FLY FISHING FOR LARGE BROWN TROUT IN SPANISH DESTINATION

Fishing Brown trout in spain: Top Info & Best Secrets

Spain may not be New Zealand, but it offers excellent opportunities to catch trophy brown trout. The best rivers for fishing large brown trout are located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, specifically in the regions of Aragón and Catalonia.

These are some of our fly fishing trips for brown trout in Spain:

Pyrenees Fly Fishing Guides

GUIDED TRIP IN THE PYRENEES

Pyrenean Foothills Fly Fishing Guides

GUIDED TRIP IN THE PYRENEAN FOOTHILLS

Fly Fishing Cantabrian Range

GUIDED TRIP CANTABRIAN RANGE

Fly Fishing Central System - Gredos

GUIDED TRIP SOUTH FACE GREDOS

INDEX

BEST REGIONS IN SPAIN FOR FISHING LARGE BROWN TROUT

Many American anglers visit Spain each year to fish with us, and some of them are amazed by the size that trout can reach in some of our secret rivers. These anglers have experienced fishing in Patagonia and New Zealand, and often share that fly fishing in Spain is second to none compared to these destinations regarding trophy trout fishing.

It’s crucial to note that trophy trout fishing is never guaranteed and can be demanding and challenging. We prefer combining several days of fishing in medium or small rivers with high trout densities, with specific days dedicated to targeting large trout. Catching these trophy trout can happen on occasions and, at other times, it may not.

The best regions for trophy trout fishing are Aragon and Catalonia, followed by Castilla y León.

  • Pyrenean Foothills in Aragon: In Aragon, there are several rivers where, in their lower stretches, there is a chance to fish for large-fringed Mediterranean trout, also known as zebra trout. These trout are highly aggressive and are sometimes caught using large streamers, nymphs, and even dry flies. Key points for catching large trophy trout are the entrances of the rivers into the large lakes of the region.
  • Pyrenean Foothills in Catalonia: In this autonomous community, there are stretches of intensive fishing where you can fish year-round. Here, the authorities annually introduce large quantities of brown trout fry, which, combined with abundant food, results in large trophy trout. The only drawback to these locations is the high fishing pressure and their reputation among anglers.
  • Plateau Rivers of Castilla y León: In some rivers of the Castilla y León plateau, where the waters are slow and organic load is abundant, there are opportunities to fish for long brown trout. These rivers are tributaries of the Duero basin, and the wild trout lineage from this river displays beautifully mottled colors.
Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

BEST MONTHS FOR FLY FISHING FOR BIG TROUT IN SPAIN

Personally, I believe that the ideal months for fly fishing for large brown trout are February, March, October, and November. Below, I outline the reasons why these months are the most favorable:

  • February and March: During these months, small trout tend to be inactive, but paradoxically, this is the best time to fly fish for large brown trout with dry flies. In the midday hours, hatches occur, and big trout become active in slow-flowing river areas. Although fishing is limited to a few hours a day, it’s essential to look for rivers with slow water, high organic matter content, and locate fish near vegetation, where trout don’t expend much energy.
  • October and November: These are the months leading up to the spawning season, and large trout need to feed to accumulate energy. Additionally, rivers begin to oxygenate, and water temperatures decrease after the summer. During this period, large brown trout often do not feed on the surface, so fishing is done with nymphs and streamers. It’s important to note that in these months, small and medium-sized trout are also active throughout the day, not just during specific hours.

During the months from April to September, although it’s possible to catch large trout, their activity is limited to the first and last hours of daylight.

WHERE TO FLY FISH FOR LARGE BROWN TROUT IN SPAIN

In general, Spain is not widely recognized as a destination for trophy brown trout fishing, but there are exceptions that occur in three specific types of rivers:

  • Rivers with large concentrations of scud: The presence of this insect provides trout with an abundance of food, contributing to the growth of extraordinary sizes.
  • Slow rivers with abundant forage fish and/or crayfish: In these environments, trout can reach notable sizes due to the availability of food.
  • Medium mountain rivers with low fishing pressure: In areas with low fishing activity, trout can grow larger and reach impressive sizes.

While the fishing for large brown trout is never guaranteed, if this is your goal, it is recommended to contact a guide who is well-versed in the best rivers for catching these specimens. It’s important to note that, generally, trophy trout are found in rivers with low fishing pressure, where catch-and-release practices are followed. In these locations, it is common not to have many catches in a fishing day.

BEST FLIES FOR TROPHY TROUT FISHING IN SPAIN

In Spain, trophy trout exhibit distinct feeding patterns compared to their smaller counterparts. Larger fish, requiring more calories for their movement, seek more substantial prey. While smaller trout primarily feed on small aquatic insects, larger trout in Spain prefer higher-energy food sources such as crayfish, scuds, small fish, amphibians, and sizable insects.

In my experience, the only time of the year when trophy trout actively capture insects on the surface is in February and March. This is because small fish and crayfish remain inactive, prompting trout to rely on emerging insects during these months. Subsequently, the trout adopt more predatory behaviors and tend to actively feed during the twilight hours.

To catch large trout in Spain, anglers must adapt their techniques and fly choices. Some recommendations for the best flies include:

  • Large-sized streamers in natural colors: Favorites include Muccy Buddy, Dungeon Black and Red, Bomber Black, and Sculpzilla.

Nymphs: Fly fishing in the Euro Nymphing style is highly effective for catching large trout. The use of perdigon-type nymphs in this technique allows fishing in areas that other methods may not reach, capturing sizable trout.

Dry flies: To fish for large trout in February and March, dry flies that float in the same water film, very close to the surface, are commonly used. The use of flies tied with hare’s fur and duck butt feathers is recommended.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD FLY FISHING GUIDE FOR CATCHING LARGE BROWN TROUT IN SPAIN

The significance of having a proficient fly fishing guide to capture large brown trout in Spain cannot be overstated, and here are some key points to highlight:

  • Specialized Location Knowledge: For an inexperienced angler without profound river knowledge, locating these large trout can be nearly impossible. An experienced guide knows where they are, when they are feeding, and what flies to use in each situation.
  • Experience and Confidence: It is crucial that your guide has faced these situations numerous times and has complete confidence in their ability to deliver results in catching large trout. Moreover, this activity is particularly suited for experienced anglers.
  • Local Connections: Guides often have solid connections with local fishermen, providing access to up-to-date information on water conditions, trout feeding patterns, and other valuable details.

In summary, a good fly fishing guide in Spain not only increases the chances of catching large brown trout but also enhances the entire experience by offering guidance, local knowledge, and a personalized approach tailored to the angler’s skills and objectives.