ZEBRA TROUT FLY FISHING IN THE RIVERS OF THE EASTERN PYRENEES
In Catalonia, most trout rivers have two populations of trout with two different species: the common trout or Atlantic trout, also known as brown trout, and the trout native to Mediterranean rivers, the Mediterranean trout also known as zebra trout.
These two species coexist in all the rivers of the region, being the brown trout the one that occupies all the low areas (between 500mts and 250mts above sea level) and the zebra trout the high areas of all the trout rivers of Catalonia. .
For a few years the Department of Hunting and Fishing of the Government of Catalonia prohibited any type of repopulation or introduction into the rivers of Catalonia inhabited by the Zebra trout.
The measure sought to protect the genetic purity of zebra trout populations by preventing the introgression of brown trout individuals. The measure has been a success and currently the populations of zebra or Mediterranean trout are recovering the number of individuals and in recolonization of areas where they had practically disappeared.
The level of purity of zebra trout in different rivers varies according to river basins. There are rivers in which the purity is total or practically total and others in which the original purity is 70% of the genes of each individual. We can affirm that, as a whole, the rivers of Catalonia have a genetic purity in individuals of Mediterranean trout or zebra trout of 90%.
Mediterranean trout vary in color or livery depending on the river or river basin where they are found and even more so, in the same river and in the same sector, zebra trout can have a very different color depending on where we fish it. A trout in the depths of a well, hidden between the rocks and where the sunlight reaches it for only a few hours, will be a really dark fish compared to another neighbor of yours perched in a fine stream where the light of the solar spectrum will be reflected in the current for many hours; this individual will have a much lighter coloration.
I already described in detail in a previous article the precious skin of our Mediterranean trout and also its most common customs, on the other hand I did not go into fly fishing. Now we are going to see in detail its fly rod fishing and also a description of the rivers of Catalonia where you can fish for zebra trout.
Dry fly fishing is very effective as long as this trout is active. This trout is especially fickle when it comes to the surface, but when it does, it is a very voracious fish and loses much of its caution and mistrust. They generally go up to fly in summer, at sunrise and sunset, these periods being the best for dry fly. The rest of the day they can be dry fly fished near shady and tangled shores, always looking for precision in the cast and without seeing the fish. This type of fishing requires a lot of patience and a great facility in the fly cast because the trout will not accept an incorrect dredging of the fly.
They can also be made up in currents by holding the fly in the currents and with slow and lazy dredging of the fly. The dry fly models that I use are the following: Red Tag on 16 hooks, Hare’s ear on 16 hook, March Brown on 12-14 hook. Imitations of Ephemerella Ignita on hooks 18-16 and in various colors, green, salmon red, tobacco brown are also very effective. The deer and elk hair whipworms for the evening climbs are very effective, as are the lion cockerel feather whippers.
Other dry flies to watch out for are land insects like ants, beetles, and grasshoppers. The black, red or brown ants of small size 18 and always winged are very effective when there are large hatches of these insects. Blue-black beetles with hook of number 16. Grasshoppers always green in hooks of 10-12-14 with long stem.
~ Carles V.