FLY FISHING IN BARCELONA

Everything you need to know about fly fishing in Barcelona: species, season, permits, regulations, and much more.

Barcelona is a renowned Spanish city with fly fishing spots near its vicinity. The top rivers for fly fishing in Barcelona include the Montseny Natural Park, the Upper Ripollés, and the Ter River. In these rivers, one can catch brown and rainbow trout. Additionally, saltwater fly fishing is possible in destinations such as the Costa Brava or the Ebro Delta.

Our fly fishing trips from Barcelona

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

BARCELONA TROUT GUIDED DAY

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WHY CHOOSE BARCELONA FOR FLY FISHING?

Many anglers couldn’t imagine that just a few minutes’ drive from Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, they could enjoy fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout. For this reason, Barcelona is the perfect destination for travelers looking to combine a cultural or business visit with relaxation and fishing. It’s a highly sought-after trip for couples (one angler, one non-angler).

From Barcelona, within a 1.5-hour drive, there are numerous ideal fishing locations. While they may not offer the same opportunities as the Pyrenees, they present a compelling alternative for a family trip. The closest places for fly fishing include the Montseny Natural Park, the Upper Ripollés, the Ter River, and other sections of the Llobregat and Malagarriga rivers.

These rivers provide excellent fly fishing possibilities, with the following options standing out:

  • February and March: Opportunity to catch large trophy trout with dry flies in the midday hours, especially in rivers like the Ter.
  • May to mid-December: Excellent fishing in mountain and mid-mountain rivers. There is a variety of rivers, ranging from technically challenging flatland rivers with the chance for trophy trout to high mountain rivers with smaller but more aggressive trout.
  • Year-round: Possibility to practice dry fly fishing throughout the year.

It’s worth mentioning that the outings offered in our fly fishing trips from Barcelona are full-day guided fishing expeditions that depart from the hotel at 7 in the morning. The early start aims to avoid city traffic and ensure a long day of fishing and relaxation by the river.

WHAT SPECIES CAN BE FLY-FISHED NEAR BARCELONA?

Barcelona boasts a diverse range of species for fly fishing near the city. This is attributed to its location on the northeast coast of Spain, providing opportunities to fish for some saltwater species. Additionally, the city is surrounded by exceptionally varied mountainous terrain with numerous rivers harboring freshwater species. To the northwest rise the majestic Pyrenees, a mountain range serving as a natural border with France. There are also the outer ranges of the Pre-Pyrenees and several Natural Parks such as Montseny and Garrotxa.

From Barcelona, it is possible to fly fish for both freshwater species, including brown trout, zebra trout, rainbow trout, barbel, and carp, as well as saltwater species like sea bass, mahi-mahi, or little tunny.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FRESHWATER SPECIES AVAILABLE FOR FLY FISHING NEAR BARCELONA

The quintessential fish that garners the most interest for fly fishing in Barcelona is the trout. From Barcelona, it’s possible to catch various trout species, depending on the river:

  • Mediterranean Brown Trout or Zebra Trout: The rivers near Barcelona are part of the Mediterranean basin, and native trout known as zebra trout inhabit these waters, characterized by their lateral stripes. These trout are considered one of the oldest lineages in all of Europe. However, many of these trout populations have hybridized in the past with German-origin brown trout introduced by administrations and fishing clubs for sport fishing. For this reason, in many rivers near Barcelona, hybridized brown trout between both lineages can be found.
  • German Brown Trout: In Barcelona, German-origin brown trout, also known as «German trout,» are found in all intensive fishing stretches near the city. These locations are restocked by the administration with this trout variety to improve fish density and allow anglers to enjoy fishing. Currently, these restockings can only be carried out in specific locations situated below dams to prevent hybridization with native trout lineages.
  • Rainbow Trout: In the past, administrations conducted rainbow trout restockings in some rivers near Barcelona, but this practice is currently prohibited by law. Nevertheless, in some rivers like the Ter River, small populations of naturalized rainbow trout still exist. These trout are known for their beauty and strength.

 

Other freshwater species of interest for fly fishing and available near Barcelona include:

  • Barbel: This native fish of the Iberian Peninsula is widely distributed in the Ebro River basin and other rivers like the Ter River. Sometimes, when trout are less active, barbel becomes a very enjoyable option, as they can be caught with dry flies, and they can reach considerable sizes. Some anglers refer to this fish as the «freshwater bonefish» due to its behavior and appearance being very similar to that of bonefish.
  • Carp: Originating from Asia and introduced to Spain by the Romans and Greeks, carp are an alternative for many anglers who don’t have trout near their homes and wish to continue fishing throughout the year. If the right places are known, carp can be very fun to catch with dry flies and sight-fishing. Near Barcelona, there are several rivers and ponds where this species can be abundantly fished. Although we usually don’t dedicate time to guiding carp fishing, it is possible to request this experience.

SALTWATER SPECIES AVAILABLE FOR FLY FISHING NEAR BARCELONA

Barcelona is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and while it may not be a very common destination for saltwater fly fishing, it is possible to practice it right from Barcelona, along the Costa Brava, or in the Delta del Ebro. The species of primary interest include:

  • Sea Bass: Sea bass is abundant in the Delta del Ebro and is also frequently found in the surf of the Costa Brava. Although fly fishing for this species is not widespread, it is gaining more followers. A catch-and-release zone has recently been established at the mouth of the Ebro River in the Mediterranean Sea for sea bass fishing. It is expected to become a perfect scenario for fly fishing and streamers for sea bass.
  • Mahi Mahi: Mahi-mahi is a migratory fish that can be fly-fished from charter boats both from the city of Barcelona and in the nearby Delta del Ebro. To catch this fish, the charter must locate an area with significant activity and bring the fly angler closer to the fish.
  • Little Tunny: Fishing for the small Little Tunny is very similar to that of Mahi-Mahi. It is carried out in the summer with the assistance of a fishing charter.

FLY FISHING SEASON IN BARCELONA

The fly fishing season near Barcelona depends on the species you wish to target. In this context, we will examine the trout fishing season in freshwater.

It’s essential to note that, from Barcelona, there is access to a variety of rivers, but all these rivers are within the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. Therefore, the fishing season is governed by the «Orden de Vedas» or regulations of this Spanish region.

In summary, the regulations for fly fishing for trout indicate the following:

Low-Mountain Salmonid Waters (Brown Trout):

  • With kill: March 18th to August 27th
  • Catch-and-release: March 18th to October 15th

High-Mountain Salmonid Waters (Brown Trout):

  • With kill: May 13th to August 27th
  • Catch-and-release: May 13th to October 15th

Intensive Zones (Stocked Brown Trout):

  • Included in low-mountain waters with kill: March 18th to August 27th
  • Included in low-mountain waters catch-and-release: All year round
Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

BEST MONTHS FOR FLY FISHING IN BARCELONA ACCORDING TO SPECIES

In this section, you will find clear and concise information in a table that will indicate the optimal times for fly fishing various sport-fishing species in the vicinity of Barcelona.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING REGULATIONS IN BARCELONA

If you’re planning a fly fishing trip to Barcelona, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in Catalonia. Catalonia is an Autonomous Community in Spain, and Autonomous Communities have the authority to regulate all fishing-related rules through regional bulletins known as «fishing closure orders.»

You can find the fishing regulations for Catalonia at the following link: BARCELONA FISHING REGULATIONS (https://agricultura.gencat.cat/ca/departament/normativa/normativa-sectorial/pesca-recreativa/)

FLY FISHING GUIDES IN BARCELONA

Hiring a fly fishing guide from Barcelona can be an excellent option for anglers looking to enjoy a hassle-free experience and optimize their fishing in the region. Fishing guides are well-versed in the complex regulations and can offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Equipment and Gear: You won’t have to worry about bringing your own fishing equipment and gear as the guide will provide everything you need.
  • Location Selection: You won’t need to research the best fishing spots as the guide knows exactly where you can have the best guarantees for an excellent fishing experience.
  • Licenses and Permits: The guide will take care of processing fishing licenses and permits, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself.

If you’re considering hiring a fly fishing guide from Barcelona, it’s important to ensure the following:

  • Legality and Insurance: Make sure the fishing guide company is legal and has all the necessary licenses for the activity. Additionally, verify that they have liability and accident insurance.
  • Travel Agency Affiliation: A reliable fishing guide is often associated with a travel agency, offering a combined package that includes guiding, transportation, meals, and permit processing. This provides a more comprehensive and convenient experience for anglers.

 

It’s important to note that, while a day of fishing from Barcelona may seem costly, it’s crucial to consider the long distances traveled, extended hours, and other associated expenses such as fishing licenses, permits, food, drinks, fishing gear, and flies. Moreover, the guide puts in preparatory work before the trip to address any client concerns, contributing to a well-planned and successful fishing experience. In summary, investing in a fishing guide can be worthwhile to ensure a seamless experience and optimize your fishing in the area.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FLY FISHING IN BARCELONA

The best fly fishing in Spain is found in the Pyrenees, making it the ideal destination for those seeking multiple consecutive days of fishing. However, if you have limited time with only one or two days for fishing, a great option is to explore full-day guided fly fishing trips from Barcelona.

Undoubtedly, Spain, Catalonia, and Barcelona are renowned destinations for freshwater fly fishing, particularly for native trout. Spain boasts a multitude of rivers offering excellent opportunities for trout fishing. If, on the other hand, you are a saltwater fly fishing enthusiast, there are some options available from Barcelona, although they may not be as prominent.

This is a question you should address with the fishing guide beforehand. The suitability of having non-fishers accompany the angler on a fishing day depends on the specific fishing location. Another factor to consider is the weather. That said, if non-fishers are interested in joining the angler, it is generally possible to accommodate their participation.