FLY FISHING IN MADRID

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

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a city that offers various possibilities for fly fishing. Just an hour away is the renowned Trout Fishing Preserve El Molino de La Horcajada on the Lozoya River, and within a two-hour drive, there are numerous rivers and lagoons in the Sierra de Gredos.

Our fly fishing trips from Madrid

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

MADRID TROUT GUIDED DAY

INDEX

WHY CHOOSE MADRID FOR FLY FISHING?

Many fishing enthusiasts will be surprised to discover that very close to the heart of Madrid, surrounded by its museums, the majestic Royal Palace, the serene Retiro Park, and the iconic Santiago Bernabéu stadium, it is possible to enjoy fly fishing in Spain.

Madrid’s location next to the Central System, an ancient granite mountain range, provides fishing enthusiasts with the opportunity to explore some of its trout-filled rivers. One of the closest to the city is the Lozoya River, just minutes from Madrid, where you can delight in fly fishing for rainbow trout at the well-known «El Molino de La Horcajada.» This setting in the Sierra de Guadarrama is perfect for a guided outing with the convenience of starting and returning to Madrid.

However, just over two hours from Madrid, other fishing options open up:

  • Sierra de Gredos: A mountain range that harbors numerous streams and lagoons with healthy trout populations, although the fishing season is limited to the late spring and early summer months. An interesting detail about the Sierra de Gredos is that its north face is home to brown trout belonging to the Duero River basin ecotype, while on the south face, the trout are brown but native to the Tajo River basin. These different populations have evolved independently due to the lack of connection between them. The trout in the Sierra de Gredos are generally of medium or small size, but catching them on dry flies can be highly entertaining. Highlighted scenarios in this region include the Tormes River, flowing through the provinces of Ávila and Salamanca on the north face of Gredos, as well as the Jerte River and other gorges on the south face of the mountain range, such as Jarandilla de la Vera.
  • Secondly, but farther from the Spanish capital, we find some rivers in the Serranía de Cuenca and the Iberian System near Guadalajara.
  • Reservoirs where you can fish for pike, carp, and barbel.

WHAT SPECIES CAN BE FLY-FISHED NEAR MADRID?

Madrid is a city located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, on the Central Plateau. Hydrographically, it is situated in the Tajo River Basin and very close to that of the Duero, both of which flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to its geographical location, there are no saltwater species of interest for fly fishing, but there are several freshwater species such as trout, carp, barbel, and pike. Some of these species are native to the region, while others are exotic:

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FRESHWATER SPECIES THAT CAN BE FLY-FISHED NEAR MADRID

The salmonid species present near Madrid include:

  • Atlantic Brown Trout: In the Iberian Peninsula, there are various varieties of brown trout depending on the basin to which they belong. The rivers near Madrid primarily belong to the Tajo River Basin, although they are also relatively close to the Duero River Basin. In all these rivers, you will find lineages of Atlantic brown trout, species dating back to the last glaciation.
  • German Brown Trout: Historically, in the 1960s, many rivers in Spain were restocked with brown trout of Central European origin, also known as German trout. Due to human pressure, rivers near Madrid were intensely restocked, leading to significant hybridization with native Atlantic brown trout in some of them. Currently, brown trout is no longer restocked near Madrid, with sterile rainbow trout being stocked in very specific locations.
  • Brook Trout: In the Sierra de Gredos, specifically in the Cinco Lagunas, the authorities restocked these mountain lakes with brook trout many years ago. This species adapted to an ecosystem without competition, and there is now a large population of these fish with great interest for fly fishing due to their aggressiveness.
  • Rainbow Trout: Rainbow trout, an exotic species, inhabits certain scenarios in the Community of Madrid thanks to periodic releases by fishing clubs and the administration. The areas where you can fish for this variety of trout include El Molino de la Horcajada, the Jarosa Reservoir (Guadarrama), and the Aceña River Preserve (Santa María de la Alameda).

Other freshwater species of interest for fly fishing include:

  • Barbel: In the rivers and reservoirs near Madrid, the Common Barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei) is a species of interest for fly fishing. This barbel is distributed in the basins of the Tajo, Duero, Vouga, and Mondego rivers. Fly fishing for barbel using dry flies, especially large terrestrial patterns, can be very enjoyable and exciting.
  • Pike: Pike, an exotic species introduced for fishing, has naturalized populations in some scenarios in the Community of Madrid, such as the Campillo Lagoon, Santillana Reservoir, Manzanares el Real, Jarosa Reservoir, and Puentes Viejas Reservoir.
  • Carp: Carp is widely spread throughout most reservoirs and lower river courses in the Community of Madrid. This fish can be caught with a fly. Some anglers in Madrid go to Juan Carlos I Park to fly fish for carp using bread crust imitations.

FLY FISHING SEASON IN MADRID

In general, trout fishing in the Community of Madrid is allowed from the second Sunday in March to the third Sunday in July. These fishing seasons are specified in the annual fishing order. Outside the trout fishing rivers, fishing is permitted throughout the year.

Considered non-fishing days in all trout fishing waters are Thursdays that are not national holidays or holidays in the Community of Madrid, except in designated stretches. Additionally, «catch and release» is mandatory for all native species on every Monday of the year in all waters of the Community of Madrid.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING REGULATIONS IN MADRID

In the Community of Madrid, if you plan to go fishing, it is crucial to review the annual Fishing Order each season. This document outlines various aspects of fishing regulations, including:

  • Species targeted for fishing.
  • Exotic species open for fishing.
  • Species that are NOT allowed to be caught.
  • Where fishing is permitted.
  • When fishing is allowed.
  • Necessary documentation.
  • Permitted fishing gear and baits.

This Fishing Order remains in effect until it is replaced by the corresponding Order for the following season. For a summary of fishing regulations and the link to the annual Fishing Order for the Community of Madrid, you can visit: MADRID FISHING REGULATIONS (https://www.comunidad.madrid/servicios/urbanismo-medio-ambiente/especies-normas-pesca).