The "Ibones" (Spain)
The "ibones" are mountain lakes that are located above 1,600 m of altitude. It is estimated that there is a total of 2,512 such water bodies between the French and the Spanish Pyrenees. The vast majority of them lie between 1,800 and 2,500 meters.
The "ibones" are recent geological formations originated by glacial processes of excavation about 30,000 years ago during the glacial era. Some have been enlarged or dammed to meet economic demands associated with electricity generation.
The cold and crystalline waters are covered by snow and ice for most of the year. Despite the extreme and particular conditions, brown and brook trout dwell in many of these lakes.
In some cases the trout that live in the "ibones" were introduced in the past by the shepherds. This fish was used as food reserve in the summer when the herdsmen moved the sheeps to the alpine grazing.
The feeding attitude of trout and brook trout in the "ibones" is conditioned by ice and snow. In the summer months, during the explosion of insects life in the prairies, they feed voraciously on the multitude of ants and beetles that fall on the surface of the water.
The best flies for fishing the mountain lakes are small winged ants or foam beetles. The fishing is great fun because it is a sight "hunting" on the trout that patrol along the banks in search of food.
To access the "ibones" of the Pyrenees it is necessary to deep knowledge of the area and to have a very good physical condition. Alternatively, there is the possibility to arrive by helicopter (video) or with vehicles that have the authorization to drive through restricted access tracks. Pyrenees Fly Fishing (www.pyreneesflyfishing.com) is a fishing guide company that can help you get to know these fishing paradises.
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