Peter Radford is currently on a six week trip to…
Fly Odyssey’s Gilly Bate has recently returned from fishing in the mountains of Spain where she found her perfect combination of dry fly and wild trout.
With a quick 1 1/2 hour flight to Barcelona I arrived in Spain on route to the Spanish Pyrenees. I have always wanted to fish these waters and it was with much excitement and rather a lot of anticipation that I arrived at the lodge.
The huge spectrum of rivers and changing scenery were a constant delight and the fishing changed within each habitat. From the dramatic High country with breathtaking views, tumbling ice cold water amidst massive boulders and little spotty browns positively leaping onto flies to the Mid country and steadier streams of easy wading water full of Zebra trout. The main delight was the realisation that these fish just loved to feed on dries and my 7 1/2 ft Zero weight rod was perfect for catching these pretty little fish.
This is what I dreamed it would be with small delicate casts and fish nailing flies.
I loved the fact that each part of the day was on a new piece of water and also that these rivers were lightly fished. Protection and the conservation were a huge part of the guides lives and it was obvious that they were all passionate about maintaining that delicate equilibrium.
Their guiding skills were superb and I certainly caught more fish when I had a guide.
In the UK I search for fish feeding on the surface but here the emphasis was on reading the water and thinking about where fish would be even when you couldn’t see them.
With the right presentation and line management the trout would take an offering and it was so exciting to suddenly see them hit the fly. The water was crystal clear and it was surprisingly difficult to spot fish but they could certainly see my flies and few could resist an offering.
I had an opportunity at Barbel on the fly which was a unique experience, there were scores of them in the river but they were either on or off and I sadly only had one hit the fly. Due to far too much excitement and a frozen moment as this huge mouth opened on the fly, I realised too late that my line had dragged downstream creating slack and I missed the take. It was the most frustrating experience but I shall never forget that fish.
Fishing holidays are not just about catching fish but about meeting new people, seeing different cultures and wining and dining and Spain exceeded my expectations.
Their attention to detail was outstanding with paella for lunch and tapas for dinner all washed down with suitable quantities of Rioja. The evenings were as as much fun as the fishing and it was great to share stories and fishing tales from around the world.
We also took a day off to visit one of the oldest vineyards in the region along with its opposition, a modern day commercial operation with a Michelin star restaurant and its own high quality wines which were simply outstanding. It was rather nice to dress up, leave the river and have the most fabulous lunch that you can imagine.
Fishing in Spain had so very much to offer and I only touched a small part of it in three days.
The fish were mainly small so please don’t expect that you will be hunting for trophy trout but if you like dry fly fishing, beautiful countryside and a vibrant way of life it should definitely be in the tick box.
Are there big fish? Well there are big rivers and oodles of trout so you just might be lucky but please, don’t tell anyone and hopefully it will manage to maintain its stocks and its perfect serenity with dedicated fishermen who love the sport.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FLY FISHING IN THE PYRENEES OR IF YOU WISH TO JOIN GILLY ON A HOSTED WEEK IN 2018 PLEASE CONTACT US ON AT TEL: 01621743 711 OR EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org