El Vellón lake

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Characteristics of El Vellón lake

embalse del vellón
Closed and free sections of El Vellón lake

El Vellón lake, also known as Pedrezuela or Guadalix reservoir, has a capacity of 41 hm3 and a flooded area of 393 hectares. Despite being a small reservoir, the great density of pike and carp that populate it makes it one of the references of the Community of Madrid. It is located at an altitude of 780 metres, and its waters are not as clear as in other reservoirs in the mountains. In fact in summer the waters get really murky which at certain times facilitates fishing for predators.

It is currently a fishing reserve, managed by the fishing society of Vellón. We can get day permits in their website, or in the Sol bar in Guadalix or the Luna bar in El Molar. We can also get the permits telematically in the Madrid region’s website.

The reservoir is located in a medium sized area, however access is easy and there are many paths along the shore. These paths are very “followed” due to the large number of fishermen who frequent it. It is important to note that a good percentage of the shores are forbidden (red areas on the map). We must be very sure of which areas we are going to fish before we go to avoid unpleasant surprises. It is also very important to park the vehicle in the areas prepared for this purpose to avoid possible sanctions.

Bottom composition and structures

Pike El Vellón lake
Release of a pike in El Vellón

In this reservoir we will find both cut areas with steep slopes and abundant rocks, as well as large beaches. The cut areas will allow us to reach good depths a few meters from the shore. However, we must bear in mind that because of the type of rock there is (mainly schist), the hook-ups will be frequent.

The area of Guadalix de la sierra is generally a low-slope, shallow area. This area is especially interesting in spring, as the pike and carp use these large beaches to spawn and aso in autumn. The area closest to the dam has steeper slopes, with alternating peaks, cuts, areas of loose rocks… There are also several small streams that flow into the reservoir, which can be interesting at certain times.

Vegetation and cover

El Vellón lake
Semi-submerged trees

Both at the mouth of the Albalá stream and at the mouth of the Guadalix river itself we will find underwater vegetation. When we have rainy years and the level of the reservoir is high, the abundance of this vegetation will be much greater. In addition to this underwater vegetation, there is also riverbank vegetation, mainly reeds and small trees or bushes, which also remain semi-submerged in rainy years.

In addition to this vegetation, there are a good number of fallen trees that are found at the highest levels of the reservoir. Again, rainy years such as this 2020 will allow the level of the reservoir to rise enough that a large percentage of these trees will be under water.  In dry years the vegetation cover is scarce but in rainy years we will have multiple positions with covers on which the numerous pike that populate the reservoir will be placed.

Main fish species

Unlike Atazar lake, here the pike is the only predator. It is probably the Madrid reservoir with the highest density, which makes it one of the best destinations for pike fishing within the Community. We can also highlight the size of its carp.

Despite its high fishing pressure, El Vellón stands out for the great density of pike that inhabits it.

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Good sized pike, caught in El Vellón
  • Pike. Although the density is high, if we are looking for a really big pike then it is not our reservoir. We rarely catch specimens over 5 kg of fish and very exceptionally specimens over 90 cm are caught. However, small and medium-sized specimens are abundant, with catches of between 1 and 3 kg being very frequent.
  • Carp. This reservoir is also a reference for carpfishing fishermen. It is not a record carp reservoir, but for the average size of this species present in the community, it is a very interesting reservoir, in which we can get carp over 15 kg.

Prey species in El Vellón lake

The sunfish is probably the most abundant species of grass fish in the reservoir. The sunfish finds in this reservoir an excellent environment in which to carry out its laying and there is practically no stretch of shore in which we do not see them. In addition to the sunfish there are carp fry, crucian carp, some tench and common rudd. The common rudd is a rare fish in the Community, but in this reservoir we can observe it moving in small groups, offering a very appetizing snack for pike.

Finally, the presence of frogs and a good density of crawfish, which serve as food for both pike and large carp, should also be noted.

Access an navigation

It is a reservoir in which navigation for fishing activity is prohibited, being also forbidden for bait. Therefore carpfishing fishermen will need to use bait boats if they want to bait far from the shore.

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Nice female prespawner pike

As I indicated above, it is very important to take into account the areas that are closed, since the ranger visits the reservoir every day to ask for the corresponding permits.

The banks of El Vellón lake are quite accessible and we have several points where we can park our vehicle, so we will never have to walk more than 2 or 3 kilometers to access the area we want to fish. However, it is important to wear suitable footwear, especially in the area near the dam to avoid falls.