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Expert Q & A – Spain

Spain with Salvelinus

The spectacularly beautiful and rugged Pyrenees Range forms the natural border between northeastern Spain and France. They span 270 miles and flowing out of them, into the seldom traveled hill country of Spain, are 14 major river valleys and 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 the home of Salvelinus, a remarkable fly fishing outfitter with two lodges, an incredible fishing program and polished staff of tour guides for travel companions who want to experience all that this remarkable region has to offer.

Contact Max at 800.552.2729 for more information on Spain.


Expert Q & A with Iván Tarín of Salvelinus 

Top reasons to go:
1. Experience world-class walk and wade wild trout fishing in a wide range of productive rivers, streams, and lakes.
2. All state-of-the-art tackle provided.
3. Experience fine cuisine and authentic Spanish culture in villages that are more than 900 years old.
4. Fish with a very seasoned and highly professional guide team that intimately knows and understands the region’s many fishing options.
5. Treat your travel companion to a rich and varied selection of thoughtfully crafted guided activities including food/wine tours, lite hiking, and tours of cultural and architectural sites.

Where are the lodges?
The two lodges are in Aren and Santa Cilia, Spain.

How do I get there?
Guests will fly to Barcelona International Airport (BCN) where they will be met by a representative of lodge and transferred 2.5 hours to Aren. Guests may also choose to meet the outfitter at Zaragoza – Delicia’s railway station in Zaragoza or Madrid Airport (MAD).

Do I need a Visa?

When should I go?
The season runs March to November.  June, July and September are prime time to see both lodges. The Santa Cilia Lodge fishes higher elevation waters and freestone rivers. Prime time at Santa Celia is June and July. The Aren lodge fishes lower elevations and tailwaters. Prime time at the Aren lodge is fall.

Where do they fish?
Tailwaters, freestone rivers, high alpine creeks and lakes.

Where do we stay?
In two well-appointed, historic, hotel style lodges complete with their own fly shops. The hearth in the Santa Cilia lodge was used by monks to make wine 600 years ago.

Who is best suited to this destination?
Anglers of all skill levels and travel companions of varied interests love this program. Passionate anglers that are laid back and well-traveled are often the anglers that return to Spain year after year.  Also folks who like really well run operations with a wide range of fishing options including chances at trophy fish like this program. With a robust travel companion program and great food, Spain is also great for couples.

What is a typical day like?
Breakfast is served: 8:00
Departure from the lodge: 9:00
Morning Fishing Session: 10:00 – 2:00
Lunch: 2:00 – 3:00
Afternoon Fishing Session: 3:30 – 6:30
Lodge: 7:00/7:30 – message, spa, clean up.
Dinner: 9:00

What are the meals like?
World-class, with fresh local ingredients. Amazing Spanish wines are paired with every meal.

How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
Santa Cilia: Welcoming and laid back
Aren: Welcoming, comfortable and authentic.

Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Yes. There are several managers on site for anglers and travel companions.

Is there internet and cell service?
Yes both.

How do they fish?
Early Season April: Dry fly
May: Tailwater fishing using nymphs and dry flies
June, July, September: Prime time for dry fly fishing and great options for nymphing.
Late Sept, October, November: Nymphing, dry flies and streamers

How many fish will I catch?
It will depend on what the angler wants to do. It is possible to only fish for trophy fish and if that is the case an angler may only catch a few fish per day. A good average would be 10 fish per angler per day with a couple over 20”.

What are the guides like?
Experienced, passionate, patient and proud of the fly fishing in Spain. Most guides spend 80-100 days per year guiding.

Will we see other anglers?
Very rarely.

Is there wade fishing?
Yes. The program is all wade fishing.

How far is it to the fishing grounds?
15 minutes – 1 hour by car.

Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge can provide equipment. Guests should bring their own waders.

Does the lodge provide flies?
Yes. They have a fly shop, but they do not take money. Bring leaders and a box of your favorite flies.

What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?

Sage X 8’ 6” 4-wt (486-4)
Sage X 9’ 5-wt (590-4)
Sage X 9’ 6-wt with a fighting butt (961-4)

What are the top flies?
Parachute Adams #14, Royal Wulff #14, Hopper patterns #12, Beatle patterns #10, Blue Winged Olive #18, Flying Ant #18, Minnow patterns #8, Beadhead Pheasant Tail nymph and Blue Winged Olive nymphs.

What is the Fly Water Travel favorite set-up?
• Rod: 9′ 5-weight Sage X (590-4)
• Reel: Sage SPECTRUM LT 4/5
• Line: RIO Products InTouch Gold WF5F
• Leader: RIO Products Powerflex Plus 9′ 4X
• Tippet: RIO Products Powerflex Plus 4X – 5X

Are there other activities?
Yes. Lots! Salvelinus is an industry leader in travel companion programs. They offer cultural and history sightseeing, food and wine touring, kayaking, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, cooking classes, national park touring, 4×4 touring, ecotourism and spa and wellness therapies to just name a few.

What is the cost?
Please visit the following link for the most current rate-

Are there hidden expenses?
No. Laundry, spa treatments and massages are included in the packages. There are special upgrades like Michelin star restaurants and helicopter fly outs, but they are not hidden expenses.

What is the cancellation policy? 
If a trip is cancelled more than 60 days before your arrival, 100% of the sum paid will be used as a deposit for future Salvelinus trips in Spain. If a trip is cancelled less than 60 days, 50% no refund and the other 50% will be used as a deposit for future trips. If a trip is cancelled less than 45 days, no refund.

Do I Need Trip Insurance?
Global Rescue and travel insurance is recommended.

Does this trip combine well with other trips?
Yes. It is very easy to travel anywhere in Europe and Northern Africa from Spain.

Are there special skills required?

What are the physical demands?
It can be as physically demanding as the guest would like. For the most part there are no long hikes and wading can be as difficult or as easy as the guest wants.

Dangers and annoyances?
None really. For the helicopter fly outs on remote lakes you will need hiking boots with good ankle support. There are a few poisonous snakes in the high country.

Health Concerns?
Not really. Guests have a responsibility to disclose any health concerns to the outfitter before or upon arrival. Differences in temperature can be an issue in the early season. It can be chilly in the mornings and in the evenings. We recommend that guests avoid August if possible, it is hot and Spain is full of tourists.

What am I forgetting?
1. For serious fly anglers this is a place to experience, and you will be back.

2. Culture, Culture, Culture. The hearth of one of the lodges (Santa Cilia) is where the monks of the area were making wine 600 years ago. There are 1000-year-old castles and monasteries in the area to explore while you interact with the people that live and farm in the
region. The restaurant in Aren where guests dine has been run by the same family for 280 years.

3. Fall can be very warm and nice. Before November 15th it is not often cold.