The Pyrenees, amigo. On 35mm film.

I guess through life, time means different things to you at different stages. I mean, when you are young and it’s the beginning you don’t see the end of time. And so, you have time for everything. But at some point you reach the realization that you are closer to the end than the beginning. Then time takes on a whole other meaning and value.

Words and images by Fabio Purroy

This is an idea I have been reflecting about since I moved abroad and which arises every time I come back to my childhood mountains, the Pyrenees. I left my Navarrese homeland to try a different way of professional development but, with it, I had to renounce the meaningful things that built who I am today and which inspired my personal path.

It was July 2022 when the thoughts about time came practical among my friends Paco Marín and Nacho González. I brought them to meet a special corner in the western Pyrenees, among valleys from Huesca province. Far from the most crowded and famous routes, our traverse followed a river all the time. 

Camping gear, fly rod, a few dry flies and 35mm photography film. We decided this trip was meant to be contemplative, improvised and an observation of the present moment.

Our days proceed by long and steep hikes, trying to find the clear waters where trout and char bathe their vivid colors among the rocks. We are in the Spanish Pyrenees and it’s mid-summer. The warmth of the sun can be felt over 2000 m high. For this reason we leave the central hours of the day rest, eat and talk.  

Sunsets are the most desired moment for fly fishing, when hatches become more intense and the activity of the big fish increases. With the last rays of sunshine flashing the peaks in an orange tone, we set camp and mount our fly rods. 

The alpine stream is small in size but beautifully unquantified, which marks out rhythm leading it to cast after cast and makes us explore every meander and current. 

There are no distractions either rush in its action, just the embrace of the present that makes us be part of the place. And thus, we have time.

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