Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Moose38, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Hola amigos,

    I come seeking advice from those of you who may of done some traveling in Spain. I always appreciate a fly fishers point of view.

    I'm planning a trip this year for the first 2 weeks of June. Other than the dates and flying into Madrid, I have no itinerary. I have a few cities I'd love to get to, including Cordoba, Grenada, San Sebastian and Barcelona. I would really like to circle the entire country but I'm not sure I'll have the time. I would also love to fish, if even for a day or two.

    Has anyone here been to Spain? I'd really appreciate any suggestions at all. Places to go, things to eat, renting a car vs. using trains, anything really. I don't really know what to expect, other than good food are pretty women. The only research I've done so far is reading some Hemingway books.

    While the trip will probably be more for cultural exploration(i.e drinking) and I will be traveling light and staying in hostels, I'd love to visit the North and do some fishing. I will probably have to hire a guide as I wont be bringing gear but the prices Ive seen are sort of absurd ( 900 euros a day!!)

    Share your experiences, knowledge, suggestions. It will truly be appreciated.
  2. Near Madrid hit Avilla and Segovia. Visit Sevilla or you missed out on a great trip. Explore smaller cities too like Arcos de la Frontera and Vejer de La Frontera. Grazelema in the Siera Grazelema range has some great smaller cities too. Cadiz is the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe, worthy of a visit too.

    You need more time.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  3. I spent a couple weeks in Andalucia about 10 years ago. It is absolutely gorgeous. It has the greatest natural diversity in Spain, if you are into that sort of thing. I'm a botanist, so I am.

    That being said, my tongue was hanging out as we drove up along the upper Guadalquiver river near where it arises. If flows for quite a ways through a large natural area with hiking trails, lots of river access, etc. I don't know what the fishing regs are like, but we did pass a trout hatchery.

    Going to Grenada (also in Andalucia) and visiting the Alhambra is a must. It is more fascinating than even the most fawning reviews. There are great, out of the way little towns and B&Bs to stay in.

  4. Ed, I know I really should spend more time there. I'm tempted to tack another week on.

    Rich, Alhambra is on the list. I was under the impression that the trout fishing was only in the North. I'll look into the river you mentioned.

    What do you guys think about renting a car? It would allow me to pack more... possibly bring fishing gear.
  5. Spain is incredible. The people are beautiful, and friendly. They just seem to love life. The food is awesome. Relatively cheap. The driving isn't bad compared to other European countries, but learn how to handle multi lane traffic circles.

    I was in Madrid, Sevilla, Cordoba, Barcelona, Granada. Loved them all, but Madrid is a special place, I don't know if it's the water or what but everyone the was incredibly good looking.

    I'm jealous.
  6. I will too be studying abroad in Spain next year in the spring in either barcelona or san sebastian, I would love to hear about your experiences moose38!
  7. Be wary; society is civilized, food is great, drinks are fantastic, weather amazing, women are stunning...much like New Brunswick. Seriously, extend your trip. Do it. Would you rather have guidos and good pizza or a life changing experience?

    Your question is like asking where do I go to dinner in manhattan. You gotta dig in and explore, if possible.

    barcelona then head to valencia....
  8. I believe the Guadalquivere passes through San Lucar de Barameda, another fabulous place with amazing people.

    I still have friends in Andalucia, envy them often.
    Moose38 likes this.
  9. Moose, the large natural area at the headwaters of the Rio Guadalquivir is called the Parque natural de las Sierras de Cazorla. In a brief search, I couldn't find anything about fishing, but it is a very nice area to visit.
    Moose38 likes this.
  10. If you are talking trout you need to go north: País Vasco, Navarra, Burgos, Asturias, León... In many places you will need a daily permit to fish trout in addition to the regular fishing license. This places are called "cotos", and the permits can be purchased in the villages close to the rivers. Prices vary, it can be from 10 to 50 Euros. Some cotos are given in a yearly lotery to limit the pressure and you won´t be able to get a permit unless you win the raffle. Unfortunately regulations are not easy to follow and they are only in Spanish. By the way, you better speak Spanish in all those places because you won´t find anybody that speaks English (or any other language other than Spanish, for that matter) outside the big cities.
    The nice thing about León is that you can go to "el Valle de la Candana", where the real "Gallos de León" are from and get excellent quality feathers at very cheap prices. Believe me, you will not get with that quality and at those prices anywhere else in the world. You can also fish in the Órbigo river in León, where Juan de Vergara, the writer of "el Manuscrito de Astorga" used to fish 500 years ago.
    You can forget about trout and go after the Spanish "barbo" (barbel), which is a close relative of the carp. They are pulling beasts and a lot of fun on any rod. You find them all over the Iberian Peninsula and pretty much any river and lake has them, even in hot Andalucia. You don´t need to worry about cotos or additional licenses for most of the barbel fishing.
    Another fishery that has boomed in the last years is "siluro" (catfish) fishing in the Ebro river. They are among the biggest in Europe and there are plenty of international fishing agents that bring fishermen, fly and gear, from all over Europe to fish for them.
    I don´t have any salt water fishing experience in Spain, I learnt how to fish the surf when I moved to the States so I can´t tell you much about it, sorry.
    If you are landing in Madrid another decision you need to make is to go north or south. Don´t try both with just two weeks. If you go north you could go Avila, Segovia, Salamanca, Leon, Santiago de Compostela (Where St. Jacobs Way ends), Oviedo, San Sebastian, Pamplona (San Fermines with the run of the bulls), Zaragoza, Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia and back to Madrid. If you go south you can go Toledo, Mérida, Sevilla, Cádiz, Málaga, Córdoba (the largest medieval mosk in Europe), Granada (Alhambra), Valencia...
    Nevertheless my advice is that If you only have 2 weeks it is better to forget about fishing and concentrate in sightseeing, unless you go with a guide that takes care of everything for you. If you have three weeks you can explore a bit and maybe slip one fishing day. But Spain has way too many things to experience that you would miss by trying to hit the water.
  11. Sounds like you know New Brunswick well because you nailed it on the head, lol. I think I will be extending my trip by a week.

    At this point, it looks like the only fishing I'll do is a day or two with a guide. I found one with reasonable rates with this

    Also, another place in the northwest where you can pay to be fish their property, be properly licensed and equipped

    Thanks for all the info... Ricardo, Richard, Ed, Jeff, Jersey... It's much appreciated.
    Ed Call likes this.
  12. I know Luis, the guy on You can't go wrong with him. He is very well known in the Spanish fly fishing community since he is very active giving seminars and presentations. He is also the writer of a well known book in Spain, "El Pardon de Meana y el Gallo de León". Additionally, he is very well versed on the Gallo de León feathers, so if you end up going to León for feathers he is the right person to be with. I can put you directly in contact with him if you want to.

    If you slip a fishing day I would go with barbel fishing. They are fascinating creatures. I grew up fishing for them in norther Spain, where my family is from. They are strong, full of energy, spooky, challenging and worth every effort to catch them. In light tackle they are a blast. Another thing I like about barbel is that you can afford fighting one for a long, long time knowing that it won´t die after you release it. They don´t need a lot of oxygen and tolerate long times being deprived of water. When I was a kid and a teenager we used to catch them in the Duero river close to the tiny village where I spent the summers with my grandparents. We put them in the creel, hiked back up to the village and after 10 minutes in the creel with no water at all they were still alive and gasping. We then released them in the big fountain in the central plaza of the village, and all they needed was a few seconds in water to reanimate and start swimming again. Once in the fountain we fed them barley, wheat, plus some grasshoppers and beetles we the kids caught. Many of them lived in the fountain for many years and grew quite large, we even gave them names :)

    I have hooked them with worms and maggots on spinning gear, and with very small and flashy nymphs on the fly rod. Lightning bugs with golden beads are awesome. I know you can catch them on dries but I had never had success, though. The first run after hooked is amazing. Rivers in Spain are narrow and with plenty of overhanging trees and plants on the shores, so you need to control the run so that they don´t head for those places and get tangled. I am seriously thinking about getting a beefy tenkara rod this year and fish for them with it during my summer vacation in Spain. That has to be a whole new experience by itself.

    Look for ¨pesca del barbo con mosca¨ in youtube. there are some interesting videos -they all are in Spanish but you can start getting used to the language :)
    wadin' boot and Moose38 like this.
  13. Thank you for all the info. I looked into those barbel fishing videos, looks like a lot of fun!

    I am going to try and fish with Luis for a day. Can you pm me his details so I can reach out to him?

    My trip will be from May 28 to June 18. You guys convinced me to stay another week!

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