FLY FISHING IN CASTILE AND LEÓN

The Ultimate Guide to Fly Fishing in Castile and León: Species, Season, License, Regulations, and Much More.

Palencia, León, Ávila, Burgos, and Salamanca are among the provinces in Castile and León that offer excellent opportunities for fly fishing for trout in this region. Some of its most famous rivers include the Porma, Órbigo, and Tormes.

Our Fly Fishing Trips in Castile and León

Fly Fishing Cantabrian Range

GUIDED TRIP CANTABRIAN RANGE

Fly Fishing Cantabrian Range

CANTABRIAN MOUNTAIN RANGE TOUR

LEON TROUT GUIDED DAY

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

SALAMANCA TROUT GUIDED DAY

INDEX

WHY CHOOSE CASTILE AND LEÓN FOR FLY FISHING?

Castile and León stands out as an excellent destination for fly fishing, attributed to its geographical features and rich fishing tradition. Located at the top of the Central Plateau, with an average altitude of 830 meters above sea level, this autonomous community boasts 10,453 km of rivers classified as «trout-inhabited waters.»

The region encompasses prominent mountain systems, including the Cantabrian Mountains to the north with the Picos de Europa, the Montes de León to the northwest, the Iberian System to the east, and the Central System with the Sierra de Gredos to the south. The majority of the area belongs to the Duero River basin, hosting Atlantic brown trout of the Duero River lineage.

Castile and León have a rich historical tradition of fly fishing. Renowned for breeding the famous León roosters, whose kidney feathers are used to craft wet flies and caddisflies, this region is also home to the famous Astorga Manuscript, which mentions fly fishing «a la leonesa» dating back to 1624.

Provinces with exceptional rivers for fly fishing include León, Palencia, Burgos, Ávila, and Salamanca, with trout rivers spread across all provinces. Some of the most famous rivers lie within the Biosphere Reserves of Picos de Europa, Alto Bernesga, Los Ancares de León, Babia, and Los Argüellos.

Castile and León, a hub for fly fishing, is the birthplace of the renowned Euro Nymphing technique and has produced several world fly fishing champions, such as David Ferreras and Pablo Castro Pinos.

While the Pyrenees may boast Spain’s best rivers, if you’re an international angler who has experienced fishing in the Pyrenees before, exploring the rivers of Castile and León is highly recommended. Beyond fishing, Castile and León offers unique attractions like the Segovia Aqueduct, Ávila’s city walls, León Cathedral, Las Médulas, and picturesque villages like Candelario, Arenas de San Pedro, and Hoyos del Espino.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING SPECIES IN CASTILE AND LEÓN

Castile and León is situated within the Duero River basin, which is by far the most significant basin traversing the region. Other river basins with representation include the Ebro, Tagus, and Miño. The hydrographic basins determine the typology of fish species and lineages inhabiting the rivers of Castile and León. For instance, the barbel species in the Ebro River Basin differs from those in the Duero River Basin.

This distinction is also evident in brown trout. The Duero, Miño, and Tagus basins each have their distinct lineages, representing trout that evolved before the last glaciation and belong to the Atlantic basin. In contrast, the Ebro River Basin is home to the famous Mediterranean or zebra trout.

Let’s explore each of the species of sporting interest for fly fishing in Castile and León:

  • Brown Trout: As mentioned earlier, it’s a native fish with differentiated varieties or lineages in various basins. Castile and León have basins that flow into the Atlantic Ocean with Atlantic lineages and a basin that flows into the Mediterranean Sea, where the famous zebra trout resides.
  • Rainbow Trout: This trout exists in some intensive fishing stretches. In these rivers and lakes, sterile individuals are stocked to promote the practice of sports fishing.
  • Brook Trout: Originating from North America, brook trout were introduced by authorities in some rivers and lakes in the region. Naturalized populations now exist in mountain lakes in the Sierra de Gredos, in the province of Ávila.
  • Barbel: In Castile and León, there are two major species of barbel—the common barbel, native to the Duero River Basin, and Graells’s barbel, found in tributaries of the Ebro River.
  • Carp: Introduced by the Romans in the Iberian Peninsula, carp are found in the lower courses of most rivers and many lakes and reservoirs in the region.
  • Pike: An exotic species present in some rivers of the region. Pike allows for the destatization of the fly fishing season, as the best months for its fishing are during winter.
Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING SEASON IN CASTILLA Y LEÓN

To engage in fly fishing in Castilla y León, it is essential to carefully review the fishing seasons outlined in the fishing regulations of Castilla y León.

Fishing seasons in Castilla y León are categorized based on the type of water. Trout waters have specific months allocated according to province and water type. In non-trout waters, fishing is generally permitted throughout the year, except in Exclusive Fishing Sections (EDS), Recreational Fishing Areas (ARECS), and other spatially regulated waters, each with its own fishing plan.

We have compiled the following table, providing a schematic overview of the fishing season in Castilla y León based on the species:

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

The following table offers a visual summary of the optimal months for fly fishing each of the species of interest in Castilla y León:

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

TROUT FISHING SEASON IN CASTILLA Y LEÓN

Fly fishing for trout stands out as the most popular activity in the region, with certain exceptions that warrant a closer look at the trout fishing season. The season for trout fishing in Castilla y León varies depending on the province and water type:

Free-flowing waters with catch-and-release and catch-and-keep regulations in the provinces of Burgos, León, Palencia, Soria, and Zamora:

  • Season: March 25th to July 31st

Free-flowing waters with catch-and-release and catch-and-keep regulations in the provinces of Ávila, Salamanca, Valladolid, and Segovia:

  • Season: March 18th to July 31st

Fishing preserves, Exclusive Fishing Sections (EDS):

  • Varied depending on the province.
  • Generally, for rivers not regulated by reservoirs, the season varies by province, concluding in late September in León and late July in Ávila.
  • Preserves regulated by reservoirs conclude their season on October 15th.

FLY FISHING REGULATIONS IN CASTILLA Y LEÓN

In Castilla y León, fly fishing regulations are governed by the Fishing Law: LAW 9/2013, of December, on Fishing in Castilla y León, and the annual regulations published in the form of a Fishing Order for the corresponding year.

These regulations encompass key points such as permitted species, fishing seasons, authorized lures and techniques, as well as designated fishing zones. If you wish to review the regulations to plan your fishing trip, we recommend visiting the following link: CASTILLA Y LEÓN FISHING REGULATIONS (https://medioambiente.jcyl.es/web/es/normativa-biblioteca/normativa-pesca.html).

Finally, it is important to note that, to engage in fishing in Castilla y León, in addition to a thorough understanding of fishing regulations, obtaining the appropriate fishing license and, in some locations, the relevant fishing permits is essential.

FLY FISHING LICENSE IN THE CASTILLA Y LEÓN REGION

As mentioned in the previous section, the fishing regulations in Castilla y León require payment of a fee in the form of a license, granting permission to fish throughout the region. Foreign anglers visiting this Autonomous Community have two options:

  • Process a license valid for Castilla y León and other regions of Spain.
  • Obtain an exclusive license for the region.

The Interregional Fishing License allows anglers to pursue their hobby in various Autonomous Communities, including Aragón, Asturias, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, Galicia, and Madrid. This document streamlines administrative procedures for those wishing to fish in rivers across multiple regions, eliminating the need for additional arrangements.

On the other hand, the Fishing License for the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León can be obtained through an online platform, with payment via credit card and required information including NIF/NIE, IDESP/TIE, name, first surname, second surname, and date of birth. It’s worth noting that fishing licenses are free for Castilla y León residents over the age of 65.

If you wish to access the website where fishing licenses for Castilla y León are processed, we suggest clicking on the following link: CASTILLA Y LEÓN FISHING LICENSES (https://medioambiente.jcyl.es/web/es/caza-pesca/licencias-caza-pesca.html).

FLY FISHING GUIDES IN THE CASTILLA Y LEÓN REGION

As of today, there is no specific regulation in Castilla y León governing the activity of fly fishing guides in the Autonomous Community. To work as a guide, it is necessary to be hired by a regulated company or establish oneself as a self-employed worker (autónomo).

Our recommendation is to book these trips through a travel agency or a regulated company that holds the necessary liability and accident insurance and employs certified guides. The absence of specific regulations for this activity has led to the presence of many seasonal workers with limited fishing knowledge, offering a service that may lack safety and professionalism.