When To Visit?
Probably the most frequently asked question from our customers is ‘what is the best time of year to come?’ Although the river is a constantly changing entity, the following guide will provide you with an indication of what to expect at the different times of the season.
Spring - March / April
Weather: March is still quite cool, with some strong northerly winds on certain days. Moving into April things tend to warm up and the days are often a pleasant temperature, comparable to an English summer’s day. Rain is possible at this time of the year, and can occasionally be heavy and prolonged.
The River: Typically the Ebro will be running quite high and coloured at this time of the year, which can make the catfish relatively easy to locate, as they tend to be tight into the margins avoiding the main current, or in the various eddies and slacks. Water temperature will be cool in March (10 - 11°C) rising gradually throughout April (14 - 15°C) as the weather improves. A major plus point is the lack of weed in the Ebro at this time, which makes drift fishing easier.
The Catfishing: Early season fishing is truly unpredictable, and depends on the condition of the river. A high, cold river will lead to difficult fishing, whereas a low river following a mild winter can produce unbelievably good fishing. One thing that is guaranteed is the chance of a really big fish, due to females carrying masses of spawn at this time.
Early Summer - May / June
Weather: May is one of the most comfortable months for fishing weatherwise with lovely, sunny days which are warm but not scorching. Rain is unusual at this time of year. Moving into June things begin to warm up considerably and some days can be extremely hot, although not unbearable. Expect temperatures into the high 20’s °C.
The River: During May the river Ebro is often still running high as it is fed by snow melts which swell its tributaries to the north. Water temperature will be increasing steadily into the high teens °C. Moving into June the river tends to drop to its summer level and really settles down, but retains its typical green colouration. Typically the water temperature will rise to 20°C and above.
The Catfishing: May and June are two popular months of the season because traditionally they have produced the biggest catches. The fish generally spawn early- to mid-May during which time fishing can be patchy. Once the spawning activity has ceased something of a feeding frenzy will occur and catches of 5 / 6 cats per boat per day are not uncommon.
High Summer - July / August
Weather: This is the height of summer and as you would expect some of the days are real scorchers, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30°C. Fortunately the convection currents created by this heat result in a cooling breeze which makes conditions bearable. Rain is unusual, with the exception of some dramatic thunderstorms which are occasionally experienced in the evenings.
The River: The Ebro is now settled at its low summer level and begins to fine off, losing its colouration to an extent. Water temperature rises to mid 20’s °C and with this and the increased sunlight come weed blooms.
The Catfishing: July and August provide consistent sport, even in the heat of the day. As the water temperature rises the cats' metabolism increases and they subsequently need to feed more. Early mornings and late evenings can be electric in the summer and we will often adjust our fishing times to ensure we don’t miss out on these times of the day. Weed beds can now be clearly seen and these often harbour good populations of cats.
Autumn - September / October
Weather: September is the last month of summer and is still hot, with temperatures reaching up towards 30°C during the daytime. Moving into October things are beginning to cool down, particularly in the morning and evening. There is usually some rainfall during October, which can be heavy at times.
The River: Understandably low after a long hot summer, it can be clear and weedy. Even heavy rain will not immediately raise the level as water is generally held back in the reservoirs further upstream. Water temperature remains high (over 20°C) right up to the end of October before it begins to fall.
The Catfishing: At this time of the year we can expect to have consistent action as the fish remain active in the warm water temperatures. The fishing can be awesome when conditions are favourable, particularly when low pressure weather systems are prevalent, with cool, cloudy and rainy weather. Fish will typically remain spread across the channel in the low water levels which makes our style of drift fishing particularly effective.
Winter Fishing - November / December / January / February
Weather: Winters in Northern Spain can be chilly, with plenty of fresh northerly winds. However, when the wind is not blowing there are some beautifully pleasant sunny days with temperatures getting up to around 18°C. Rain is obviously more likely in this season, and can be very heavy at times.
The River: Contrary to what you might think, tends to remain low throughout winter, not swelling until early springtime. Weed beds begin to die back although the water remains typically quite clear. Water temperature starts to fall away during November, reaching 13 - 14°C by December and then down to 10 - 11°C in January.
The Catfishing: Although our experience of fishing the river in winter is not as great as the other times of the season, we have had extremely positive results with average daily catch rates of 2 fish per boat per day and a very high proportion of 100+ fish showing. When the weather is extremely cold action can be slow, but mild spells will encourage feeding and excellent results can be had.
Please note this is only a guideline of what you can expect based on our experience of guiding on the river. Things are constantly changing and no two seasons ever serve up identical