FLY FISHING IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY

The ultimate guide to fly fishing in the Basque Country: species, seasons, licenses, regulations, and much more.

The Basque Country, located in Spain, offers fly fishing enthusiasts the opportunity to explore trout rivers in close proximity to San Sebastian. In this region, anglers can target both brown and rainbow trout, with some of the best rivers for fly fishing being the Leitzarán, Araxes, and Agaunza. These picturesque waterways provide a scenic backdrop for a rewarding fly fishing experience near the vibrant city of San Sebastian.

Our fly fishing journeys in the Basque Country

Fly Fishing Guides Pyrenees

TOUR PYRENEES – BASQUE COUNTRY

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

SAN SEBASTIAN TROUT GUIDED DAY

INDEX

WHY CHOOSE THE BASQUE COUNTRY FOR FLY FISHING?

For an American tourist, the Basque Country, located in northern Spain, is a cultural and gastronomic gem that offers a unique experience. With a rich history and a distinctive cultural identity, this region boasts charming cities like San Sebastián. However, what not all tourists may know is that amid those green, mountainous landscapes intertwining with the Pyrenees, several trout-filled rivers provide ideal conditions for fly fishing.

The Basque Country consists of three provinces, with the best fishing found in Guipuzcoa, while populations of trout have declined in Vizcaya and Álava in recent decades. Among all the rivers in the Basque Country, the Leitzarán River stands out, along with its tributary, the Oria, hosting significant populations of rainbow trout. Fishing in the Leizarán Fishing Preserve, highly recommended, requires a fishing license from Guipúzcoa and a daily fee, limited to catch-and-release. Another notable river is the Araxes, allowing for the fishing of rainbow and brown trout in its intensive reserve, known for its diverse fishing conditions.

Experience the thrill of Fly Fishing in Spain amid the stunning rivers of the Basque Country!

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

WHAT SPECIES CAN BE CAUGHT THROUGH FLY FISHING IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY?

The hydrographic network of the Basque Country consists of two types of basins. On one hand, there are rivers that flow into the Cantabrian Sea, forming part of the Cantabrian or Northern basin, constituted by the rivers that traverse the provinces of Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya. On the other hand, we have the Ebro Basin, formed by the Alava rivers that are tributaries of the Ebro River.

This geography determines the fish species in the autonomous community. In the basins that flow into the Cantabrian Sea, there are brown trout of Atlantic origin and Atlantic salmon, as seen in the Bidasoa River. In contrast, the tributary rivers of the Ebro Basin harbor wild populations of brown trout, also known as zebra trout.

Furthermore, along the coast, some species of saltwater fish are also caught through fly fishing, such as sea bass, mahi-mahi, and little tunny.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING SEASON IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY

For the practice of fly fishing for trout in the Basque Country, it is essential to consider the authorized periods outlined in the fishing regulations. Generally, the general season for salmonids in inland waters runs from the first week of April to late July. However, some catch-and-release fishing preserves in Guipuzcoa start in mid-March and conclude in August. Additionally, intensive fishing preserves like Agauntza, Araxes, and Leitzaran have specific openings, spanning from September to the end of March.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide

FLY FISHING REGULATIONS IN BASQUE COUNTRY

In the Basque Country, there is no single fishing regulation for the entire Autonomous Community. The situation becomes more complex for tourists as there are three different regulations, one for each province (Guipuzcoa, Álava, and Vizcaya).

If you wish to review the fishing regulations for each of these provinces, you must search for the Foral Order that governs the fishing regulations published in the official bulletin of each province. To simplify the process, I invite you to visit this link where you can find the regulations for each of the three provinces: FISHING REGULATIONS OF THE PROVINCES OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY. (https://myfishingmaps.com/normativa-de-pesca/normativa-de-pesca-del-pais-vasco/)

FLY FISHING LICENSE IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY REGION

If you plan to engage in fly fishing in the Basque Country, it is essential to obtain the corresponding continental fishing license. To acquire the river fishing license in Euskadi, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • National Identity Document (DNI), passport, or driver’s license.
  • For citizens of European Union member states: passport or valid identification document in their country of origin.
  • For non-European Union citizens: passport.

You can obtain the license in person by visiting one of the Agricultural Regional Offices (OCA) or through the following link: FISHING LICENSE APPLICATION (http://mobi.nekagip.eus/Arrantzabaimena/Default.aspx?idioma=es&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1)

In specific rivers, beyond the fishing license, obtaining a daily pass or a specific permit for certain stretches may be necessary.

FLY FISHING GUIDES IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY REGION

If you’re interested in fly fishing in the Basque Country, we recommend hiring a fly fishing guide for several reasons: local expertise, equipment rental, river safety, knowledge of legal aspects, and the opportunity to explore the culture, history, and gastronomy of the region, thereby enhancing your fishing experience.