Aragon is an autonomous region located in northeastern Spain. It holds reservoirs and rivers of great interest for sports activities. Many of those reservoirs and rivers are in rural areas whose towns have suffered large depopulation processes, as their lands have been flooded to build reservoirs and activities such as agriculture, livestock farming or mining have been abandoned. Some local companies have decided to pursue a model of quality, experiential tourism based on sustainability criteria to reverse the depopulation. This is the case of companies that provide fishing, rafting or canyoning guides, among others.
The Pyrenees mountain range is in the North of Aragon. The Pyrenees Fly Fishing Company (www.pyreneesflyfishing.com) was started by two young men who chose Biescas as an ideal destination for a fly-fishing holiday on the sunny side of the Pyrenees and a good option to stay and live in the area.
The Pyrenees are considered a unique place worldwide for fly-fishing, since they host the oldest ecotype of Zebra Trout in the European continent, and offer sunny days, warm weather, stunning landscapes and rivers, and a unique gastronomy and culture, in addition to national and natural parks belonging to an impressive ecosystem.
For the Pyrenees Fly Fishing guides it is important to promote and encourage this type of touristic model, especially now, since 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This activity requires the services of one guide for every one or two fishermen, with the subsequent potential to generate employment. Moreover, being catch-and-release, this activity respects the fishing resources and adds value to the protection and conservation of elements of high ecological value such as rivers. As the guides say, “the rivers will not be conserved until the local economies perceive the benefits.”
Adrián Satué (Pyrenees Fly Fishing)