Photo Essay: Alvaro Santillán

Alvaro Santillán is the owner and operator of Focus On The Fly Media, he is a 28-year-old photographer/videographer from Spain. His combined passions, fly fishing and film, have brought him all around the world to document different fisheries. He has also developed his two passions into his lively-hood. Lineas Vivas Fly Fishing (@lineasvivasflyfishingguides) is a blog-turned-charter that Alvaro started over ten years ago. Once his guiding service gained popularity he developed a content creation business (@focusontheflymedia) and has now been contracted by a number of different fishing/hunting companies!

“In one of my favorite rivers, you have to be in the exactly the right place at just the right moment, if you want the chance of seeing one of these beauties rising. When I saw this fish feeding on the surface I had to stop and hold my breath, focus on what I was doing, and gave it my best cast. A few months later, I have to recognize this is one of my favorite trout ever.”
“When the season comes to an end, I really enjoy walking with my camera and exploring new spots. Sometimes, I discover hidden treasures.”One of my best friends always says: “I fell in love only with fish that have adipose fins”. Admiring the beauty of this fin, I have to say he could be right.”
When the trout and salmon seasons finish in Spain, the fish I enjoy chasing the most are barbels. Our Fall season is warm, the lakes and the lower parts of our river breath peace, and you’re able to enjoy the solitude needed for fishing these incredible golden barbels on the surface.Close to my home, in south France, my friend Fabrice Bergues is “the boss” of the Oloron river. Fabrice guided me years ago when I first discovered his home waters. I immediately fell in love with the region, the river (which seems designed for Spey fishing with DH rods), and its incredible salmon.Although the rainbow trout are not native to our country, in some rivers, we can enjoy this incredible fish and its awesome, crazy jumps. After netting this fish, my friend Rober sat admiring the beautiful red cheeks of this trophy rainbow.The southernmost population of Atlantic Salmon in the world resides in Spain. Although the population has decreased dramatically in the last half-century, due to river fragmentation, pollution and overfishing in the seas and rivers, the last of these brave Spanish salmon are still fighting against everything and everyone for the survival of their species.

Photos courtesy of Alvaro Santillán. For more epic content, follow him on Instagram @focusontheflymedia!

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