Spanish Rivers Continue to Rage

by | Mar 26, 2018 | fly fishing in Spain | 2 comments

Each year the first Atlantic salmon caught from the Sella River in Ribadesella, Spain is called the el campanu and has been celebrated for centuries.  These days this one salmon sells for over €1000 Euros and when it hits a plate in a well-known restaurant the meal can earn as much as €5000.  The catch is such a major event that the church bells ring.


A hundred years ago everyone likely ran out to catch a salmon of their own when they heard the church bells in Ribadesella, Spain.  These days, the numbers of salmon running up the rivers in Spain are small.  Chances are you’d fish for days, weeks or possibly even the season and not catch one.


I guarantee you wouldn’t catch one today.  Not only did it pour all yesterday but also most of the night.  All Asturias rivers are at flood stage.  So much so that the Asturias news is entirely dedicated to floods.  It will be a miracle if we fish this week.


Regardless of no fishing Jerry and I traveled with Pablo continuing to do our homework of scouting the rivers Team USA Masters Fly Fishing will be fishing in three weeks.  We started by checking out the main tournament river, the Piloña.


Two of the four beats during the Worlds Masters Competition will take place on the Piloña River.  I hope to heck it doesn’t look like it did today.  A 1/4th of the water would be about right.  Like yesterday on the overflowing Gueña River, Pablo explained what the Piloña is like when it’s at normal level and the best way to fish it.


Its not rocket science to see that looking at the rivers didn’t need to be a full day project.  The weather has screwed us.  We could cry in our beer or go have fun.  Pablo took us to the coastal town of Ribadesella, Spain which is where we learned about the el campanu and then we feasted at one of the best seafood restaurants on the coast of northern Spain, Marisqueria el Campanu.


To say we demolished sea creatures is an understatement.  Pablo took controls of the ordering along with his friend Alejandro from the wine to sides to the main course.  It was an epic indulgence of scallops, crabs, mussels, clams, octopus and fish.  Oh, and the wine was tasty as well.





We all could’ve used a nap.  But Pablo’s friend Alejandro knows the coast well and instead of naps he led us to some of the finest views of the Atlantic Ocean.  It was a gray day but the view was stunning nonetheless.


By the time we finished our coastal tour it was early evening and we were more than an hour from our hotel.  We drove a winding road along the Cares River all the way back.  We had no room for dinner nor did we want to venture out again.  Instead we stayed at the hotel bar and Pablo showed us all the rivers and places we visited on my map.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Mark Cooper

    Jeff great stuff as always and mother nature can be a beaaaaatch, hope the weather breaks for you buddy

  2. Jeff

    Yea there are no guarantees with the weather. If you go on enough trips you’ll hit a challenge or two. No big deal. We are having a blast. Seeing things we wouldn’t have.

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!