Fly Fishing for Rainbow Trout in Spain: Top Info & Best Secrets

Fly fishing for rainbow trout in Spain takes place in certain stretches of intensive fishing. In Spain, naturalized populations of rainbow trout are almost non-existent. The best places to fish for rainbow trout are Leitzarán in the Basque Country, Puente Romano in Castilla-La Mancha, and Chulilla and Bugarra in Valencia.

Our fly fishing trips for Rainbow Trout in Spain:

Pyrenean Foothills Fly Fishing Guides


Fly Fishing Pyrenees


Fly Fishing Guides Pyrenees




Fly fishing Spain for rainbow trout can be done in intensive fishing preserves. Exceptionally, some small populations of naturalized rainbow trout can be found in rivers such as the Ter or small streams in the Aragonese Pyrenees.

Intensive fishing preserves prioritize the fishing of specimens bred in captivity and released periodically to artificially increase the number of catches. In these intensive preserves, fishing is generally allowed throughout the year.

Regions like the Basque Country, Valencia, La Rioja, or Cuenca continue to use rainbow trout for restocking and increasing trout density in those areas. It’s important to note that the rainbow trout used in these processes are sterile.

The stocking of rainbow trout in Spanish rivers has been documented since 1888, using trout from fish farms.

Currently, the best scenarios for fishing rainbow trout in Spain include the following intensive preserves:

  • Leitzarán in the Basque Country: The Leitzaran intensive fishing preserve, established in 1987 to extend the fishing season, covers 5 km (1.5 km on the Oria River and the rest on the Leitzaran River) and is restocked weekly. Rules include the mandatory fishing license, hours from 8:30 to 18:00, barbless hooks, and fishing only with artificial baits. It is divided into «catch and release» and «catch with death,» with limits and points of interest along the river, and prices vary according to the mode and federation. Permits are issued through the website of the Guipuzcoan Fishing Federation.
  • Chulilla and Bugarra in Valencia: The Chulilla and Bugarra preserves are two intensive fishing preserves managed by two Valencian fishing clubs. Rainbow trout are continuously restocked for fishing, and these preserves are quite close to the city of Valencia.
  • Puente Romano in Castilla-La Mancha: The «Puente Romano» Intensive Preserve is located in the center of the Recreational Area of «Chantre,» 8 km from Cuenca. The stretch covers from the mouth of the Mariana River to the ford of the strait, with a length of 2000 meters, allowing fishing for rainbow trout. Fishing is permitted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and holidays.
  • Intensive preserves in La Rioja: In La Rioja, the following intensive preserves stand out for rainbow trout fishing: The «El Villar» Intensive Preserve in Tricio, Anguciana (Tirón River), La Grajera, and Arnedo, each with its own regulations, management, periods, schedules, and specific fishing conditions.

Intensive fishing lakes: There are several private and public lakes where rainbow trout are restocked, and it is possible to fish in the winter months. Some of the most well-known ones include Bellpuig, Arguis, La Jarosa, and Jabares.

Fly fishing in Spain - Completed Guide


Unlike brown trout, rainbow trout remain active throughout the year, even in winter. This characteristic makes them a prime choice for restocking intensive preserves, where fishing is permitted even during the winter months. It is crucial to remind anglers that the objectives of these preserves include destigmatizing the fishing season, serving as a fishing school, and promoting the sporting and tourist aspects of fishing.

In my personal opinion, I believe the best months for fly fishing for rainbow trout are autumn and spring. However, the reality indicates that intensive preserves are restocked more frequently in late autumn and winter, during the reverse season. During these months, the fish density is higher, resulting in a greater number of catches when fly fishing for rainbow trout.


The Brook trout, as mentioned, has adapted to certain rivers and lakes in Spain. These bodies of water are situated in areas where there are no other competing fish species, such as brown trout. Typically, these rivers are located at elevations exceeding 2000 meters, which influences the optimal months for fishing based on climatic conditions. Therefore, the best months for fly fishing for Brook trout in Spain are June, July, August, and the early weeks of September.


Rainbow trout in Spain, being stocked specimens raised in fish farms, are accustomed to feeding on artificial feed. For this reason, the flies commonly used are streamers and attractor nymphs, although at certain times of the year, dry flies are also effective on the water’s surface.

In this section, we have compiled a selection of our best flies for fly fishing rainbow trout in intensive preserves:

  • «La Ovejita» (The Little Sheep): A revolutionary fly for rainbow trout fishing, utilizing Panicfly’s Blob Hair material. This material absorbs water and sinks quickly, making it effective for trout that tend to feed near the riverbed. Its soft and fluffy texture makes it easy for trout to retain in their mouths, improving hook setting. Its versatility in colors and ease of assembly make it a successful option.
  • «San Juan Worm»: An effective imitation of worms or chironomid larvae, particularly effective in intensive fishing preserves. Created by Chuck Rizuto, it mimics common food in fish farms, attracting trout. It is tied on smaller hooks (14 or 16) and uses materials like ultrachenille or squirmy legs. Traditionally in red, today it can vary in colors. Suitable for turbid waters, it is popular in trout fishing in swollen rivers.
  • «Blobs»: Effective flies for catching rainbow trout in intensive preserves, especially during the winter season. Initially created for lake fishing, they are now popular in rivers. Tied with tungsten beads for weight, they feature vibrant colors and are favored by competition anglers. They are used as nymphs, fishing along the drift or with small hops. Ideal for waters with a high concentration of fish or when fish are recently released. They are tied with materials like Gel Core Fritz, Turbo Translucent Chenille, Ice Chenille, and Estaz Chenille.
  • Snake-type Streamers: Also known as snakes or lizards, these are highly effective setups for fly fishing in lakes. Although their specific imitation (snake, leech, or injured fish) may vary, their attractive movement in the water makes them successful. The setup uses strips of rabbit fur called «zonker» in various colors and styles. They can be weightless for lake fishing or weighted for rivers. Short-shank hooks are recommended for increased effectiveness.
  • Eggs and Cheese Imitations: Replicas made of egg yarn to imitate corn roe or feeds that fish feed on.
  • Bloodworm and Squirmy Legs: Imitations resembling highly mobile worms or larvae, easy to tie, and very effective.
  • Strininfas: Minimized streamer imitations to the smallest extent on hooks 14 or 16, aiming for discretion in imitation. They are a blend between a streamer and a nymph.