Àneu.

Species: Brown trout.

Fishing season: March to mid-October.

Best months: May to mid-October.

Fishing license: Catalonia fishing license.

Best fishing spots: NP-02b (Intensiu la Guingueta d’Àneu without death) and NP-01b (Consorci Alt Pallars without death).

Catch size: varied depending on the locations.

Most effective technique: varied depending on the locations.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
90%
Extended fishing season
80%
Possibility of trophy trout
70%
Dry fly fishing
70%
Fishing pressure
70%

9 – SEGRE RIVER

Description: The Segre River, approximately 265 km in length, originates in France, crosses the Cerdanya region, and enters Spain through Llivia. It flows mostly in a north-south direction and empties into the Ebro River at the Ribarroja reservoir. Notable tributaries include Nogueras, Ribagorzana, and Pallaresa. Fishing in the upper part, in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees, is excellent. The river boasts a prominent population of brown trout, some of them sizable, especially in the Seu d’Urgell area. Another significant river for trout fishing is the Valira, a tributary that originates in Andorra.

Species: Brown trout.

Fishing season: March to mid-October.

Best months: March, May, June, July, and October.

Fishing license: Catalonia fishing license.

Best fishing spot: SE-01b

ZPC Name: Consorci Segre sense mort

Catch size: medium.

Most effective technique: all.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
60%
Extended fishing season
80%
Possibility of trophy trout
60%
Dry fly fishing
60%
Fishing pressure
60%

10 – IRATI RIVER

Description: The Irati River, a tributary of the Aragón in Navarra, originates in the Selva de Irati and flows for 88 km, traversing breathtaking landscapes and forming reservoirs such as Irabia and Itoiz. With tributaries like Urrobi and Salazar, it is one of the most voluminous rivers in Navarra and plays an essential role in hydroelectric power generation, with the Irabia reservoir being a notable highlight. Thanks to his novel «The Sun Also Rises,» Ernest Hemingway internationalized rivers like the Irati and towns like Burguete. Hemingway found relaxation and enjoyment in this place, fishing for zebra trout and forming friendships with the owners of Hotel La Perla.

Species: Zebra trout.

Fishing season: from April 1 to August 31.

Best months: May, June, and July.

Fishing license: Navarra fishing license.

Catch size: small.

Most effective technique: dry fly and nymph.

In favor

against

Destination Raking:

9,2

Variety of species
50%
Scenic beauty
80%
Extended fishing season
60%
Possibility of trophy trout
30%
Dry fly fishing
60%
Fishing pressure
70%