zebra trout

Wild Zebra Trout – A Pyrenees Treasure

We are on the sunny side of the Pyrenees, surrounded by the best rivers, lakes and streams for fly fishing in the country.  These rivers and mountains constitute one of the best protected natural paradises in Spain.

The wild zebra trout, endemic to the Mediterranean region, is our beautiful and most well preserved treasure.  Our guests will also have the opportunity to fish brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout and barbel, mostly fishing with dry fly.

Zebra Trout

The zebra trout is a brown trout that inhabits the waters of the Mediterranean coast of southern Europe.  Their populations are considered the oldest variety of brown trout that inhabit the continent, having survived the last glaciation, which pushed fish out of many other river systems.  They are well adapted for our climate and our rivers, with their larger avenues and high water temperatures.

zebra trout
Pyrenees Zebra Trout

The climatic characteristics of the Pyrenees, with wet winters and warm summers,  present unique conditions to develop small terrestrial insects in the high alpine meadows of this mountain range.  The wide avenues of water and the rivers’ rocky bottom seems to promote the growth of oversized pectoral fins.  This allows them to achieve great speed when attacking flies, and makes for powerful fighters.   Their relative tolerance for heat allows them to feed on the surface throughout the day.  Thus, dry fly fishing is the choice of most visitors.


Small winged ants, grasshoppers, tiny beetles, stone flies, mayflies and caddis flies are the main imitations used.  Long casts and heavy flies are not needed to fish the rivers of the Pyrenees.  Instead we emphasize accuracy and drift control.  4-weight, 9 foot rods are recommended for this highly technical fishing.  Zebra Trout are not very large, between 20 and 30 centimeters, or 8 and 12 inches (although there are always exceptions; large fish can grow to over 60 centimeters, about 2 feet).


As discussed previously, dry fly fishing with short casts and lifting or stretching the arm to control the drifts are widely used techniques.  Some French and Spanish anglers in these waters have developed one of old Europe’s most refined nymphing techniques, called Spanish nymphing.  It is similar to the Czech model, with the tip of the rod moving to accompany the drift and the arm always extended.  The line does not  touch the water, a big difference with nymphing in the US.

zebra troutTo learn this approach, it is necessary to temporarily forget the basic guidelines you probably learned from US fly masters.  Most of us don’t think fly fishing for trout when thinking of Spain.  If you’re heading toward Europe or interested in Fishing in the Pyrennees. Have you fished in Europe? Leave a comment.

Nice videos:

Pyrenees Contact:
Ricardo & Adrian
www.pyreneesflyfishing.com ®
Tlf.: (0034) 653 08 11 73

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