Mountain lakes/river in Pyrenees, Asturias, and/or Austria. Any help? Also, hello!

heero

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
37
Location
Montana
Hi, everyone. My name is Mike, I am a Merkan and live in Montana. My favorite fishing involves long treks up mountains to alpine lakes which I spend all my summer doing. I fish the rivers, as well, of course!

I am planning a trip for next summer. Long story short, I had planned to spend all of July in Russia, partly visiting my brother and his family in Moscow then partly hiking and fishing in the Altai mountains. With the uncertainty and additional requirements with visas, etc, I have but a hold on this trip until, hopefully 2022.

As a plan B, I am looking at the two destinations in the topic title. This is a 40th birthday trip for myself and the misses with a focus on fishing and hiking along with experiencing a little bit of culture. The mountain west here in the States is wonderful - best ever! - but the only culture is the cowboy culture (which is OK) and it is absolutely a culinary wasteland so it is nice to get away every so often! We have been to Europe plenty of times previously, but it has been 5 years since our last trip together.

I know this is poor start for me on the forum - asking you to hotspot for me - and for that I apologize! It was recommended I ask here by the fellas over on the salmon fishing forums, where I have participated for 10 years now. If it is any help, I am willing to exchange info and help out with Montana fishings - here is a topic over on the salmon forums with pitchers from just a few of my outings this past summer: (1) Merka, ____ ya! (Fill in the blank) | Salmon Fishing Forum


My questions are mainly around the Spanish fishing. Austria is less of a challenge for me.

I am interested in fishing mainly mountain lakes and river that hopefully involve a bit of hiking to reach, or at least a offer a bit of hiking with the fishing - ie, not a short beat-type section on a day ticket.

I have seen a bunch of alpine lakes and meadow-y rivers in the Pyrenees on display on various guides and outfitters sites. I do not enjoy the experience of hiring these services, preferring to just go do things on my own. Catching fish, for me, is always secondary - the real goal is the experience, the journey not the destination. Id much prefer to walk 15 miles up a mountain and catch no fish than to drive to a river, fish a single beat all day, and catch 100 fish.

That said, I am happy to just go on a trek up a mountain in the Pyrenees to a lake to give it go, not knowing exactly what to expect, but what I do need to know beforehand is the legality of the fishing - ie, is fishing permitted in all these lakes, are fishing rights owned by an exclusive party as in Britain and other places, etc.

This is the sort of information I am after, not where is the best fishing for the biggest fish. I am happy for any suggestions on where to fish, of course, but I am mainly looking for more information on how to determine fishing access and permitting.

As said, Austria is easier for me, but I am happy to receive any suggestions on location there, as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and nice to meet you.

Mike
 

daniport

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
354
Location
Aragon, Spain.
Hi Mike,

i think I know the best place for you. I have been up to an area in the Lerida region. To be more precise its at the top of Val Fosca (Fosca Valley) up from a town called Capdella. You can drive up to a cable car that will help take you up a short way. There are a lot of lakes in that area, the lakes are cristal clear and have a good head of wild brown trout. Its stalking fish with dry flies. Pm me for any more info.. I live close to the Pyrenees so happy to help.

regards

Daniel

just to add. Almost all rivers can be fished by puechasing day tickets. The same with the lakes in the area I mention above. One ticket (€6 more or less) gives you access to 50-60 lakes. You do need to get a local fishing permit but that is easy to do, especially in the Catalan side.
 
Last edited:

raphael

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
391
Location
France, near Sancerre
You may have a look to the French side of Pyrenees. Only one fishing license valid for the whole territory from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, wonderful food, superb landscapes, crystal clear rivers (including a bit of seatrout and salmon on the west side).

Here is the website of the fishing guides federation:

Have a look to those local anglers associations websites:
Sorry, most is in French...

R
 

heero

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
37
Location
Montana
Hi Raphael,

Thanks for the suggestions. I am pretty set on the Spanish side of the mountains and have some fishing decided upon both in Catalonia and Asturias. Maybe next time I get the desire to go abroad I will check out some fishing in France.

Just hoping my travel isnt canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Mike
 

stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
I spent a few days in the Pyrenees with my young nephew from Madrid with a fishing outfit/lodge called Salvelinus (http://www.salvelinus.co.uk/). It was a very nice trip and my nephew caught some very nice fish (an 8lb wild brown on a dry) but his prices have risen quite dramatically since then (over 10 years back when I went).
As for Asturias, I went there for the salmon fishing, and went about 6 years in a row, before I got tired of coming back without seeing a fish due to poor conditions (no water, too much water). It's a beautiful place though (some of the beats are in the Picos de Europa so absolutely stunning, World Heritage I believe), and they have fantastic trout and seatrout as well. The seatrout are very unique in that they take tiny dries during the day, unlike most seatrout in other countries.
If you'd like details of the guide I used, I may still have his number. He's an excellent guide and fished for Spain in the Internationals for about 8 years. He speaks reasonable English.
Not many people speak English, so you'd have to be able to converse in basic phrases. As I'm married to a girl from Madrid it wasn't a problem for me.
For salmon (trout and seatrout too) you will need a licence, and with salmon there is a lottery system which needs to be submitted by august or there's a special licence draw for foreigners. Here's where it comes in handy to use a guide as they can handle everything for you. There used to be an online licence website but I'm not sure if it's still running. It's a little more expensive than if a local bought your licence for you. I'll see if I can find this site for you.
Here it is: https://telelicencia.com/
You will need a separate licence for each region, so Asturias and Pyrenees are in tow different regions, so two licences.
There seems to be a few sites in english to help you get a licence but not sure if these are scams.
I also have a contact who is half american/spanish who runs a fishing outfitter company for spanish fishermen and he first introduced me to the spanish guide in asturias. As it turns out, he lives in my father-in-law's borough! Totally coincidental!
You could arrange a day with a guide (they are quite reasonable at 200e a day) then fish alone the subsequent days. His name is George Chang and he owns Pescatravel. PM me for an introduction if you wish.
 
Last edited:

heero

Active member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
37
Location
Montana
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the response. Ill shoot you a PM re your guide friend, but I am not interested in that salvenlinus type experience.

I am brushing up my Spanish at the moment and will be able to get by just fine. So no worries there. Unfortunately, at the moment it seems there is only a small chance of me being allowed into the EU in early summer due to this ongoing pandemic. I do have fully refundable airline tickets so I am not worries about losing money, luckily.

Here is to hoping.

Mike
 

stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the response. Ill shoot you a PM re your guide friend, but I am not interested in that salvenlinus type experience.

I am brushing up my Spanish at the moment and will be able to get by just fine. So no worries there. Unfortunately, at the moment it seems there is only a small chance of me being allowed into the EU in early summer due to this ongoing pandemic. I do have fully refundable airline tickets so I am not worries about losing money, luckily.

Here is to hoping.

Mike
Hi Mike,

No worries.
I didn't think that Salvelinus was your bag, but I thought that I'd put it out there. Pescatravel can also arrange guides on a day basis, to get you going, at much lower rates.
Also Carlos (my Asturian guide) can take you into the Picos (rivers like the Cares are absolutely stunning, as is the surrounding mountains) for a day, leaving you to explore on your own thereafter. Lots of lovely little hotels and pensiones with lovely people, with artisans (both in handmade goods and food such as the Cabrales, the blue cheese for which Asturias is famous) everywhere. I remember buying a whole 3kg Cabrales cheese costing £30 from a maker on the banks of the Cares, taking it back in my suitcase and freezing it after splitting it into chunks!

Yes unfortunately with the pandemic raging in Europe, it's only likely this will come off if the vaccine programs can nail it in the next few months. I believe Spain is slightly behind schedule, but the north of Spain has had very low levels of infections and deaths compared to the rest of Spain.
I'm not expecting to be able to go anywhere this year, George from PescaTravel had to cancel all his destination trips last year except for Iceland.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Steve
 
Last edited:

daniport

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
354
Location
Aragon, Spain.
Hi Mike,

No worries.
I didn't think that Salvelinus was your bag, but I thought that I'd put it out there. Pescatravel can also arrange guides on a day basis, to get you going, at much lower rates.
Also Carlos (my Asturian guide) can take you into the Picos (rivers like the Cares are absolutely stunning, as is the surrounding mountains) for a day, leaving you to explore on your own thereafter. Lots of lovely little hotels and pensiones with lovely people, with artisans (both in handmade goods and food such as the Cabrales, the blue cheese for which Asturias is amazing) everywhere. I remember buying a whole 3kg Cabrales cheese costing £30 from a maker on the banks of the Cares, taking it back in my suitcase and freezing it after splitting it into chunks!

Yes unfortunately with the pandemic raging in Europe, it's only likely this will come off if the vaccine programs can nail it in the next few months. I believe Spain is slightly behind schedule, but the north of Spain has had very low levels of infections and deaths compared to the rest of Spain.
I'm not expecting to be able to go anywhere this year, George from PescaTravel had to cancel all his destination trips last year except for Iceland.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Steve
Hi Steve, please do not take this the wrong way, I just want to correct a statement you made. The north of Spain has been as bad if not worse than the rest of the Country. Aragon was one of the worst hit provinces for much of the summer and autumn. Catalunia has been one of the hardest hit areas too. both have had infection rates of around 700 per 100,000 inhabitants. at the moment we are up to 800 per 100,000.00. This is following the relaxing of travel bans over Christmas, New year and Epiphany (6th of January). We pretty much knew all of the Iberian Peninsula would peak with cases and it is happening.
Unfortunately I dont think there will be much flexibility this year with all regions banning travel between communities and some even banning travel with boroughs. Like you said, I expect travel will have to be suspended to 2022 unfortunately.
Thanks, Tight lines all and stay safe.
 

stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
Hi Steve, please do not take this the wrong way, I just want to correct a statement you made. The north of Spain has been as bad if not worse than the rest of the Country. Aragon was one of the worst hit provinces for much of the summer and autumn. Catalunia has been one of the hardest hit areas too. both have had infection rates of around 700 per 100,000 inhabitants. at the moment we are up to 800 per 100,000.00. This is following the relaxing of travel bans over Christmas, New year and Epiphany (6th of January). We pretty much knew all of the Iberian Peninsula would peak with cases and it is happening.
Unfortunately I dont think there will be much flexibility this year with all regions banning travel between communities and some even banning travel with boroughs. Like you said, I expect travel will have to be suspended to 2022 unfortunately.
Thanks, Tight lines all and stay safe.
Thank you for the update @daniport no offense taken. I knew at the start of the pandemic in Spain when there were many infections and deaths in the rest of Spain, Asturias had virtually none.
But I guess that has all changed. I'm married to a lady from Madrid and we've been going back every year on holiday to see the family for the summer, Christmas and Reyes for probably 20 years. This year is the first in 20 years that we couldn't be there for Reyes, and had a "WhatsApp Reyes". 😢 We get daily updates from the family and I hadn't heard anything of Asturias - it's a favourite destination of quite a few of the family - so I assumed the situation had not changed.
Interestingly, my brother-in-law and his son flew off to Las Canarias (Fuerteventura) for a week, the week before last. I was amazed they could fly, the only saving grace was that it was virtually empty of people so probably very safe.
Keep safe and healthy, I hear that there have been recent changes to the lockdowns in Madrid in the last coupe of days.
 

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,606
Location
St Neots, Cambs
Hi Steve, please do not take this the wrong way, I just want to correct a statement you made. The north of Spain has been as bad if not worse than the rest of the Country. Aragon was one of the worst hit provinces for much of the summer and autumn. Catalunia has been one of the hardest hit areas too. both have had infection rates of around 700 per 100,000 inhabitants. at the moment we are up to 800 per 100,000.00. This is following the relaxing of travel bans over Christmas, New year and Epiphany (6th of January). We pretty much knew all of the Iberian Peninsula would peak with cases and it is happening.
Unfortunately I dont think there will be much flexibility this year with all regions banning travel between communities and some even banning travel with boroughs. Like you said, I expect travel will have to be suspended to 2022 unfortunately.
Thanks, Tight lines all and stay safe.
Looks like my planned trip to the Tormes won't be happening then.... Hope you're keeping safe Daniel!
 

daniport

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
354
Location
Aragon, Spain.
Looks like my planned trip to the Tormes won't be happening then.... Hope you're keeping safe Daniel!
Keeping well so far Jason, thanks! How are you doing? just think that by the time you get back to the Tormes the trout will be begging to be caught! I reckon there has been much less fishing pressure on the rivers in the Iberian Peninsula this year.. had my best Wild brownie at 67cm this year.
 

stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
The earliest I've been to Asturias to fish has been May, which was free of snow but the rivers were very high from the melted snow. Other trips were the complete opposite, quite low water due to lack of snow in the Winter, however this year has been a bumper year for snow!
 

daniport

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
354
Location
Aragon, Spain.
The earliest I've been to Asturias to fish has been May, which was free of snow but the rivers were very high from the melted snow. Other trips were the complete opposite, quite low water due to lack of snow in the Winter, however this year has been a bumper year for snow!
It can be a bit of a gamble Steve. The Lowland rivers of the Pyrenees generally open in April with higher up the mountain opening up in May or June depending on the year. The latest I have seen snow being a problem was in 2013 when the lakes were still frozen at the end of June. I went up on the 28th of July and the trout were still quite skinny!
Personally my perferred time for the Pyrenees is September and October. The fish are healthy and fight like demons! They are slightly wary
 

stevel

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
London
It can be a bit of a gamble Steve. The Lowland rivers of the Pyrenees generally open in April with higher up the mountain opening up in May or June depending on the year. The latest I have seen snow being a problem was in 2013 when the lakes were still frozen at the end of June. I went up on the 28th of July and the trout were still quite skinny!
Personally my perferred time for the Pyrenees is September and October. The fish are healthy and fight like demons! They are slightly wary
Hi @daniport
Thanks, I've only been to the Pyrenees once with my nephew as a present to him, checking my old emails, I can see it was June 2007!
Very hot and not a snowflake in sight! We even walked 100m up to fish the braided water for fish with terrestrials. Great fun!
 

JayP

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,606
Location
St Neots, Cambs
Keeping well so far Jason, thanks! How are you doing? just think that by the time you get back to the Tormes the trout will be begging to be caught! I reckon there has been much less fishing pressure on the rivers in the Iberian Peninsula this year.. had my best Wild brownie at 67cm this year.
All good here and thankfully just got on two new clubs for this year so happy days as it looks like we'll all be staying local this year. Planning a French/ Spanish road trip in 2021 so all being well those Tormes trout will be waiting for me. Off topic but do you get involved with AM Fresh at all?
 

Latest posts

Top