The ultimate guide to fly fishing in Galicia: species, season, license, regulations, and much more.

Galicia, located in the northwest of Spain, is a region renowned for its "thousand rivers." In this fly fishing paradise, you can angle for brown trout, sea trout, and Atlantic salmon in rivers such as the Xallas, Miño, Navia, or Neira.



Galicia, an autonomous community in northwest Spain, stands out for its lush vegetation and an extensive coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. One of its main tourist attractions is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, said to house the remains of the Apostle Saint James, making it a significant destination for pilgrims traveling the Camino de Santiago.

This region, characterized by rolling hills and dense forests, hosts numerous rivers ideal for trout fishing. It is noteworthy that these waters were frequented by famous figures such as dictator Franco, who used to fish in the Ulla River, and American novelist Ernest Hemingway.

Galicia, once renowned for the extraordinary presence of salmon, saw a drastic decline in numbers after the construction of the Frieira reservoir. In 1920, the Miño River was considered the best salmon river in Spain, but the situation changed, with only 20 specimens caught in 1998. Unfortunately, this downward trend has not been successfully reversed.

While trout populations do not reach historical levels, some rivers still maintain a good number of these fish. However, they face significant challenges such as climate change, water pollution, and fishing regulations rooted in the past that do not promote catch-and-release practices.

The main river basins for trout fishing in Galicia include:

  • Miño Basin: The Miño River is the longest river in Galicia and forms part of the border with Portugal. Its basin covers a wide area in the southwest part of Galicia.
  • Sil Basin: The Sil River and its tributaries, such as the Bibei River, drain a significant portion of the mountainous interior of Galicia, especially in the province of Ourense.
  • Ulla Basin: The Ulla River is important in the province of A Coruña and collects waters from tributaries like the Deza River. It flows into the Ría de Arousa.
  • Lérez Basin: The Lérez River and its tributaries drain part of the province of Pontevedra, contributing to the formation of the Ría de Pontevedra.
  • Tambre Basin: The Tambre River flows mainly through the province of A Coruña and empties into the Ría de Muros e Noia.
  • Mandeo Basin: The Mandeo River is another significant tributary that flows into the Ría de Betanzos in the province of A Coruña.
Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide


The annual fishing order will regulate the open seasons for fishing in Galicia.

The continental fishing season in Galicia will generally run from March 17 to July 31. As for trout fishing, the season will commence on March 17 and extend until July 31, except in salmon and mountain water bodies, where it will begin on May 1. For intensive fishing preserves and catch-and-release stretches, the season will extend until September 30. Regarding salmon, fishing will be permitted from May 1 to July 31, with specific quotas for different rivers. Sea trout fishing will follow the general period from May 1 to July 31, extending until September 30 in some preserves.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide


In Galicia, tourists wishing to enjoy fishing must take into account the corresponding regional regulations. This regulation encompasses crucial aspects such as permitted species, open seasons, allowed types of lures and techniques, as well as designated fishing zones.

The fishing regulations in Galicia are annual and are disseminated through fishing orders issued by the Department of Environment, Territory, and Housing of Galicia.


The Galicia fishing license grants the right to fish in the region’s river and maritime resources, with a validity ranging from fifteen days to two years. This license is divided into river and maritime categories, with the latter being specific to coastal, boat, and submarine fishing. Applicants can be both domestic and foreign fishermen, as long as they meet established requirements, including the possibility for minors under 14 to participate accompanied and having no judicial disqualification.

To obtain the river license, it is required to submit the ID card and proof of fee payment (for those over 18), while minors need the family book, guardian’s ID, and a recent photograph. Regional licenses are divided into various classes, with variable costs and durations ranging from one year to fifteen days. There is also an interregional license, valid in several autonomous communities, for an annual cost of €25. Special permits are also available for salmon, sea trout, brown trout, cyprinids, catch-and-release fishing, and intensive fishing, each with a specific cost.

River licenses in Galicia can be obtained both in person and online. The process involves downloading and completing forms, paying fees at collaborating financial entities, and submitting documentation to specific addresses depending on the province. The online option requires access through Internet Explorer and the download of a program called AUTOFIRMA, along with a digital certificate. It’s important to note that this last option is not available for foreign fishermen.

In-person license issuance points include:

  • A Coruña: Monelos Administrative Building, Plaza de Luis Seoane, s/n, 5th floor – 15008 A Coruña
  • Lugo: Ronda de la Muralla, 70 – 27003 Lugo
  • Ourense: Rúa Paseo, 18, 4th floor – 32003 Ourense
  • Pontevedra: Avda. María Victoria Moreno, 43 2nd floor – 36003 Pontevedra

To obtain licenses online, the process can be carried out through the following link: GALICIA FLY FISHING LICENSE



To work as a fly fishing guide in Galicia, it is necessary to meet the following requirements:

  • Be employed by a company or be the owner of a company that complies with all legal and tax requirements.
  • The company must have liability and accident insurance.

If you are interested in hiring the services of a fly fishing guide in Galicia, it is strongly recommended to do so through guide companies that meet all legal requirements.