The spectacularly beautiful and rugged Pyrenees Range forms the natural border between northeastern Spain and France. Branching out of the 270-mile mountain range, into the seldom-traveled hill country of Spain, are 14 major river valleys with 60 remarkable wild trout rivers.
Scattered throughout this sparsely populated region are quaint, picture-perfect villages, wineries, castles, and cultural sites dating back thousands of years. This is the home of Salvelinus, a sophisticated fly fishing outfitter with two lodges, an incredible fishing program, and a polished staff of tour guides for travel companions who want to experience all that this appealing region has to offer.
While it may come as a surprise, many well-traveled anglers, including Barry and Cathy Beck, will tell you Salvelinus’s trout fishing program compares very favorably to many of the world’s finest. They have access to a vast array of mountain lakes and streams as well as countless mid-elevation and lowland rivers. The higher elevation rivers and lakes offer increased catch rates for smaller fish in dramatic alpine settings, while the mid-elevation and lowland tailwaters produce some truly remarkable fishing for large wild rainbows and browns. The other bonus for the uninitiated is Spain’s barble fishery. Barbel are a remarkable European sportfish often referred to as freshwater bonefish due to their tenacity and fight once hooked. They are by no means easy to catch, but when conditions are right, they readily feed on surface flies. In these waters, they average two to four pounds but trophy barble over 10 pounds are not uncommon.
Unlike most lodges, Salvelinus operates out of two different locations to take advantage of the region’s seasons. Santa Cila Lodge in the western Pyrenees focuses their angling in the scenic high country of the Pyrenees as well as some of the mid-country rivers, while Aren Lodge in the eastern Pyrenees focuses on the mid-elevation streams and lowland trophy tailwaters. Both lodges are based out of small villages and offer very comfortable accommodations paired with exceptional meals and wines. Likewise, both operations are typically booked as stand-alone week-long packages depending on the time of year and are ideally suited to travel companions who can take advantage of an extremely wide range of thoughtfully guided day tours ranging from light hiking, food and wine tours, and visits to areas of cultural and historical significance. Personally designed and guided by Salvelinus owner Ivan Tarin, the Ultimate Pyrenees Tour is Salvelinus’s most deluxe tour that combines the best of all their offerings and is our top pick for those seeking the most diverse and enriching fly fishing tour Europe has to offer.