Fishing In Wales Catch Report - November Game Fishing Report (22/11/2023)
Stillwater Trout Fisheries:
After an appalling run of weather that has seen torrential rain, muddy banks and coloured water, we are finally coming into a cold and dry period, perfect for hitting the fisheries! The trout venues have been fairly quiet through November, as you would imagine with the poor conditions, but water temperatures have fallen and the fish are hard on the feed in many of them, making the run up to Christmas a good time to get out and show them some support.
Newport Reservoir FFA: Ynys-y-fro near Newport reports excellent fishing on both of their lakes, with a re-stock of fish from a new supplier providing great action. The venue is going from strength to strength, with a new boat pontoon recently installed, which along with a Clubmate booking system makes access much easier for members. Day tickets are available for non-members and membership is open to all.
Dare Valley Aberdare: Reports a generous stocking of rainbows, blues and golden trout from 5lb to 10lb plus last week. The fishery has also announced a new stocking policy – they will only stock trout from a minimum of 5lb upwards. A tagged fish is still at large, with a growing prize pot for the angler who eventually catches it.
Eisteddfa Fishery, Criccieth: Is running a winter fly fishing league. During the first round on the weekend a total of 45 fish were caught for a rod average of 4.5. Winner of first round Morgan Jones with 7 fish. Top methods for the day were pulling lures on an intermediate or bung fished with a squirmy or eggstacy worm set at around 4ft. Below: Finley Partington with a nice brown trout caught during the first leg of the winter league.
Llyn Clywedog, Llanidloes: With only just over a week to go until the venue closes at the end of November, there are some incredible fish coming out of Clywedog at the moment. Anthony Rees (below) caught and released this stunning 9lb 7oz brownie. Some boats are still catching over 20 fish. It’s without doubt the ‘bung’ method has been producing for the boat anglers, who are catching at various depths down to 10ft, even though there are large quantities of fish still feeding on the surface on the calmer days. Squirmy worms and egg flies all doing well.
Garnffrwd Fly Fishing Lake, Cross hands: The Cafe is open all week, and the fishing is good. Plenty coming out on the bung yesterday, but with the weather starting to settle we should start to see more fish feeding on the naturals. Another delivery of Exmoor Rainbows was stocked on 14th November.
Foxhill Trout Fishery: A new fishery near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. The 3 acre pool is stocked with quality rainbow and blue trout to 15lb. Plenty of fish between 6lb and 8lb 8oz are being caught, mostly on straight line buzzer (fish from the venue below) Chris Jones caught 13 fish at the fishery including one of 7lb and 9lb. The fishery offers free bacon rolls too, so well worth checking out!
Nine Oaks fishery, New Quay: Doing well under new management, the fishery has been re-stocked through November with rainbows, blues, tigers and brown trout in it’s 3 trout pools, with many fish reported of around 5lb in weight. Price is £20 C&R with an option to keep a single fish.
Wal Goch, North Wales: Despite the wet weather the fishery has been providing good action through November. Reports of up to 13 fish on C&R mostly to egg flies fished on bungs.
Graiglwyd Springs Fly Fishery, Penmaenmawr: has been well stocked through November, plenty of fish are being caught on sinking lines and lures.
Llanelli Angling Association: Has fishing on the upper Swiss Valley reservoir above Llanelli. Day ticket, full season and winter tickets are available. The 30 acre venue has been re-stocked through the early winter, and has fished well when conditions have allowed. We visited the venue recently, it is a real gem. You can watch the video here.
As I write this it has finally stopped raining, allowing river anglers interested in catching grayling a glimmer of hope, after a wash out lasting well over a month. With settled weather on the horizon, some of our major grayling rivers should start to fish at the weekend or possibly earlier.
The Dee in North Wales is a fabulous grayling river, and a few hardy anglers have braved rare interludes in the rain and caught some nice grayling in terrible conditions.
The annual Hanak Grayling Festival, organised by Hywel Morgan and the local angling clubs is taking place on the first weekend in December, attracting teams from across the UK and Europe. It looks like the rain has stopped just in time!
Wales World Team international Kyle Cheshire has been on his local River Rhymney in a brief break in the storms, landing some immaculate grayling to Euro Nymphing techniques. Below Scale perfect Rhymney grayling, from Royal Oak Angling Club water.
The Rhymney falls quite quickly so is one of the first grayling rivers that should be fishable. Others that drop fast include the Irfon and the upper Wye, which is moderated by the Elan dams. The upper Severn also, which is regulated by Llyn Clywedog and can have stable levels in winter after a wet spell. The NRW river level gauge is a very useful tool when planning a day on a grayling river.
Prospects: December should offer favourable conditions for fly fishing enthusiasts after grayling or rainbow trout. Stocked rainbow trout remain active in cold weather, making small fisheries ideal for those seeking a winter retreat. Our many trout stillwaters in Wales offer a unique and peaceful angling experience during the colder months, with our grayling rivers providing world class fishing no matter how cold it gets.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - October Game Fishing Report (17/10/2023)
We have seen a surplus of water at the back end of the season, which has led to some nice salmon being captured. Colton Kelly below with some impressive Cothi specimens. Colton has also captured some good salmon on the Towy.
Overall it has been another slow season for salmon, with the prime Abercothi beat reporting 22 for the season. The weather extremes across Wales have not helped – its either been washout or drought, no happy medium!
The Wye has seen reports of salmon being caught at Wyesham including fish of 22lb on 28th September. Gromain & Upper Llanstephan saw an 18lb cock fish captured by Mark Purvis on 11th October.
Trystan Davies has experienced success in the final weeks on the river Teifi on Llandysul AA water, with some cracking salmon. Pictured below.
In North Wales Rob Redman has seen success with some back end sewin on the rivers around Dolgellau on the DAA water, image below of a cock fish from first week in October.
With brown trout fishing now over, grayling are a target fish for many in the Welsh rivers that hold them. Rob Redman again below, wasting no time with a cracking fish of over 50cm from the river Dee a couple of days ago.
The upper Wye has also proved to be a grayling hotspot so far this autumn, the Craig llyn beat in particular. Below, Kyle Cheshire and beat owner Shaun Watkins with some lovely examples of upper Wye grayling.
The Irfon has also stated to produce, with Lyn davies reporting a 17 inch specimen on the Colonels Water. Melyn Cildu is another Irfon beat that is well well worth trying, with larger than average grayling present.
Grayling are also being caught on the river Taff, Rhymney and upper Severn, where day ticket access is easy and inexpensive.
River levels are crucial for grayling, so pay attention to the live river levels on the NRW monitoring website. Our blog explains how to read it for angling success!
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – Season stock 41,900. The fishing has been excellent through October, on the calmer days we’ve seen literally hundreds of fish feeding on the surface right from the top end of the popular side right down to Dinas point on the emerging black buzzer in the last day or so we’ve also seen that the buzzer bed off Dinas point is now starting to produce fly with good numbers of fish showing from Dinas to vadre vawr and across sailing club frontage. Bank anglers still doing very well from the Bigga arm Gronwen and popular side. Boat areas Bigga arm, popular side, Eblid basin cages and Dinas point. Note Brown Trout are now out of season and to be returned. Bags of up to 44 fish are being reported, the fishing will continue to be excellent for the next several weeks.
Llyn Trawsfynydd Lake, Trawsfynydd – The rescheduled 6th and final round of the Turrall Traws League was held on 14th October The weather having cooled a fair bit over the past few days. During the day there was a mix of sun rain and hail. Despite the cool conditions the lake fished well with all anglers catching. Congratulations to Morgan Jones with a credible 13 fish. The 13 anglers caught 69 fish for a rod average of 4.6. Traws is open through the autumn and can often be very productive on the milder, calmer days.
Llwyn On Reservoir, Merthyr Tydfil – Closes at the end of October. The lake has been fishing well through October after being stocked with around 500 fish every fortnight. Bags of 4 fish are common, with some anglers reporting 6 fish limits. Fly, spin and bait permitted here.
Ynys-y-Fro, Newport – Has seen an improvement with the cooler weather. Andy Hoffrock reports: The fish are still podded up. You might want to go out on the boat. There are fish moving in and out of the banks but it’s more consistent drifting on a boat covering more water. Whatever you decide, the fish are up in the water. Culls are working well, You’ll get interest and follows on lures but they seem to take dries and nymphs fished static high in the water much more confidently.
Dare Valley, Aberdare – The fishery is now open on a Monday, 8am to dusk. The lake is fishing really well now with the drop in temperatures. The lake was stocked on 6th October with some very large rainbows. Tiger trout have also figured in the recent catches at the venue. An open competition is being run at the venue on Saturday 21st October, head to the fishery Facebook Page for details. Below, a few photos from the venue taken over the past few weeks.
Nine Oaks fishery, Llanarth – Has been re-stocked for the winter with tigers, blues and rainbows and is now fishing well. The complex is now under new ownership. There are 3 trout pools, it is £20 for C&R with the option to keep 1 fish.
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – Water is crystal clear and a good rise of feeding fish. Some cracking hard fighting fish being caught. Pant y Bedw also caters for bait fishing, although pegs are limited, and there are some really nice grass carp in the top lake ranging up to about 20lb
Abernant Fishing Lake, Port Talbot – The trout fishing lake is now open and fishing well in the cooler conditions.
Graiglwyd Springs Fly Fishery, Penmaenmawr – Was stocked on 6th and 13th October. There is a good head of fish in the lake and people are catching well. Fish are being caught on floaters and nymphs, as well as intermediate and lures.
Walgoch Fishery, Nanerch – The fish are feeding subsurface on natural fly, nymphs just subsurface seem to be the best method, or lures fished right in, or skated across the top. Below Robert Jones with a nice brown trout taken on a Pheasant tail nymph.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – Update from Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association on 17th October: Last night the committee made the tough decision to keep Llyngwn closed for the winter season. We are not satisfied with the water conditions at the lake and we feel that it’s in the best interest of the club, it’s anglers and the aquatic environment to keep the place closed over the winter. We know this is disappointing and we will all miss fishing the lake. We will update you in the spring with any future plans.
Natural trout stillwaters
October 17th saw the natural wild trout venues close. These have seen a terrific season, with Claerwen and Elan Valley in particular producing excellent fishing. Nant y Moch, Teifi Pools, llyn Berwyn, Cambrian Angling and the Aberystwyth lakes have also been well worth fishing in 2023. We now must wait until March 20th for most of them to open. Below, a cracking Claerwen fish estimated at 3lb for Tony Howells caught last month. This is the largest fish we have ever heard of from the 900-acre venue.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - September Game Fishing Report (18/09/2023)
Looking back at September so far and to late August game fishing in Wales has been really mixed; from wet cool conditions that were favourable for salmonids, to an intense heatwave lasting a full week which essentially cooked our shallower stillwaters making them very difficult during then and for the week afterwards as they cooled off. Likewise, the rivers were on form just prior to the hot spell, and only now significant rain is falling again which should help liven them up, before the season ends.
Once we get through the wet stuff this week, we should be looking at some excellent fishing going forward this autumn, especially for grayling after the trout river season ends on 30th September, and on the stillwaters in October. Migratory also should see an upswing up until October 17th season’’s end.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – is now open again after being closed for most of the season. The algae problems have been due to ammonia rich sediment in the lake. The club and committee have been working tirelessly recently to maintain the water quality of Llyngwyn to make sure the lake stays open and everyone’s enjoyment can continue. They have treated the lake with barley extract and now need to maintain the levels using barley bails which you will see dotted around the lake. The no fishing zones are clearly visible with yellow buoys. These are areas with ammonia rich sediment and it is vital we leave these areas undisturbed to keep the algae levels controlled.
Since re-opening on 1st September there have been good reports including multiple catches of rainbows, blues and brown trout. Below: Ian Shanahan with a llyn gwyn brown and a rainbow caught just after the lake re-opened.
Dare Valley, Aberdare – The fishery is going from strength to strength, with catch and release now possible for £25. The lake has been re-stocked with some large fish in double figures, plus ‘exotic’ blues, golden, tigers, spartic and brown trout. A tagged fish competition is now underway. The cooler water of the past few days has seen the fishing pick up, Andrew Bufton below with a nice blue.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The venue was re-stocked on 5th September. It was tough during the hot week, but thanks to cool water temperatures and rain it should fish well in the coming weeks.
Wal Goch, Mold – Was stocked on the 16th September. Fishing seems to be slow after the heatwave, but there are reports of fish starting to come out now, especially to buzzer fished under a bung. Rainbows, blues and tigers being caught.
Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery, Abergele – Was stocked on 22nd August. Some nice brown trout are being caught here on dry flies.
Graiglwyd Springs Fly Fishery, Penmaenmawr – New fish introduced on the 15th September. The venue should start to fish well into October.
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – Llyn Clywedog report 14th Sept. Weekly stock 1000. Season to date 38,700. So after what was a very unusually hot week last week which led to a difficult weekend just gone we’ve seen the fishing improve day on day this week with fish returning to the upper layers in the last couple of days.
In fact today we’ve seen reasonable numbers of fish rising in near perfect conditions mainly feeding on midge but there are a few daddies tumbling around also. Best boat areas are Bigga arm, Llwyd, centre of popular, Eblid basin right through to the area off Dinas point where the most fish are rising today. Bank areas Bigga arm, Gronwen field, The pipe and hedge end. Boat bookings 01686412890
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Both reservoirs have been fishing slow due to the warm week, however on 15th September Andy Hoffrock reports: there are lots of fish in the inlet bay mouching around in the weed. Great fun as it was sight fishing. Lots of follows without hook-ups but if the ripple was there, they took my flies. Managed to land 3 and dropped a couple. Though late in the year I reckon they were taking damsels. Visit www.nrffa.co.uk for more details.
Llyn Brenig, Cerrigydrudion – Report from the Fishery: We have now come to an end of another fly fishing season here at Llyn Brenig with the last stock now in the lake we are starting to wind down for the coming winter months. Thanks to you all for what has been a great but also challenging season at times. We have seen all kinds of weather with extreme heat to cold, dark and windy days making for some interesting fishing throughout the season. With the success of numerous competitions including Llaniliar Classic and the Greys pairs we have many fantastic reports from anglers throughout the season complimenting both on the surface and sub surface tactics.
Brown trout @ Llyn Brenig – As many of you may be aware, we have introduced brown trout to the reservoir this season as extra species to catch for the anglers. We are still getting to grips with their different growth rates and behaviours, which has meant some unexpected changes to stocking patterns. The usual stocking of the Brenig includes 33 000 rainbow trout, however this season the Brenig has only had 21 000 rainbows due to the rest being made up of brown trout. As widely known the brown trout are slower growing species and this was evident this season with many browns only reaching approximately 1 1/2lb. Many didn’t reach stocking size until near the end of the season. This being said, the impact of the introduced brown trout has had both negative and positive comments throughout the season with mixed feelings about their use for stocking at Brenig in the future. We will continue with the experiment for now and are more than happy to take on your feedback, good and bad, about how it is going. Ultimately, we are trying to make the fishing as interesting, diverse, and enjoyable as possible, but are discovering that there are some compromises that cannot be avoided when it comes to stocking brown trout!
Natural brown trout stillwaters – Have been tough going in September this year, although a few good reports are coming from Teifi Pools, Elan valley and Llyn Berwyn, which is a cracking venue for surface sport and wading. Lyn Davies and friend captured 25 trout between them on dries at the end of August on Berwyn, pics below.
Many of these natural venues (aside from Tregaron AA waters) are open until 17th October and should fish really well in the last couple of weeks when the wild brown trout switch back on. Venues such as Talybont reservoir, Llyn Gwyddior, Aberystwyth lakes, llyn Padarn and Ogwen Valley lakes are all excellent in October. The historic Tal-y-llyn is another lake for autumn fishing, but sadly we have just been informed that fishing has been stopped recently. We reached out to the venue and got this response: ”We have had to stop it temporarily due to not having enough access to fish the lake, due to one the road and secondly as the farmer does not want people crossing his land on the other side of the lake. We are hoping to get some boats on the lake for next season, so we don’t have to stop fishing all together.”
Before the heat of mid September the rivers were fishing exceptionally for trout, especially the Taff, Sirhowy, Ebbw, and some of the West Wales rivers Gwendraeth, Taf and Cothi, where Charlie Corkrum and Gary Herman have also encountered a few salmon and sea trout using Rapalas.
The Dee also has started to fish well, grayling are now showing in the catches to dry fly tactics. With cooler weather this week the upper Wye has started to produce excellent numbers of trout and grayling, Lyn Davies with some lovely examples below from the Doldowlod beat on the Fishing Passport.
Trout season ends on 30th September for most rivers in Wales, but after then there will be plenty of choice on the rivers that hold grayling.
The September hot spell saw water temperatures fly up in the Wye and Usk, therefore the Fishing Passport and WSA advised anglers not to fish from 7th September. Likewise, many other Welsh rivers saw less angling activity than usual due to the warmth. Fishing resumed after the suspension on 13th September, since then the Wye has seen 2 salmon reported at Wyesham. The Teifi has had a tough season, with extremes of drought then high flows, despite this there have been fair numbers sewin to 4lb reported by Steffan Jones captured by his clients, so fish are in the system.
There was some good sewin fishing in September on some of the North Wales rivers, the Mawddach and Wnion systems produced some very nice Sewin to Rob Redman, pictured below.
Salmon have been seen in the Betws y Coed waterfalls area on the Conwy ,following the rain of late August.
Prospects look good for game angling as we head into the final part of the season, a wet few days should lead to much improved fishing!
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - July/August Game Fishing Report (16/08/2023)
Well, what a contrast compared to the heat of June, the weather in Wales has been mixed to say the least for the past month, with plentiful water in the rivers which has led to some excellent migratory fishing for salmon and sea trout, as well as wild river trout, when levels allow.
Chris Flay and friends visited the Usk for some late summer action on a fishing Passport beat on the middle river. The recent rain has really topped up the river and Chris used a woolly bugger streamer to great effect, a tactic that works well in higher flows.
Small streams on the Fishing Passport have been well worth fishing with the high water, the many Usk, Wye and Monnow tribs are all worth trying, given water, with fish to 2lb 12oz reported along with high numbers of smaller fish. These can all be booked through the Fishing Passport site. Ceri Thomas captured the trout below of 19 inches from the Nant Bran, a remote Usk tributary.
Welsh rivers international Kyle Cheshire is no stranger to specimen wild trout on his local South Wales rivers, but this one is next level! 6lb 6oz of wild river Ebbw brown trout, weighed in the net and safely released. The superb capture is an example of the incredible trout fishing we have on Welsh rivers. Season ends on 30th September, so get out and enjoy!
Gareth Dixon is enjoying some brilliant salmon and sea trout fishing on the Dyfi off the back of the rain throughout this month. With over 10 salmon to 12lb and sea trout over 4lb to fly and spinner. The river is fishing well.
The Wye has seen a fair number of salmon caught, including Airflo’s Colin Thomas (below) who caught a nice fish on the upper river.
Several salmon have been caught on the Rectory beat, Llangoed & Lower llanstephan and Spreadeagle, where Ed Brown landed a monster of 31lb and 41 inches!
The lower beats such as Wyesham and Bigsweir have also seen a run of salmon through August, helped by the ample water in the river. A rod on upper Bigsweir reported 3 in one morning on fly, 15lb, 6lb grilse and an 18lb fresh fish.
River Towy has been fairly slow according to some reports, although Dan Moore and Scott Topping (below) have found success with some nice sewin on Llangadog Angling LTD water. Jan Bobrowski has reported fish to 6lb on surface lures when conditions have allowed.
Scott Topping has also caught some cracking brown trout on the Towy, nice example below.
Colton Kelly captured a lovely fresh hen salmon on the fly at Golden grove on the Towy first week of August, pictured below.
The Cothi continues to have a good season, Charlie Corkrum reports some action-packed sessions with sea trout to 65cm on rapalas. Charlie also reports sewin on the Taf, Gwilli and Cynin, plus salmon to 75cm and some cracking brown trout over 50cm as well.
The Seiont near Llanberis has produced a good number of salmon and sea trout to 12lb 6oz recently, helped by the abundance of fresh water at the end of July. Robin Parry had a grilse of 8.5lb on a single hander and Ian Williams reports a 9lb sewin. The Ogwen has seen some sea trout up to 10lb plus some grilse.
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – Hosted round 4 of the OES Clywedog League on August 14th. The 72 anglers were met with overcast conditions and light winds with the majority of the competitors fishing dries or washing line methods on various tip lines. A total of 543 fish were caught (408 of which were returned) for a rod average of 7.54. Marian Davies landed a rainbow of exactly 10lbs. The youth international was fished on 2nd August, Congratulations to Team Ireland! Fantastic event rod average 10.7 fish. Ireland 175, Scotland 169, England 152, Wales 104 fish. Look out for a Fishing In Wales film covering the event in the near future. Boat bookings 01686412890
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Both reservoirs have been fishing slow, but water is now cooling down and fish are feeding again off the surface. Visit www.nrffa.co.uk for more details.
Claerwen reservoir, Elan Valley – This wild 650 acre water has fantastic fishing for wild brown trout, the fish are free rising and there are plenty of them. It fishes well all summer. Joe Alexander reports some excellent sessions here, with over a dozen fish typically each visit to pulled wet fly. A good venue for anglers getting into wild lake fishing. Tickets in Rhayader at Daisy Powell Newsagent and at Hafod Hardware.
Nant y Moch Reservoir, Ponterwyd – Another wild water, Nant y Moch’s 500 acres are home to plentiful, hungry, wild trout that run to 1lb. Like Claerwen, you are almost guaranteed action, catches into double figures are common. Like all of these mountain reservoirs, keep on the move to find the fish. The lake has fished well all August, Joe Alexander and friends reporting some bumper catches. Day tickets at the filling station Ponterwyd. Look out for a future Fishing In Wales video on the venue with Alan Parfitt.
Aberystwyth Angling Association – For anglers looking for larger wild lake trout, less in number and presenting a bit more of a challenge than the mountain reservoir trout in the area, then these are the lakes for you. Jonathan Thomas (below) reports a beast of a wild trout around 4lb from the Rhosrydd and Glandwgan complex, as well as 8 other fish from 1.5lb to 2lb. Other lakes to try include Oerfa and Frongoch, both known for producing quality brown trout, and in the case of Frongoch, rainbows.
Small water Trout Fisheries
Dare Valley fishery, Aberdare – The new venue is now allowing catch and release, 1 fish kill and 5 to be returned for £40. Below: A 9lb rainbow from the fishery.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – reports of rainbows to 14lb at the fishery at the end of July. Always the chance here of a whacker!
Crynant fishery, Neath – Jason Williams (below) reports a good day with a bag limit of fully finned rainbows, which are bred on-site at the catch and kill venue.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – Some good sport to lures, the fishery was re-stocked on 12th August thanks to cool water temperatures so should fish well in the coming weeks.
Wal Goch, Mold – Fred Green reports August 7th ‘‘Just had a great day’s fishing. It was hard but worthwhile. I had five to the net and lost one. I also had a good number of takes but missed them (my fault). There were a few showing on the top but I think that they were taking about two feet down.’’ Plenty of fish are being caught including some nice blues.
Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery, Abergele – Our One Day Fly Fishing Experience has proved popular this year. Keith who was with us last weekend was kind enough to leave a review on Google – “Amazing experience, never picked up a fly rod before and with the expert tuition I was fishing in no time. Beautiful pools and surroundings, hosted by the nicest people you could hope to meet. Looking forward to making the trip back as soon as possible” – for more information on the experience day click here.
Prospects look good for game angling as we head into the later part of the season, a wet summer should lead to a bumper back end!
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - June/July Game Fishing Report (18/07/2023)
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – It’s been superb in mid July at Clywedog, with the fish feeding high in the water, we’ve seen both boat and bank anglers catching on dries. Last weekend we hosted the Fly Shop Invitational which went extremely well with fish that went deeper in the hot spell at the end of June returning to the surface with a vigour. Areas have been Bigga arm, dead channel, mouth of the Bigga , popular side, Eblid basin to Sailing club and Bwlch y Gle. Flies daddies, hoppers, cdc Shuttlecock, small black boobies and cormorants. Boat bookings 01686412890
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Both reservoirs have been fishing poorly in June, but now in July with cool weather it has picked up. Kieron Jenkins reports yesterday: ‘’Couple of hours on the boat this afternoon, water is slightly coloured due to the rain but the fish are still active. Managed 8 in 3 hours mainly from the boat moorings to the bay, fish pretty close in on damsel again through the Lilly Pads/weeds’’ Visit www.nrffa.co.uk for more details.
Llyn Brenig, Cerrigydrudion – Report week Ending 17th July 2023. The weather over the last week has been cooler and windier than previous weeks. We had some strong winds at the end of the week particularly on Friday and Saturday. This made for some difficult fishing conditions. However, the fishing has become easier this last week with the fish moving towards the top few feet of water making for some good sport.
There has been a marked improvement in the rod average over the last two weeks with this week’s average standing at 4.2 fish per angler. We were delighted to host the North Wales Police Competition here at the Brenig last Thursday with eight boats taking to the water, with the result being sixteen anglers caught 42 fish between them with an average of 2.6 fish per angler. Mr. Colin Jones, the organiser wrote that the conditions were near perfect for top of the water fishing, but the actual fishing proved to be tougher.
The top angler on the day was Steve Jukes with six fish from the ring of stones, followed by Steve Williams and Barry Edwards both with 5 from the same area. We also have the results from the Senior Welsh Trials which took place at the Brenig on July 1st. The top rod was Andrew Jenkins with a total weight of 27lbs 3oz, in second place came Richard Hooper with a total weight of 20lbs 1oz and in third place came Matthew Owen with a total weight of 17lbs 3oz.
Having a look at this week’s catch returns has certainly made for some pleasant reading with many anglers making very positive comments. The last few weeks was summed up perfectly by Mr. Geraint Hughes who had an ‘awesome’ day on Wednesday, catching eleven fish after struggling on previous occasions.
There have also been a few bigger fish caught this week, maybe they have been lying in deeper water and with the cooler weather have made their way up, with Mr. Richard Cheetham landing the biggest fish of the week, a 4lbs 8oz Rainbow. The biggest bag of the week goes to Mr. D. Humphreys who recorded a weight of 11lbs 8oz for five fish caught. The Top flies have been black bibio hopper, hare’s ear, black beetle, green sedge, daddy long legs, cat’s whisker and various other blobs and boobies. The hot spots for the boats have been Tower Bay, the Dam Wall, the Quarry, the Visitors Centre and around the cages. Bank anglers have had success in Tower Bay, the Visitors Centre shore, Hafod Lom and the girder North of the Visitors Centre. The main gates will be closing at 5.45 this week and therefore boats need to be back on the jetty by 5.15pm. Tight Lines, Jim Jenkins – Seasonal Ranger.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – The club has now suspended catch and release, and it is thought the intense June heatwave may have caused a lot of fish to perish. It is likely that the fishery will be hard going until the autumn months when it will be re-stocked when the water is cold enough again.
Talybont reservoir, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park – Hard day time fishing now, with the lake at 19 degrees last couple of weeks. It is cooling down thankfully. Fishing here has now switched to the late evenings, expect good action to dries and on small lures as it gets dark. Day tickets with the Fishing Passport.
Teifi Pools, Tregaron – Great sport here in wet and windy weather if you can brave it! Wild browns from 8oz to 2lb or more. Llyn Berwyn is also worth a go on the same ticket. Details on Fishing Passport or watch our film with Hywel Morgan here.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir, Ffestiniog – Round 4 of the Cynghrair Traws Turrall Traws League 2023 was held on 15th July, with strong S.W. winds gusting to almost 30mph and heavy squalling showers. Due to the weather conditions, all the boats stayed within the channel, Home Bay, Islyn Bay and Carreg yr Ogof areas. Congratulations to the top 3, Robin Atherton, Peter Greasley, Gerallt Roberts, also to the top lady Marian Davies and top youth Dan Owen. A total of 90 fish were caught, rod average of 5 fish between 19 anglers with fish to nearly 3lb.
Small water Trout Fisheries
The June heatwave really slowed down action on the smaller trout fisheries, several of them suspended catch and release or even closed. They are now open again as water is cooling down with fishing improving. Fisheries to try include Papermill, Pantybedw, Wal Goch, Garnffrwd, Tan-y-Mynydd, Graiglwyd Springs. It always worth ringing before travel to see how they are fishing as it can be hit and miss in the summer months.
June was not a great month for river fishing for any salmonid species, and in some cases, certain stretches were closed on the Wye and Usk, due to water temperatures hitting 20 degrees.
Mid and late June saw river fishing for trout limited to late evenings, where the ‘spinner fall’ dry fly fishing has been spectacular, especially on the Usk, Taff, Teifi and Ebbw.
For summer spinner fall fishing it is best not to start fishing too early, 7.30pm till 10pm is the perfect time, given the late sunsets. Below are several large trout to 22 inches captured on dry fly at dusk on the Taff and Usk. Permits for both rivers can be purchased on the Fishing Passport.
After the searing heat of June and low, drought-stricken rivers, thankfully temperatures have fallen back in July and we have now seen a decent amount of rain throughout Wales, which has led to excellent day time fishing once more.
As such, trout fishing has once again picked up with Euro nymphing scoring well in the higher flows. Grayling, now in season, have started to figure in the catches on the upper Wye, Dee, Rhymney and lower Taff.
Small streams on the Fishing Passport have also benefitted from the rain, rivers such as the Edw, Clettwr, Ithon, Tarrell, Bran, Llynfi Dulais, Taff Fechan, Monnow and tribs are all worth a try while we still have water. ‘wild stream’ Permits are available on the Fishing Passport.
For a taste of daytime fishing a Welsh river using nymphs, check out our recent video with Hywel Morgan on Groe Park and Irfon Angling Club water. You will learn a lot about this deadly method, which is very easy for a beginner to river fly fishing to pick up.
The river Ebbw hosted a home nation international at the end of June; attended by teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and of course Wales. The home team performed magnificently, securing top spot and the Gold Medal. A total of 325 fish were caught to 45.7 cm, 118 of which by Team Wales. A testament to the remarkable productivity of the Ebbw, a post-industrial river. Welsh Team member Simon Barton took individual winner of the Brown Bowl. Congratulations Team Wales!
The season had a terrible start due to lack of water, but now we have had rain as I write this salmon and sea trout are being caught in the rivers of West Wales. The Cothi has produced several cracking sea trout and salmon for Charlie Corkrum, who spins with Rapala’s with single barbless hooks as per the regs, he has had salmon to 88cm and sewin to 82cm (pictured below) weight well into double figures! Great fish care demonstrated too.
The Teifi has seen the arrival of school sewin, plus some bigger fish, Iswlyn Jones reports one of 6lb a few days ago on the Llandysul Angling Association water. The Tawe has also sprung into life with junior member Jacob catching a fresh salmon on the fly from PASAS water. A few others have been caught and seen. The club are also running free fly fishing lessons this summer.
Sea trout are also being caught in the day in North Wales off the back of the recent water, Rob Redman finding success on the Afon Mawddach catchment.
On the Wye the fishing for salmon was resumed on 3rd July, after the temperatures finally fell. Since then a couple of salmon to 16lb have been reported at Wyesham and on the Usk a 12lb hen fish was caught at Llanover.
A lot more rain is forecast for the coming weekend, which should improve things again.
Fishing In Wales Game Catch Report – May/June 2023 (13/06/2023)
As I write this, we have just experienced 29 days of little or no rain in Wales, not good for river fishing. That said the nights have been fairly cool so water temperatures have been moderated somewhat.
Trout fishing has predictably become difficult in the day time, however evening fishing has been exceptional, with fish rising freely as the light fades. Rivers such as the Usk, Taff, Tawe, Ebbw, Upper Severn, Upper Wye and Teifi have provided first class evening dry fly fishing, with fish to over 5lb recorded. We really are lucky in Wales, our river trout fishing is truly excellent. Below big river trout captured by Steffan Jones to 24.5 inches on a variety of Welsh rivers.
Thunderstorms may provide a most welcome lift in water levels and should see improved fishing for a few days. It is always wise to keep an eye on water temperatures, as anything over 18 degrees is really bad news and fish struggle to go back.
Sewin (sea trout) numbers have been disappointing, due to the lack of water and fishing effort for them. Rhys Meilir Davies has put some time in on the Towy, in May he captured a fish of 77cm, which was estimated at around 13lb, a fish of a lifetime. It was caught on a Rob Redman Blue Widow/Tywi Special fished on a type 3 sink tip line. Rhys has also caught a brown trout of 4lb 2oz at night. Both fish pictured below.
Things may be picking up, Colton Kelly reports a 10lb sewin from Golden Grove river Towy on the weekend. Let’s hope they now start running in numbers. Steffan Jones reports the arrival of the first sewin on the Teifi, small schoolies are often caught while dry fly fishing for trout in the late evenings.
Charlie Corkrum, a lure fishing expert in West Wales has captured two salmon from the Cothi, as well as a few sea trout and numerous trout, some of which are over 4lb. It seems that West Wales rivers are now excellent trout fisheries, to rival the rivers of south and mid Wales. River’s such as the Taf, Gwendreath, Cynin, Cleddau’s, Nevern, Gwilli and Lougher are all now worth fishing for good sized trout. Lightweight spinning outfits are easy to use on these rivers, which are quite hard to fly fish. Charlie and other local spin anglers are setting a great example with the use of single barbless hooks on Rapalas and Mepps, practicing catch and release. A few pics below of Charlies catches and a Carmarthenshire stream.
Salmon have been few and far between on Welsh rivers, but the Wye has had a fairly encouraging start though, Wyesham beat reported 4 fresh fish yesterday morning, despite an algae bloom now affecting the lower river. A few fish have been reported on the lower Usk also. For Wye and Usk salmon catches, the Fishing Passport has a dedicated area, that is well worth a read.
With the hot weather fly anglers have enjoyed catching carp, with several fisheries such as Canada lakes providing excellent sport. Fly fishing in the saltwater is also excellent in Wales, Darren Jackson and Kristian Davies (below) have been catching some cracking Mullet recently on the fly.
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – Airflo Open Clywedog Heat on 11th June fished extremely well, to all methods, from Dries to 50 seconds down on the Booby Basher! A rod average of 10.48 made for an excellent match. It is dry fly paradise at Clywedog at the moment with the fish making the most of one of the best Coch y bondu hatches in some years. The bright sun in the afternoon and strong easterly winds have not dampened the sport one bit. One boat reported over 60 fish all to dry fly tactics and a rod average well into double figures. Bwlch y gle has continued to be the top area along with Eblid steep bank and basin Bank anglers have been catching in Braich y ffedew, popular side and Eblid Boat bookings 01686412890
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Both reservoirs have been fishing well, mostly to buzzer and egg flies fished under an indicator. Dry fly fishing has been excellent in the evenings. Fish here are always of a very good stamp, fully finned. Members can now use clubmate to book boats on the venue. Visit www.nrffa.co.uk for more details.
Llanelli Angling Association – Upper Lliedi Reservoir (Swiss Valley top res) Fish are being caught on buzzers in the evenings. For more information go to www.llanelliangling.org.uk
Llyn Brenig North Wales – June 11th Report. We have certainly seen a few anglers this week with the Midas touch with Mr. Ian Buckley certainly enjoying the good times catching, along with his boat partner, over 25 fish on two occasions during the past week .This has definitely boosted the rod average for the week which stands at 3.6 fish per angler including fish returned. The very warm weather and bright sunshine has played a big part in the fishing this week making conditions difficult for the anglers with a number finding it hard to catch more than one or two fish. However, overall, there has been some excellent top of the water dry fly fishing especially in the early morning when the sun hasn’t been so strong, and we have had a bit of cloud cover. On Sunday we were delighted to welcome some of the anglers who were practicing for the upcoming Disabled 2023 International which will be taking place at Llyn Brenig this coming week. Unfortunately, their day was cut short by a fierce storm which forced the boats off the water due to the thunder and lightning, lets hope for some calmer weather this week. The heaviest fish this week was caught by Mr. Les Lawton and weighed in at a hefty 6lbs 2oz whilst the biggest bag of the week for six fish caught was recorded by Mr. Bob Gibbon and weighed in at 11lbs 4oz. The Top flies have been Midas, black and ginger, Cormorant, green beetle, black hawthorn, diawl bach, daddy long legs and various blobs and boobies. The hot spots for the boats have been Tower Bay, the Dam Wall and the Quarry. Bank anglers have had success in Tower Bay, the Visitors Centre shore and Sailing Club Bay. The main gates will be closing at 5.45 this week and therefore boats need to be back on the jetty by 5.15pm. Tight Lines, Jim Jenkins – Seasonal Ranger.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – The club has now suspended catch and release, due to higher water temps of over 18 degrees. Members will be allowed to take 15 fish per visit, full day tickets are allowed 8 fish and evening tickets are allowed 4 fish. This seems a lot, but these fish die anyway in summer due to lice issues and low oxygen. Bags of up to 15 fish have been reported. Corixa patterns are working well. Lures and sub surface buzzer also.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – Continues to fish well this year for wild brown trout. Levels are dropping so take care on the mud. No rainbows have been stocked this year, but there are a few still in there from past seasons. Dry flies are working in the late evenings here. The lake can be fished if you join Merthyr Angling Alliance club for just £67 a year.
Talybont reservoir, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park – Has been fishing exceptionally through May, plenty of smaller fish around this season about 3/4lb. Mostly pulling traditional wets. Fishing here has now switched to the evenings, expect good action to sedge and on small lures as it gets dark. Day tickets with the Fishing Passport.
Teifi Pools, Tregaron – Great sport here, all of the lakes have been fishing off the top, Coch y bonddu beetle really gets them up. Fish to over 2lb can be caught here, especially on Egnant and Hir. Llyn Teifi holds some surprises and is rarely fished. Stay on for the evening rise if you can.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir, Ffestiniog – Plenty of coch at llyn Trawsfynydd at the moment. Also Large sedges, alders, damsels, buzzers and daddies hatches. Fishing is excellent and fish are near the surface. 2,000 fish stocked in the last week. Book your boat for fly fishing on 07501080788.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – Jonathan Evans age 13 fished a corporate day, he caught a monster of a rainbow which weighed 15lb 10oz on a snake. A new PB. Despite how warm it has been Dennis Morris was rewarded with this cracking rainbow which weighed 14lb 9oz, he caught it on a damsel well done Dennis what a stunning rainbow! Booking essential on 07814741252
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – As the water temperature is well over 20 degrees fishing for trout will be on a catch and kill basis only. Call 01267290315 for prices and details.
Wal Goch, Mold – Daniel Trickett reports ‘’Had an amazing day today caught 12 in total including 3 beautiful tigers 2 being around the 3/4 lb range and one being around 5/6lb mark all put up a hell of a fight and well rested before allowing them to swim off for someone else to catch. Caught mostly on lures today. Plenty of takes and lost fish fishing really well at the moment’’
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – Some good sport to lures, silver humungous with white tail working well for Evan, pictured below. Dry fly also very effective here during the evening rise.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – The lake will not be opening up in the near future. The club is still not happy enough with the condition of Llyngwyn. There are several issues including blue green algae present and ammonia level is high. the lake will be closed for the rest of the season.
Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery, Abergele – Plenty of new rainbow and blue trout added to all the lakes this week (June 10th) weed has been cut and despite the weather being hot fish are being caught.
Graiglwyd Springs Fly Fishery, Penmaenmawr – Is offering evening fishing. Plenty of fresh stock has been introduced past week. The lake is deep so temperature does not rise too high. Fishing deep is often the way to catch fish, but dry flies will work well even in the heat. Bookings only 07486568179
Fishing In Wales Game Catch Report - April 2023 (26/04/2023)
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – The big fish are certainly on the move at the moment. Roger Lewis (below right) with the seasons best brown trout a massive 13lb. The fish was weighed and witnessed by ranger mark before being released back into the lake. Keith Cadogan (below left) had a cracking rainbow around 10lb which he returned taken on a midge tip off Dinas point. Over 11,000 fish have been stocked to date. Boat bookings 01686412890
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Andy Hoffrock of NRFFA reports: In March we had 399 visits by anglers, who caught 1092 fish giving a rod average of 3.2. The fish have been caught using a wide range of methods and flies. Tip lines and floaters, fishing nymphs on a washing line or buzzers straight lining have been very productive. Plenty of fish have been rising and dry flies are catching when the conditions are right. A lot of anglers have used sight indicators to great effect, suspending Egg flies, buzzers and Apps-worms. Pulling lures on sinking lines has also been effective, especially for the recently stocked fish. The fish are well spread out, so all areas of the bank are catching. Visit www.nrffa.co.uk for more details.
Llanelli Angling Association – Has the upper Lliedi Reservoir. Fish are being caught within 10 metres of the bank on the dropper flies, a UV Muskins and Black Diawl. Some of them are overwintered and grown-on rainbows. Advice for anyone fishing from the bank “DO NOT WADE” the fish are very close to the shore. For more information go to www.llanelliangling.org.uk
Llyn Brenig North Wales – April Report. Overall, Llyn Brenig fishing well and fish being found in most parts of the lake. The water is still cold, and the wind has a chilly feel to it which has kept the fish lower in the water although they aren’t particularly deep with an intermediate or slow sinking line producing positive results. Anglers are catching some fantastic fish and the brown trout are now starting to make an appearance. Kyle Hutchinson caught three brown trout for example and all of them taken along the Visitors Centre shore and all weighing in at 3lbs. A great day for Kyle. Mr. John Davies also had a great day catching 18 fish with his boat partner which included an 8lb Rainbow, one at 7lbs and one at 6lbs. He also hooked what he believed to be the biggest fish that he’d seen at the Brenig but unfortunately it bent the hook and escaped to fight another day. The top flies have been hot headed black tadpole, cats whiskers, white zonker, green and black Montana, black pennell, appetizer, and various blobs and boobies. The hot spots for this week for boat anglers have been Hafod Lom, Duck Island, Nant Glyn Shore and the Coves. The hot spots for Bank anglers have been Visitors Centre Shore, Tower Bay and Hafod Lom. We are continuing with the tagged fish this year with the same fantastic prizes as last year which is a £1,000-pound first prize, a season ticket for the second prize and a half season ticket for the third prize. The main gates will be shutting at 4.45pm this week and all boats need to be back on the jetty by 4.15pm. Tight Lines- Jim Jenkins – Seasonal Ranger, Llyn Brenig.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – The popular evening ticket is now available for 2023. It is £12. It starts at 4pm and you can keep two fish and C&R up to 10 fish. You must stop fishing when you dispatch your second fish and all day ticket anglers must contact a committee member before going fishing to ‘book in’ regardless of whether they’ve already been this season. The calmer evenings are fishing well already, with good catches reported to shipman’s buzzer on the top. Snakes and sub surface buzzer also working well.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – Lots of wild brown trout from 8oz to over 1lb in the shallower bays and roadside margins close in, these are taking mini lures and traditional wet flies. A few rainbows have been caught too. Cantref is a great option easy reach from Cardiff and mid-Wales and can be fished if you join Merthyr Angling Alliance club for just £67 a year.
Talybont reservoir, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park – Has been busy since opening day on 20th March, good numbers of wild brown trout from 12oz to over 2lb are being caught, some rods reporting up to 10 fish. Mostly pulling black lures such as woolly bugger, Humongous and traditional wet flies on floaters with sink tips or intermediates. Day tickets with the Fishing Passport.
Teifi Pools, Tregaron – Now fishing well despite the altitude, buzzers, small dark wet fly and mini lures working well. Hywel Morgan fished the venue last week in search of a wild trout from each lake, out with our film crew. You can watch the video here. After filming Ceri Thomas landed an exceptionally pretty fish on llyn Egnant, image below.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir, Ffestiniog – Bags of up to 10 fish being recorded on Round 2 of the Cynghrair Traws Turrall League 2023. Beginning of the match saw a few boats stay in Home Bay whilst the majority spread out throughout the lake. A few fish were caught early in Home Bay before boats began to move away. Buzzers were hatching periodically through the day, although the fish ignored the artificials going mainly for various blobs or boobies. Call 07501 080788 to book a boat.
Pant-y-Eos reservoir, Newport – This small 8 acre reservoir is fishing well to nymph and lure, it has been re-stocked by Islwyn Anglers with rainbows, blues and browns. Day tickets are available through the angling club website.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea –Plenty of fish being caught and anglers catching their bag limit. Craig Humphries (below left) with his personal best rainbow, which weighed 12lb 6oz. Caught on a black zonker. Bernard, (below right) had a clonker at 14lb 6oz, captured on a Damsel nymph. Booking essential on 07814741252
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – The fishery has had another stocking in the fly pools, worming pool and also kids fishing area so plenty to have a go at if you’re planning on coming. Fish to 10lb have been reported, an example below of a nicely coloured rainbow from the fishery, taken on a black and green fritz.
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – the pegs are clear and the lake is fishing well with over 20 pegs to choose from. Fin perfect specimens such as the fish below are coming out, to a wide variety of methods but in particular natural patterns.
Wal Goch, Mold – Philip Robinson reports ‘’Thanks for a great afternoon’s fishing at Wal Goch today. I had eight fish starting with a lovely 3lb Brown trout and then followed by six hard fighting Blue trout and finally a nice Rainbow trout. All caught on black buzzers fished beneath a Klinkhammer. The Brown and Blues were all carefully released to fight another day’’ Based on this, it sounds like the lake is worthy of a visit.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – Fishing is starting to turn to buzzers and dry fly, with some fantastic rises happening in the evenings when the wind drops. There are good hatches of lake olives through the early spring, look out for them soon!
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – Still no update on if the lake will be opening up in the near future. The club is still not happy enough with the condition of Llyngwyn. There are several issues including blue green algae present and fish are not feeding as normal. They have employed experts to help with a way forward and have decided that for the time being Llyngwyn is to remain closed.
Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery, Abergele – fishery are pleased to announce that they will become a Troutmaster water again. For further updates follow their Facebook page.
April has seen a strange start to the season, often wet, cool, and with river levels high and decidedly un-spring like weather throughout. Indeed, many of the larger rivers have been far too high for much of April, for example the lower middle Usk and Dee. Levels have now fallen, so the fishing has vastly improved recently.
The South Wales rivers do throw up some huge wild brown trout, indeed fish of 2lb to over 5lb are caught quite regularly. The Taff is well known for big fish and has produced a remarkable number of them in April, many of which falling to dry fly, with Olives and now Brook Duns brining the big boys out to feed. Picture below shows a 5lb 3oz Taff fish captured by Kyle Cheshire on a dry fly. For more about fishing the Taff, check out Steffan Jones article here.
Another ‘big fish’ river is the Tawe in the Swansea valley. Here wild and stocked fish can reach over 6lb in weight. Like the other South Wales rivers, fertility is high and insect life excellent because of the limestone geology in the coal bearing rocks of the valleys.
The Ebbw is a prolific wild trout river and it has produced big numbers of trout to nymph anglers this spring. We have a video coming out soon featuring Simon Barton, well known Welsh rivers team international angler and committee member of Islwyn Angling club.
The Usk has been excellent in the upper reaches on the Fishing Passport, beats such as Penpont, Fenni Fach and Dinas all producing good days, and many fish to dry fly when the March browns have appeared. Grannom hatches have been good lower down on the warmer days, although lower reaches have still been a tad high.
During the wetter periods the wild streams on the Fishing Passport have fished well, especially to anglers who fish nymphs deep, often using scaled down Euro Nymph methods. Fishing dry flies on these small high velocity streams early season with water pushing through rarely does well, you need to get down. We have heard of big fish from the Usk tributaries and reports of up to 10 fish from the Edw in Mid-Wales to 1lb 8oz. Below: Usk tributary trout, 2lb 10oz, taken on a heavy nymph fished deep.
As the weather has warmed slightly dry fly has been possible on some of the streams that have more gentle flows, Wales Rugby international no.16 Bradley Roberts, who scored a try against France in the 6 Nations, below, fishing and with a nice wild trout from the river Llynfi Powys which took a dry fly during a brief hatch.
In North Wales the river Alyn has produced some nice early season trout, while the Dee has produced some lovely browns to Andrew Overend on spiders in the Llangollen area and to Jon Roberts on dry fly during hatches of upwings.
Salmon and sea trout
A slow start on Welsh rivers but a few springers have been reported on the Wye and the Usk, which may bode well for a better season. A fish estimated around 27lb was captured at the Rectory on the Wye this week, a 17lb fish was also caught on this beat a few days earlier. 13lb salmon recorded at Llangoed & Lower Llanstephan and reports of several others through the system, thanks to the extra water.
No salmon or sea trout captures of note on other Welsh rivers so far.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - March 2023 (28/03/2023)
Many of the Welsh rivers began the trout season on March 3rd. After a long cold snap the opening week saw the rivers exceptionally low with chilly conditions with easterly winds, although it was generally overcast and calm, which helped.
The river Usk started quite well, large dark olives hatched in good numbers and trout rose for them from the off. Many of the fishing Passport Beats and angling club stretches on the Usk such as Merthyr Tydfil AA, Brecon Town and Gwent AS were fished on the first weekend of the season, a few fish were caught, not huge numbers, since the feeding window is quite limited in early March when a handful of fish can be considered a good day. Still, catching a few fish on dry flies so early is always welcome and some decent fish were caught on the Usk.
Below: Brace of 19 inch fish captured on the upper Usk around Sennybridge, By Ceri Thomas and Rhys Morgan respectively.
The Ebbw is another star river of South Wales, and it fished well even in the very cold and low first week, local angler Kyle Cheshire (below left) was straight into some cracking fish, as did Luke Gator who has just taken up river fly fishing and is loving it as a change from ‘stockie bashing’.
The river Tawe at Swansea also recorded some big fish, with guide Kim Tribe landing a few big browns to over 3lb and 20 inches. Below, Kim with some of the Tawe specimen browns.
The upper Teifi (Lampeter bridge up) also opened on the 3rd March, there were some nice trout reported on the Cellan beat, which is Llandysul angling.
From mid March we entered a spell of snow and then heavy rain, which gave the rivers much needed water, but sadly impacted the levels and made them coloured. When the waters have receded briefly, the fishing has been quite good for the nymph anglers, although hampered by too much water and fluctuating levels; therefore, smaller streams and headwaters have been the best bet, for example the upper Sirhowy, Taff Fechan and Ebbw Fach, all of which hold a lot of smaller fish, providing great sport.
Also consider the many tributaries on the river Usk, which offer some really decent fish – a couple of examples below of some big Usk trib fish. A lot of these are available on the Fishing Passport, for example, the Senni, Crai, Bran and Grwyne Fawr.
The lower Taff has mostly been flooded out, but between the rain storms the upper river has done a few decent fish, Josh Clark (below) with some cracking browns from around the Merthyr area.
Likewise the Wye has been flooded for several weeks now, but in the lulls some of the upper beats such as Craig Lyn have produced some good trout. We have also heard of a 5lb wild trout caught by a salmon angler on the Wye at Gromain beat.
The Loughor near Pontardulais opened on 3rd March, here some surprisingly good trout have been reported, Lyn Davies had a lovely fish of 17 inches whilst nymphing, which for this river is a specimen. That said the trout here are getting bigger each season so one day it may rival the rivers of mid and southeast Wales.
There have also been some reports of some early brown trout being caught on the river Clywd in North Wales and on the Dee early in March, before the rains and snow melt hit.
As we look forward to April and better weather the West Wales rivers will open fully on April the 1s giving us more options. Fly life should further kick into gear, especially March Browns, which haven’t really been seen in big numbers on our rivers yet and also grannom, which can be an amazing hatch if you hit it right.
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – Boat and bank anglers are reporting many 8 fish C&R limits. The smaller, top reservoir is now open, so you can fish here as well if you reach your C&R limit on the bigger reservoir. A bung with buzzers is successful off the bank, as are lures on intermediates such as humongous.
Pant-y-Eos reservoir, Newport – This small 8 acre reservoir is well worth a visit, it has been re-stocked by Islwyn Anglers with rainbows, blues and browns. Day tickets are available through the angling clubs website. Lures and buzzers are producing fish.
Llanelli Angling Association – has the upper Lliedi Reservoir. This has produced some quality fish to boat anglers to Di5 with blobs and diawl bachs, example below. For more information on how to join go to www.llanelliangling.org.uk
Llyn Brenig North Wales – 18th March 2023 saw the season start, with Llyn Brenig’s fish tag competition now open. The season long event concludes with an end of year prize draw, using details of the tags collected throughout the season. 1st prize – £1,000 cash. For this season brown trout will feature in the Brenig stockings along with quality rainbows. Note, the fishing shop has now been moved into the activities hub for improved accessibility.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – Fish are starting to switch on to the buzzer and fish are spread out now from the short wall and right up the BOC wall. Matthew Jones reports 10 to the net to a mixture of orange eggs under a bung and pulling a di3 sweep with black and white lures. The boat anglers are doing very well, Matthew Owen and Michael Roberts had 16 fish to the boat in one session, all superb quality. Some anglers are reporting fish on dries, including Ben Wilson of NRW. Most fish at short wall across the nature reserve bay and in front of the sailing club jetty.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – This reservoir is now open, with reports of lots of wild brown trout from 8oz to over 1lb in the shallower bays and roadside margins. No reports of rainbows yet. Cantref is a great option easy reach from Cardiff and mid-Wales and can be fished if you join Merthyr Angling Alliance club.
Talybont reservoir – Brecon Beacons. Opening day was Monday 20th March, lots of anglers fished the lake, good numbers of wild brown trout from 12oz to over 2lb were caught, some rods reporting up to 10 fish. Mostly pulling small black lures and traditional wet flies on floaters with sink tips or intermediates. Conditions were good, mild, light breeze and at times rain. The lake has fished well all week since, even in very windy and wet conditions. Day tickets are with the Fishing Passport. We shot a short video at the venue on open day, you can check it out here.
Clywedog reservoir fishery, Llanidloes – Opening day should have been 9th March, but snowfall pushed this back to 13th March. Season to date has seen 5500 fish stocked already. Geoffrey Hogg reports ‘’First trip of the season today and as usual the fishing was fantastic despite the hail and snow showers. 22 fish to the boat and a few more lost.’’ The banks anglers are catching on lower popular side, a few anglers catching up to 20. Martin Ebbatson below left with a cracking 5lb fish off the bank and Derek Duckett with a 6lb 7oz Rainbow off the bank on a Montana at Hedge End.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – the lake is already in full swing with just under 4,000 Trout stocked to date and providing top of the water sport. Fish average weight of just over 2lbs. The fishery has decided to continue stocking with larger fish due to better survival from predation where as some other fisheries have reduced size with costs. Should be a fantastic season.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake was stocked with hard fighting Exmoor trout on 17th March. As an example of what you may expect, Ioan Jones landed 16 fish including rainbow, browns and spartics. Best rainbow around 7lb. Fishing is starting to turn to buzzers and dry fly at Garnffrwd rather than pulling lures. There are good hatches of buzzers through the early spring.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – Fishing is superb now the snow has gone, rainbow trout to 12lb 2oz reported (below) The fishery is very well stocked and should fish well all spring.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – The club is still not happy enough with the condition of Llyngwyn to open. There are several issues including blue green algae present and fish are not feeding as normal. They have employed experts to help with a way forward and have decided that for the time being Llyngwyn is to remain closed.
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – The water is warming up slowly and this is bringing the fishing along nicely with some 4lb – 5lb lumps being caught. Remember you can book the whole fishery for the day exclusively for you and your friends any time of the year.
Wal Goch, Mold – Richard Hutchinson reports ‘’Excellent day at Wal Goch today had 7 to the net and lost 4. Was fishing a 3ft sink tip line with a 10ft leader had 2 on a hothead damsel and 5 on a mixture of dial Bach, yellow owl and a red buzzer. Very few fish on the top and found a slow retrieve worked well.’’ Other recent reports include Adrian Stanton, who with his son and a mate ended the day with 22 fish between them and more lost. It sounds like to is fishing well and is worth a visit.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – Fishing has been great lately at Papermill with plenty of fish being caught and anglers catching their bag limit. It’s been fishing well all over the lake and fishing is steady all day, with anglers reporting back how hard the fish are fighting. Fish are being caught on various flies at the moment such as buzzers, blue flash damsels, bloodworms, blobs and snakes. Also the fish are starting to feed off the surface and are starting to take dry fly off the top. Booking essential on 07814741252
Prospects for April and Easter can only get better, along with the weather – we hope!
Remember it is ‘’take a friend fishing this Easter’’ when you can register for a one-day rod licence to take somebody with you fishing for a day during 1st and 16th April 2023. For more details head to the Take a Friend Fishing site.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - January/February 2023 (07/02/2023)
Trout Fisheries and Reservoirs
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake was stocked with hard fighting Exmoor Rainbows on 3rd February and has been producing top quality fish including browns, tigers and spartics. Pink or white Eggs under a bung are a killer method here, as are buzzers or apps bloodworm fished slowly. On milder days don’t rule out fishing dry buzzer patterns in the surface film for rising fish.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – Fishing well now the ice has gone, Tiger trout to 9.5lb reported. (pic below) The fishery had a catch report last week of 38 fish on a 6hr sport ticket so nice to know there is a great head of fish.
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – fishing much better after successive re-stocking. Boat and bank anglers are reporting many 8 fish C&R limits. The bung with egg flies being successful off the bank as are lures on intermediates such as blue flash damsel. The quality of the fish here is second to none.
Llyn Brenig – has been open over the winter months, but fish stocking from the spring will be at a rate of 1000 per week, mostly around 1kg, but some much larger ones as well. There will be sizable pre-stock ahead of the season start, on the 18th March 2023.
For this season brown trout will feature in the Brenig stockings, some lovely fish have been reared by Jack Finney and the team, hopefully we will see some of these quality fish in the reports. The tagged fish competition, with a £1000 end of season prize, will be running at Brenig again this year. Image above of one of the brown trout reared for 2023!
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – The venue has been stocked and is fishing really well now. More fish will be stocked soon, which will stir up the residents. Fish are being caught quite close in, mostly to lures, but also killer shrimp patterns. Ian Shanahan (below) had a good session with his father in law, with 11 between them on a slow glass line and olive humungus.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – Has been stocked on 6th February. Lots of big fish being caught, fish taking Olive Damsels, Pheasant tail nymph, Squirmy worms and Black/green fritz lures. Image below of a couple of fish, 6lb 8oz and 7lb 6oz. C&R is very popular here, so is advisable to book.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – The lake is still closed due to a toxic algae issue and winter tickets have been refunded. We hope the situation impoves there soon.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – Good fishing currently. Blue Flash Damsel is working really well on an intermediate line. White blobs fished under a bung are also working a treat.
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen –This fairly large ‘small’ smallwater of 5 acres is a bit different, it has a lot of natural food and plenty of space to roam. It can be tough going, but the fish are in tip top condition. Remember you can book the whole fishery for the day exclusively for you and your friends any time of the year.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – This reservoir opens March 1st with MTAA. This is stocked with 600 rainbow trout of excellent quality by the club through the season, membership is only £65 for the year including Talybont reservoir for wild trout. Cantref is a great option easy reach from Cardiff and mid-Wales.
Llandegfedd reservoir, Pontypool – this will be opening in March. We have heard it will be stocked with about 300 trout per week this coming season. Boats will be available, but the fleet will be around 10. This reservoir deserves support from local anglers to help keep the trout fishing going here, as it was once a premier fishery and still has potential to be one.
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Opens 9th March. Should be fantastic boat or bank, the lake is now full again after low levels last season. Lost of 6lb+ fish ready for stocking. Expect fish to be taken on lures, especially snakes and Humungous on Di3 and Di5 lines. On calm mild days deepwater buzzer can bring fish up to the top. Bookings on weekends is advisable.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – Opened 1st February, has been stocked heavily. No reports yet, but fish seen to be moving in sheltered areas when the wind drops. With a mild winter fish have been feeding well throughout, so overwintered stock should be fighting fit – expect March to be a bumper month on Traws when it warms up.
Wal Goch, Mold – Daniel Trickett reports a good day on 28th January, ‘’Good day here today with Alex Hill , I caught 32 in total and missed a lot more all caught on a selection of flies mainly lures and a white blob under the bung everyone was catching today and is fishing it’s socks off all fish gave a great fight’’. Sounds like it’s well worth a visit.
As I write this we are now into February and in a calm, settled dry spell. This has meant anglers are now active again after the freezing cold and then washout conditions of the past couple of months. It seems we go from extreme to extreme – so we should really make the most of conditions while they last!
Our grayling rivers have now settled down and have been consistently fishing well over the past week. The Rhymney near Caerphilly really is a star grayling river and has produced many grayling of 2lb or just over this season. Fishing here is with two clubs, Royal Oak and Caerphilly AA. The Rhymney is also a very good wild trout river which will come to life in March when the fly spring hatches start. Below – A Rhymney Rugby ball!
The upper Wye has been fishing inconsistently – some excellent days have been reported at Builth Wells whereas other days very slow. It is a large river so locating the fish is key here as they are often shoaled up in mid winter.
The Irfon has had a tricky winter, it needs some water but not too much! We have heard of a 3lb 2oz specimen caught by Angling Dream’s Adam Fisher, captured with snow on the ground and also of a few 2lb plus fish, mostly from the middle beats.
The lesser know river Ithon is also well worth fishing for grayling, this is largely underfished but we have heard reports of 2lb plus grayling from the river. Plenty of access here with Fishing Passport beats. Below – an Ithon grayling.
The Taff at Cardiff has had a good grayling year, lots of fish around 1lb plus the odd one to 2lb. The Glamorgan Anglers water in Cardiff is a good bet, from Radyr train station to Sofia Gardens. Day tickets in Garry Evans Tackle on Whitchurch road.
As the waters have calmed and dropped the Dee has fished well, there really are exceptional numbers of grayling here on the Corwen and Llangollen beats. Upper Severn has been a little slow, but we have heard of some good grayling on the Caersws AA club water recently.
As the grayling fishing draws out this month most river anglers will be turning their thoughts to the wild trout season opening, which on a good number of Welsh rivers is on March 3rd.
Rivers that fish well for trout in early March include the Ebbw, Sirhowy, Lwyd, Upper Taff, Upper Teifi, Usk, Tawe, Wye, Upper Dee and Alwen. Expect limited insect activity with a brief hatch of Olives or March browns around mid-day, so it is best to fish around that time. Otherwise, fish heavy nymphs deep with a ‘French leader’ for best results.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - December 2022 (13/12/2022)
As a write this report conditions are very favourable for river grayling fishing! After almost non-stop rain last month the levels have now dropped and all of our famed grayling rivers are now in perfect condition. If you can bear the extremely low daytime temperatures then you are in for a treat.
Rivers such as the Taff, Severn, Rhymney , Wye and Irfon should be on your list, as well as lesser known rivers such as the Ithon, Vyrnwy, Cynon and Ewenny.
The famous river Dee is perhaps the jewel in the grayling crown. On the first weekend of December the river hosted the Hanak European Grayling Festival, which this year attracted 36 teams and 108 anglers from the UK and Europe. A total of 911 grayling were landed, a phenomenal number, the biggest of which was 49.1cm landed by up and coming angler Rob Redman. The event was won by team ‘Wet Your Knot’, who caught an impressive 49 fish, a fantastic effort, da Iawn!
This well run event is a credit to the local angling clubs, who along with orangiser Hywel Morgan and sponsor Franta Hanak, consistently deliver a world class experience for the competitors each year. The video below by Lindsay Simpson gives a great insight into the river and the festival.
Euro nymphing is perhaps the most popular and effective method to winter fly fish, with weighted flies trundled close to the river bed. Another would be fishing a ‘bung’ with a team of nymphs drifted beneath, in the slower deeper areas of the river. As long as the rain holds off, grayling prospects look good! Below, Welsh Rivers Team Manager Shaun Watkins on the Dee.
Remember, salmon, trout and sea trout spawn at this time of year. So if wading take care to avoid spawning fish and trampling on redds, which could destroy eggs. Check out our article on redd spotting here.
Trout fisheries and reservoirs
Early December fished well, with many small stillwaters re-stocking and anglers enjoying some settled, cold weather for a change. However, we are in a very cold snap now, so a lot of the smaller venues have frozen over, making it essential to check in advance to see if the fishery is open, with clear, ice free water.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – Rainbows, Blues and Browns are going in across the two fly lakes, so expect good fishing, especially to lures.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – If ice free, the lake will be well worth fishing now as it has just been re-stocked. Buzzers are hatching during the day, so floating line and imitative patterns are often all you need, or eggs fished under a bung.
Pant-y-bedw, Carmarthen – some good, naturalised fish coming out before it iced up. An example at 5lb 4oz below.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – was fishing exceptionally and now there is a catch and release option. Plenty of larger fish present here. Fish are fighting hard and are being caught on various flies such as, green buzzers, goldhead nymphs, bloodworm. Always Advisable to book on 07814741252 as space is limited.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – Is closed currently due to a potentially toxic algal bloom, NRW have confirmed it is Blue green algae. Check the Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association Facebook page for updates.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – Lake is fishing well with these amazing Exmoor Rainbows giving a great fight. Buzzers and Damsels still the fly of choice but a few being taken on top too. Open from 8 am 7 days a week. The Fur and Feather comp with Craig Barr on 11th December went well, winner was Kev Morris, 2nd Rob Allen, 3rd Gareth Forge.
Wal Goch, Mold – Michal Last reports eight to the net, all on damsel long leader floating line. Late afternoon seems to be the best time of day here currently.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – the lake will be re-stocked this month with 2000 fish from 15th December. When it is stocked you can expect great fishing from stirred up residents and fresh stock fish, to lures and nymphs. Keep an eye on the TATA game angling Facebook group for membership offers.
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – After re-opening the lake has seen several stockings to build up a good head of fish and is now fishing much better. From 4th – 13th December, 172 fish were caught from 51 anglers, giving a rod average of 3.37 The bung with egg flies being successful off the bank, floater, tips, intermediates are all you need, despite the cold, as the fish are still high in the water. Charles Jardine visited the venue last week and had a great day. Look out for an article in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine!
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Some really good fish around as the weather cooled at end of the season, which closed November 30th. Here is a season review from the fishery Facebook page:
As the dust settles on another season it’s time to reflect on some of the highs and lows of the season gone.
The season opened in early March with the opening of our new lodge and Loop Field Centre and it was very pleasing to have such great feedback from you all with all the new tackle and facilities. The fishing itself didn’t disappoint once again a very busy period with some terrific fish being taken in this early season period. What was heartening was to see so many over wintered fish caught in the first few months, at one stage anglers reporting more overwintered fish than stockies and our feeling that next spring this will be even better.
As the spring passed and we saw more terrestrial insects hit the water the dry fly sport really got going with the climax a fine coch y bonddu hatch in mid June. The Beetles add to an already smorgasbord of insects on the water and create what can only be described as a feeding frenzy, fingers crossed we have a good hatch in 2023.
As we entered July we saw the record temperatures starting to take a toll on the water levels but despite this the fishing continued to be excellent with the annual Fly Shop Invitational match once again an outstanding success. The falling water levels made for difficulty not just for our boat jetty but also bank anglers, who had to move from the favoured top end of the lake to the steeper shingle shores that were exposed along bwlch y gle, where we concentrated the stocking. Once the level of the water fell below the end of our concrete ramp we had to create new walkways to get down ,hopefully we won’t be seeing the “zig zags” for a while.
As September came the fish once again hit the surface with gusto leading to some incredible surface sport with many anglers commenting they had never seen so many fish rising. Water levels started to rise sharply at the end of September which for a couple of weeks coloured the water and slowed the sport but by the middle of October normal service was resumed with fish feeding hard on the surface during this period we had many reports of over 60 fish to the boats and bank anglers once again starting to catch at the top end of the lake. November falling temperatures really brought the fish to feed more aggressively with fish smashing into lure such as snakes and tadpoles, but the bung was absolutely devastating.
Once again, we have work to do over the closed period from maintenance and phase 2 of the lodge the building of our new toilet block. As usual watch out for some videos of next year’s fish in the next few weeks they really are something strong nylon will be needed in 2023. Below: some Clywedog slabs!
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – is open till 20th December. For the hardy soul there is some good fishing to be had here, on calmer, mild days expect good buzzer hatches and some grown on fish to feature in the catches. Otherwise lure fishing with sinking and intermediate lines.
Llys y fran reservoir, Pembrokeshire – Llys-y-fran is now offering limited bank fishing whilst the reservoir continues to be replenished. Stocking has taken place with some spectacular Blue Trout included in the delivery.
Fishing In Wales - November Game Report (15/11/2022)
November often sees our stillwater trout fisheries at their best, along with ‘back end’ sport on some of our reservoirs, that have remained open. For the river angler, trout season is long gone, but the grayling ‘ladies’ offer superb fishing when conditions allow.
Trout fisheries and reservoirs
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – recently had another great stocking across the fly and worm lakes even though they are continuing to fish well, a little booster to ensure ongoing sport. A 9lb tiger was caught this month, image below with captor Chris.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake will be well worth fishing now as it has just been re-stocked. Buzzers are hatching during the day due to the mild weather so floating line and imitative patterns are all you need, or eggs fished under a bung.
Pant-y-bedw, Carmarthen – a naturalised water and something a bit different at 7 acres. Some nice fish are being caught here, especially to anglers using more natural patterns targeting the hard fighting resident fish. The venue was stocked recently from Exmoor fisheries.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – Is fishing exceptionally and now there is a catch and release option. Plenty of larger fish present here. Fish are fighting hard and are being caught on various flies such as, green buzzers, goldhead nymphs, bloodworm and also some dry fly in the mild weather. Always Advisable to book on 07814741252 as space is limited.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – On calm late autumn days nymphs and CDC buzzer dries work well, especially around the island which provides shelter from the wind. Fishing should continue being excellent well into winter.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – Lots of fish coming out to buzzers. Look out for the upcoming ‘Fur and Feather’ comp on 11th December, hosted by Craig Barr. Some great prizes on offer. Head to the Facebook page for more details.
Wal Goch, Mold – Mark Russell reports: Good day at Walgoch for Dave Jones and myself today, Dave finished with 9 to the net, including a nice blue trout around 3.5lb, I finished with 11 fish to the net, a good mix of blues and rainbows. Lake was also stocked today with another 100 trout, including a brown around 5lb and some good size rainbows around same size. It sounds like the fishery is on fire, so pay them a visit!
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – the lake will be re-stocked this month, as soon as water temperatures fall to 10 degrees or less. When it is stocked you can expect great fishing from stirred up residents and fresh stock fish, to lures and nymphs. Keep an eye on the TATA game angling Facebook group for details.
Ynys-y-Fro reservoir, Newport – After re-opening the lake has seen several stockings to build up a good head of fish and is now fishing much better. Boat and bank anglers are reporting many 8 fish C&R limits. The bung with egg flies being successful off the bank, washing line on the boats as the fish are still high in the water. A typical Ynys Fro rainbow caught by Dan Walker below.
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Some good fish around as the weather cools. Emil Moffit (below) took this cracking 6lb 10oz rainbow on a black hopper. Bags of 15 fish reported pulling snakes. Fishery is open until November 30th, so get up there while you can!
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – is open till 20th December. For the hardy soul there is some good fishing to be had here, on calmer days expect good buzzer hatches and some grown on fish to feature in the catches.
Llys y fran reservoir, Pembrokeshire – According to a post a few days ago by Welsh Water Dwr Cymru after withdrawing angling for safety reasons over the summer, Llys-y-fran is now offering limited bank fishing whilst the reservoir continues to be replenished. Restrictions remain in place for approximately 500 metres of the eastern bank between the bird hide and Velindre Wood. Maps showing the restricted zone are available from the Visitor Centre. Regretfully, fishing boats remain suspended for the time being. Welsh Water look forward to reinstating these at the earliest opportunity. Stocking has taken place with some spectacular Blue Trout included in the delivery.
Llyn y Dywachen, Snowdonia – Seiont Gwyrfai and Llyfni Fishing Society’s Llyn y Dywachen (below) is now available to book through the Fishing Passport and is open until 30th November, thanks to quality stocked rainbow trout being present at the venue. A place steeped in myth and legend it is well worth a visit!
The terrible weather for the past few weeks has seen limited activity on the rivers for grayling, with flood water ruling out fly fishing. However the past few days and weekend of pleasant, mild weather has seen a flurry of activity as river levels have finally dropped enough to allow fishers to enjoy catching this wonderful fish. Many excellent catches were reported from the Dee, Upper Wye, Severn and the Rhymney rivers. Below a selection of sizable grayling captured by Rob Redman and Kyle Cheshire, of which several are close to or over the magic 50cm mark, considered a specimen grayling wherever you are in the world!
As usual these fish are caught using heavy nymphs ‘Euro nymphing’ style, which as a method is very easy to learn and pick up, whether you are from a fly fishing background or not, or as a beginner.
Fish of this calibre are there to be caught on many of our celebrated grayling rivers, for an overview of where to find them and how to access the fishing check out our grayling article by Louis Noble here.
With more rain forecast it really pays to learn how to read river levels using online services, NRW have a very useful website, which provides real time and historic information so you can ensure you can hit the river at the right time.
Salmon and sea trout
The salmon season has been very poor in Wales, given lack of water and dwindling salmon stocks on most rivers. Guy Mawle has written his annual report on the river Usk salmon catch status. It is an interesting, if depressing, read on the plight of this iconic fish on what was one of the better salmon rivers in Wales. To access the report click here.
There is perhaps a glimmer of hope for the future of salmon and sea trout in Wales; an emergency meeting was held at the Senedd on October 18th, to raise the plight of these species, with speakers including NRW, Afonydd Cymru, Swansea University and Dr Nigel Milner, with questions and issues raised by the audience, which comprised Welsh angling clubs, Wye Salmon Association, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Angling Trust and others, to inform assembly ministers Hugh Irranca-Davies MS and Cefin Campbell MS, who as ‘species champions’ are keen to keep up the accountability on Welsh Government and push for urgent action to be taken, to preserve and restore our migratory species. The meeting was a good starting point, which we hope will lead to speedy and necessary measures ASAP.
As well as catching some incredible double figure sewin, Afon Tywi based Colton Kelly has been working on a short video with Dan James Photography over the summer, covering the declining figures of sea trout, how anglers and the public can help short and long term. You can view a short trailer on Instagram here.
Colton says: I have wanted to make this video for some years and we are thrilled it’s finally come together. I believe the content can help to raise awareness and protect what we love for generations to come. All filming took place at the Golden Grove Estate and Abercothi Estate. Look out for the film in December this year.
End of an era: Sweets Tackle Shop Closure and Auction
An iconic fishing tackle shop, Sweets, in Usk town has closed. Sweets Fishing Tackle traded on Porthycarne Street for nearly 100 years and was regarded as a unique experience, a time capsule into another age, with many historic items and angling antiquities displayed in the shop.
Originally founded in the 1930’s by Harry Powell, inventor of the Dogsbody Fly, Sweets took its name from later owners Molly and Lionel Sweet, servicing anglers fishing the Usk and Wye for trout and salmon.
In the 1960’s Jean Williams began working in the shop, and in 1978 Jean became the new owner. She tied superb flies, provided tickets and warmly welcomed customers for many years, with a cup of tea and the latest fishing reports from the area.
Jean has now retired, the shop has closed permanently and all display items and curios will be for sale – including the front sign and cased salmon. These will be available in an online auction on 23rd and 24th November with Mullock’s Specialist Auctioneers & Valuers.
Fishing In Wales - October Game Report (16/10/2022)
Looking back to September, the trout fishing on our rivers was generally slow, which was in part because of extremely low water. The rivers with dam water releases benefited the most, for example upper Usk around Sennybridge, upper Wye around Elan junction and the Severn near Caersws, which produced some nice late season trout.
Towards the middle of the month we did have some rain, which benefited the South West Wales and North Wales rivers the most. Anglers Steffan Jones and Charlie Corkram landed some very large trout on the Cothi and some of the other rivers around Carmarthenshire and South West Wales, which historically have not been known for big brown trout. In recent years (perhaps linked with decline of sewin and salmon?) some of these rivers have begun to produce fish that rival the celebrated rivers of South and Mid Wales yet are barely fished for brown trout. Below, some examples of fish captured by Charlie (left) and Steffan (right) this season.
Rivers in this area include the aforementioned Cothi, Gwilli, Teifi, Taf, Lougher, Towy, Gwendraeth, Cynin and the Cleddau’s, literally mile upon mile of unfished trout water to explore, often controlled by local angling clubs at a reasonable rate to join, or on a day ticket. So much water to go at for next season!
On the migratory front, it wasn’t a classic year by any means. September onwards saw some improved sport, with the Towy producing some late sewin, including a double figure lump for Colton Kelly at Golden Grove. (below) His persistence this year has been rewarded with some excellent fish, well into October thanks to the mild weather.
The Cothi also, where Charlie Corkram had a bumper end to the season while spinning Rapalas, with sewin to over 12lb and salmon to double figures being caught regularly on some of the upper beats. Charlie is a Committee member & Bailiff for Abergwili Angling Club.
The Ogmore also saw some late sewin captured, as did the Neath and Afan, although for most of the season these rivers were unfishable due to the lack of rain.
North Wales rivers Elwy and Clwyd certainly benefitted from rain at end of September with members of the Vale of Clwyd and Rhyl and St Aspah clubs reporting late salmon and sewin in fair numbers.
The Conwy had a disappointing season, with reports of a lack of sewin even when compared to last season. The Wnion and Mawdach had a reasonable season, especially in September when some nice fish were caught by Rob Redman. Rob also fished the Welsh Dee in October, landing the cock salmon (below) of around 16lb. Andrew Overend also saw success on the Dee, with his first of the season a few days ago.
On the river Wye Salmon front, it has been a poor season, with the high temperatures resulting in mortality in the lower and mid stretches. Wye Salmon Association are asking anglers to finish their season early on the Wye to give what fish that have survived the low, hot, deoxygenated and polluted river a fair chance of spawning. A sensible piece of advice given the disastrous conditions.
The Usk also had a lacklustre salmon season, with a few fish being reported right at the end, for example Dave Lewis at Llan farm near Chainbridge had an 8lb hen a few days ago, followed by another one of 6-7lb on 16th October. (below)
The Towy has seen some late salmon appear in fair numbers through the system, Barry Hale managing to land a 7lb hen on 12th October, with many more fish seem in the beats around White Mill. With the season ending in tomorrow, lets hope next year will be considerably wetter and with better conditions overall.
We now have grayling fishing to look forward to all winter, with excellent catches already being reported from the upper Wye, Irfon, Severn, Rhymney, Dee and Taff. All of these rivers can produce specimen grayling of 50cm or more.
Our stocked stillwaters now come into their own. The ever-reliable Garnffrwdd fishery has again been planted with spartic trout for the winter. In addition, expect quality blues, browns and rainbows here, some of which reach double figures. Blue flash damsel, diawl bach nymphs, buzzers and egg flies are patterns that will bring success here.
The nearby Pant y bedw fishery is open and has been re-stocked. Fish of 3.5lb and 4lb reported here a couple of days back. Expect some great winter fishing here on the 7 acre venue.
Llyn Gwyn near Rhayader is a scenic fishery in Powys that has rainbows, blues and browns, it is well worth a try this winter for something a bit different.
Abernant (Crynant) farm lake near Neath is one to try for larger fish, with doubles and fish of 6 to 7lb caught regularly on this catch and keep venue.
Papermill fishery near Swansea is fishing well with fish up to 10lb being caught regurly. This venue is now running catch and release, booking is essential.
In North Wales the ever-popular Graiglwyd springs has re-opened after being closed most of the summer. Old stock has been removed and new fish are in peak condition with lower water temps. Dry flies scoring well.
Other lakes in the area such as Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery are fishing exceptionally well after being stocked at the end of September. Wal-Goch fishery near Mold is producing some fin perfect rainbows, despite low levels and weeds. Surface tactics such as dries and buzzers fished shallow under a bung have been best bet.
Some good news for Cardiff and Newport area. Ynysyfro reservoirs, Newport, will re-open for fishing after being shut for repairs for nearly 2 years. The fishery has been stocked with 500 fish and catches have been excellent already. Day tickets are £17 and there are membership options with Newport Reservoirs Fly Fishing Association. More details here.
Autumn into winter can be the best time of year visiting a Welsh fishery, rainbow trout thrive in cold water so expect good sport as it gets colder. Even if you only fish for wild trout, salmon or sea trout on the rivers and natural lakes we’d urge you to give a stocked fishery a try for a day or two over the winter. It’s not only for an enjoyable day out but will help support them after what has been a very hard summer.
Large Stillwater Venues
Llyn Clywedog has been exceptionally low this summer and is now coloured as well, due to recent rain washing some mud in. This is starting to clear now and fishing is improving with the lake rising by 3m. Rainbows to 6lb 4oz are being reported. The lake is open till November, so plenty of time yet to get some back-end fishing done there.
Llyn Trawsfynydd has fished very well, The Autumn International end of September saw Scotland 112 fish, Wales 92, England 77 and Ireland 74. A total of 355 fish caught and released with a rod average of 6.3. Autumn fry bash on 8th October saw 13 anglers fishing with a total of 70 fish caught for a rod average of 5.4. Congratulations to Anthony Cartwright for a magnificent 14 fish for a total of 27lbs 5oz. Expect good fishing to continue well into autumn.
Latest report from Jim Jenkins at Llyn Brenig – Spring celebrates new life, the dawning of hope, a fresh start but Autumn is a symbol of a darker force, the shortening of the day, natures colors slowly fading, the sleeping of the earth, creatures seeking warmer climes or a quiet refuge, the sun snaking low across the frosted sky. Natures natural rhythms, set in stone over time heralding in these changes. For the Llyn Brenig angler it is also a time of change as the sun begins to lose its warmth and the water temperature drops, the feeding patterns of the fish begin to change. The fly life starts to diminish, and the fish will seek deeper water.
We haven’t quite reached that point yet as there is still plenty of opportunity for a good day of fishing and to catch some great fish. It is a strange phenomenon that, at this time of year, you tend to find that the bigger fish come out of hiding and are more likely to be caught. Mr. Tony Banfield for example caught a fantastic 10lb Rainbow last week, the biggest fish of the week and there have been several fish of 4lbs and over caught. Other notable catches this week were Mr. Ken Wall who caught six fish for 16lbs 8oz which was the top bag of the week and included a 4lb 8oz Rainbow, Mr. Andrew Calvezy who caught six fish including a lovely 4 pounder and Mr. Tim Preston and his angling partner who caught fifteen fish between them.
Boats will be coming off the water on Sunday November 27th until that time the cost of a boat will be £10. We will be holding the draw for the winners of the ‘Tagged Fish’ competition on November 5th at 2pm. in the Visitors Centre café. We have some fantastic prizes which include £1000 for the winner, a season ticket for second place, and a half season for 3rd, as well as some bonus prizes for the most tags caught etc. The café will be offering a soup and roll for a discounted price for all who turn up for the prize giving.
Our Commercial manager Mr. Dave Tudor will be doing a random name generator, so we will all find out who won at the same time. On Saturday October 29th the lake will be closed due to the Cambrian Rally taking place here.
The top flies include cats’ whiskers, humongous, UV white zonker, snakes, black buzzers and various blobs and boobies including a coral booby.
The hot spots for the bank anglers have been the Visitors Centre shore, Hafod Lom, Tower Bay and Ring of Stones. Boat anglers have had success along the Dam Wall, near the cages, Hafod Lom and Visitors Centre.
Make sure that you give your vehicle registration number to a member of staff in the Visitor Centre foyer on arrival.
This will be the last fishing report of the year. We would like to thank all the anglers for their custom and for their cooperation during this season. I think we can all agree that it has been an excellent season and our thanks go to our fish farmers Jack and Stefano for making this possible. Don’t forget that you can fish right through the Winter months when the price for a day ticket will be £13.00 for a three fish kill starting on November 28th. We shall look forward to seeing you all next March when the new season will begin and the swish of the line, the creak of the reel, the splash of the water and the sounds of silence shall begin once more. And, in time honoured fashion, you can put that sign on your front door, ‘GONE FISHING!’
The main gates at Brenig will be closing at 4.45pm this week and therefore boats need to be back on the jetty by 4.15pm.
Wild trout lakes and reservoirs
The wild reservoirs have been very low this season, Brecon Beacons area especially and the Elan valley, as such, sport here hasn’t been the best, although Elan valley has produced some nice wild brownies in October as levels have risen somewhat. The higher natural lakes have been a better bet with some of the Cambrian AA, Ogwen Valley AA and SGLL (Seiont club) waters providing excellent wild trout fishing. Ogwen Valley have Llyn Ogwen, which has rainbows and will stay open beyond 17th October, as does SGLL with Llyn Dywarchen, which has produced some cracking stocked brownies and rainbows.
Llyn Frongoch (Aberystwyth Angling Association, below) is extending the season to 31st October. Tickets are available via The Fishing Passport and local outlets. The lake holds some excellent blue and rainbow trout, in addition to a head of resident brown trout.
Fishing In Wales - September Game Report (05/09/2022)
As I write this significant rain has just started to fall, with the river levels responding with a slight rise, a most welcome change in conditions after what has been the toughest summer for game fishing for many a year.
River fishing has been predictably tough over the past month or two, with the larger rivers in mid and south east Wales suffering the most from low levels and high temperatures.
That said, certain stretches have been fishable – these include the Upper Wye and the river Elan, which supplies the upper river with cold release water from the Elan dams. The Craig Llyn beat in particular. The Usk has been fishable in the Sennybridge area, where it is shaded by trees with deep, cool, bedrock pools, while the upper Taff around Merthyr Tydfil has benefited from dam water from Ponsticll reservoir, which has kept the temperatures down. These rivers have produced wild trout to nearly 3lb. The River Severn in the Caersws area again benefits from dam water from Llyn Clywedog, so this has fished well and will continue to do so, as has the river Dee in North Wales. Both of these latter rivers have started to produce big grayling.
Below is a selection of fish captured from the rivers mentioned above. As temperatures drop and the rain falls we can expect a bumper back end to the river trout season, which ends on the 30th September.
Several Welsh rivers have reported Sewin in August, there are fish in the Towy, decent numbers in the Teifi and North Wales rivers such as the Wnion, Clwyd and Elwy have a good head of sewin in residence, holed up in the deeper holes. If we have a good spate that should liven them up, but be aware many clubs have a C&R rule on all sewin after 1st September and should really be returned at this time of year.
Salmon sadly have struggled in our rivers this season, there are reports of good numbers in the lower reaches of the Towy, waiting for a rise. The lower Wye and lower Usk have seen dead salmon due to lethal water temps last month, it remains to be seen how significant this is. Hopefully we will see a good back end salmon run if conditions allow.
On the reservoir front we are seeing exceptionally low levels, the Brecon Beacons waters are on their bones – including Beacons, Cantref, Talybont and Crai, which will be very hard going if not unfishable. Likewise the Elan valley reservoirs are nearly empty, exception being Claerwen which although low is fishable. North Wales hasn’t fared as badly, with Brenig having a good level. Here it has all been dry fly, with quality fish taking on the surface. Scierra pair comp last week was very successful, and the stamp of fish was superb. Clywedog, although extremely low is still fishing really well, with the fish looking up as we head into September. Below 11lb 4oz Clywedog trout for Karl Paine on a black booby.
The natural llyn fishing is still good, these have not had the issues of low levels and will provide great sport between now and the end of the season, especially for wild brown trout to surface tactics such as daddy long legs, hoppers and Sedgehogs. Venues to try include Cambrian AA, Aberystwyth AA and Artro & Talsarnau Angling Association, as well as the Sgowrs Ogwen waters in Snowdonia. Teifi Pools and llyn Berwyn (below) are another great venue for back end wild trout, season here ends on 30th September.
The smaller trout fisheries have suffered in the past month with several closing. They are now re-opening as temperatures fall, but always best to check how the fishing is. Next month is likely to be when the small stillwaters come back into their own. A lot of anglers have been trying their hand at carp on the fly, in the absence of good trout fishing this summer. Specimen below by Luke Gator at Canada lake. Carp on fly will continue to be good into September if you fancy trying it. Our blog by Steffan Jones explains how.
Fishing In Wales - June Fishing Report (28/06/2022)
Migratory Game Rivers
As I write this we finally have rain in the forecast and indeed some of the North Wales rivers are already in spate, with reports of sea trout coming off the Ogwen, Conwy and Glaslyn rivers, great news given just how low the rivers have been the past 5 to 6 weeks.
The Wnion and Mawddach catchments have also started to fish for sewin a few weeks ago, with Rob Redman (below) reporting success on the fly at night.
The Towy has been producing the odd large sewin throughout June, Colton Kelly having some crackers from Golden Grove and this water in the forecast should really stir things up.
The Teifi has been very quiet until past couple of weeks, but now school sewin from 1lb to 3lb have arrived in good numbers and also salmon, fishing guide Steffan Jones catching a fresh silver tourist at dusk yesterday (27/06/22) plus a number of school sewin.
Below: Steffan Jones migratory fish captures from the Teifi
The Wye has had a fairly good start to the salmon season, with fish being reported from the lower beats such as Wyesham, Wyastone Leys and as far upriver as the Rectory. Better yet there hasn’t been an algae bloom so far this year and the weed is starting to grow back. This rain in the forecast should help push the salmon upriver to populate the beats between Glasbury and Builth Wells. The Usk has also seen a few salmon, with reports from Swan Meadow and Abergavenny of salmon to 35 inches (around 18lb)
June for the most part has been dry and incredibly low, making fishing for wild trout hard to say the least. However, evening fishing has been excellent, with falls of Blue Winged Olives providing superb dry fly sport. All of the usual South Wales rivers have been brilliant on the calm, warm evenings, The Taff, Ebbw, Usk, Tawe being the primary rivers to try. Below – Some Cracking dry fly caught fish by Josh Clark (right) and Pheon Radford (left).
The Severn, Vrynwy and Banwy are fishing well, these are prolific rivers with good sized trout and grayling in them to rival the South Wales rivers and in the case of the upper Severn at Caersws and the upper Vyrnwy benefit from dam release water, therefore keeping temperatures at a good level. The Dee also benefits from cooler lake and reservoir water releases and has been fishing well for trout.
Grayling are now back in season – and have been caught wherever they are present. However, bear in mind these are a coldwater loving fish so handling out of the water should be kept at a minimum in warmer temps. Great image below taken by Josh Clark, showing a graying resting in the water, in the net.
With July being probably the hardest month, the best advice is to fish in the evening or if we are lucky enough to have rain as promised just as the rivers fine down.
Reservoirs, lakes and fisheries
The ever-reliable llyn Clywedog has been producing some great fish. Its depth and altitude mean it stays cool in the warm months and can fish well all summer. The Coch y bonddu beetle made an appearance in mid June and the dry fly fishing has been frantic. Expect dry fly to dominate the fishing methods here well into the summer. The same applies at Llyn Brenig, where surface sport can be almost guaranteed and the legendary Heather fly should be making an appearance next month.
The natural hill lakes and wild trout reservoirs kicked off at the start of June and now with Coch y bonddu reported it will be a great time to try them. Talybont AA, Teifi Pools, Elan Valley and Nant-y-Moch in particular. We’ve heard the Ffestiniog lakes are fishing well, including Cwmorthin, as are the Dalgarrog AA lakes such as Llyn Eigiau. Looking forward, July is a good month if you are evening fishing or if you can go on a rough, wet and windy day. Below – Llyn Eigiau
On the fisheries, things have slowed down due to the higher water temperatures of late. Even so, we have plenty of spring fed waters in Wales which fish well all summer due to their cold water. These include Garnffrwd, Graiglwyd Springs and Bigwell fishery.
Fishing In Wales - April and May Game Fishing Report (09/05/2022)
River trout fishing
We have had an excellent spring so far on Welsh rivers, despite the low water and the easterly winds that were blowing hard at times. Despite almost no rain, our rivers have been fishing exceptionally well through the whole of April and now into the middle of May, as I write this report.
The mid to lower river Usk began to fish well in April, with huge Grannom hatches, late March Browns and now Brook Dun and Yellow Mays. For the dry fly angler this is the prime time to hit the river, with most action being still in the afternoons at the warmer time of day.
Usk fishing has been prolific on the various WUF beats, Brecon Town, Glanusk, Gliffaes, Merthyr Angling AA and Gwent Angling stretches. The water above Brecon is extremely low for the time of year, making things tough, although for the stealthy angler some of beats in the Sennybridge bridge area have produced some good fish. Abergavenny Town downstream and around Usk town/Chainbridge are ever reliable, where the river is bigger, therefore not as affected by low water levels. Here fish 1.5lb to 3lb are being caught regularly, with the odd 4lb plus specimen. It is possible to come across Danica mayfly on the lower part of the Usk in the deeper still pools, when these come off expect some very big fish to come out to play.
The upper Taff has really picked up in late April and now in May. The Brook Dun hatch is in full swing and this really brings the better trout out of hiding. Lots of fish from 2lb to 3.5lb reported, especially on Merthyr Tydfil AA water. Water levels are very low however, so a careful approach is needed. It wont be long until we see the Blue Winged Olives, which from the end of May bring the evening fishing into life.
The lower Taff from Pontypridd to Cardiff has improved a lot this season, with good numbers of trout of all sizes recorded, as well as high numbers of out of season grayling. Several fish of 3lb to 5lb plus have been caught, some incredible wild trout. Many of these have been taken on dries, with the fish on the Brook Duns and now Pale Wateries and the odd Yellow May.
Glamorgan Angling club water and Osprey club stretch’s will be worth fishing, even in low water. Below – a few lower Taff specimens.
The Ebbw and the Sirhowy tributary are both exceptional rivers. The Ebbw is low but still plenty of flow, however the Sirhowy is now on its bones. The Olive hatches have been superb this season so far, and so have the Brook Duns. Trout of between 2lb to 3lb are being captured on Islwyn Anglers Fishing Club waters.
Often overlooked as a trout river the Rhymney is well worth a go, with trout from 15 to 18 inches recorded, also lots of little ones. Here Brook Duns and Yellow May are making an appearance on Caerphilly AA and Royal Oak water.
The Tawe is in fine fettle despite being low. Fish are being caught on a mixture of dry fly and nymph fishing. Wild fish to 4lb have been caught and stocked grown on fish to over 6lb. Tawe Angling and Mond Angling Society both club water on the river, easily accessible and good value.
This river is coming back strong as a trout river, Olive Uprights are appearing now with Brook Duns. Llandysul AA water is producing fish 14 to 20 inches, especially in the slower glides and pools. It is almost like ‘Chalk stream’ fishing at the upper river, with luxurious beds of water weed. Well worth a try in May. Below – typical Teifi trout.
The Lougher is making a name for itself as a trout river, with fish between 14 and 18 inches reported on several club stretches. The Towy also has big wild trout, not many try for them, but the fly hatches of spring can bring them up on the runs in the Llandeilo area. Some of these fish are over 3lb.
The river Monnow has also produced some lovely early season trout, although it has generally been a slow start. Fish to 17 inches have been reported recently though. The Mayfly hatch here is superb and should kick things off in late May. The upper Monnow and tribs on the wild streams Fishing Passport have produced a lot of small fish, great fun on light tackle. These however are now really suffering from low flows.
The Dee around Llangollen has fished well for trout and will continue to do so through May. The Clywd has seen some good trout action too. The Alyn near Wrexham is a wonderful stream to try in late spring, it is quite alkaline due to limestone, unlike many of the other North Wales rivers which tend to be acidic. The upper river Severn around Caersws has been excellent, with trout to 4lb recorded, here the flow is usually good in dry weather due to dam release from Llyn Clywedog.
Salmon and sea trout fishing
The Wye has started to produce early spring salmon, with springers being caught despite the falling levels, beats such as Wyeastone leys, Wyesham and Bigsweir producing fish from 9lb to 22lb. Below: Saul Roberts with a 9lb fish at Wyeastone Leys.
The Usk has produced several salmon now, with the run appearing in late April. There are reports of more fish waiting in the estuary. A cock fish of 35.5 inches was reported on MTAA water on 7th May by Richard Hillman and several others in the Chain bridge area. If only it would rain heavily now!
We have also heard of a few sewin in the Towy and Neath systems, but probably not in number worth targeting unless we get rain. The Conwy has produced its first night caught sewin of the year to Stuart Llewellyn of Llanrwst Angling Club – a full month earlier than normal.
Trout fisheries and reservoirs
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake will be well worth fishing at the moment. Olives are hatching during the day and strong buzzer hatches in the evenings. Below – these are just some of the cracking fish to have been caught in the last week. Plenty of fish around 8lb, with doubles always possible.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – some nice fish being caught, including brown trout. Remember, the fishery will be hosting FREE coaching days for CADAC Juniors this year, click here for details.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – despite recent warm and bright weather cracking fish are coming out. For example, Phil Bevan who travelled down from the Forest of Dean caught a superb 5lb 6oz rainbow on a black buzzer and a lovely 4lb 4oz rainbow on a olive buzzer. Dave Blake caught a 6lb rainbow on a damsel, with many other fish 6lb plus about. Ceri Jones had a stonking brown, not far off double figures on a dry fly. Advisable to book here on 07814741252
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – On calm late spring days nymphs and CDC buzzer dries work well, especially around the island. Lynn Evans had 17 fish with for 33lb 10oz in a C&R comp in late April. Fishing should continue being excellent well into late May.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – A good stocking was made on 6th May with more going in every week. Has been producing on small buzzer in the evenings, it seems that the smaller flies size 16 to 18 are having the biggest impact recently. Double figure fish have been caught, one was landed using a quill buzzer about 10 ft below the surface on the back bank.
Wal Goch, Mold – Michal Last reports: ‘’Afternoon fishing today lovely day fishing hard but the fish were down deep white cormorant and fab got me going, 7 to the net lost about the same’’ plenty more fish are coming out, cats whisker and buzzer being reliable flies.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – Fish quality is possibly best in Wales, these fish are proper reel screamers! There are now 5000+ fish in the lake, and the boat fishing is back on which is good news for bank anglers as well, since the pressure spreads to fish about. Recent report from William Seward: ‘’Quality rainbows on Eglwys with rays on tails and fighting like tigers. My grandson had 10 and myself 4 yesterday on Borg wall. The one fish that Nathan kept 3lb 12oz was full of sticklebacks and snails. Get a ticket and hold on tight and use at least 8lb breaking strain when nymph or lure fishing.’’ Nathan Seward had 10 fish, all on snake lures the other day. See image below, what a cracking fish!
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Llyn Clywedog Report 5th May (from FB page). Weekly stock 1000. Season to date 13750. Clywedog has fished extremely well this week with a marked increase in surface activity with an increased amount of buzzer coupled with more terrestrial insects starting to show as the weather finally warms up. Good numbers of fish are showing across Gronwen to carters and mouth of the dead channel. Eblid basin continues to be one of the best areas as does open water off Dinas point with Bwlch y gle producing some good bags. Fish are high in the water with tip lines small cat booby and black diawls doing well, dries have also done well with black shuttlecocks and black daddies doing well. Bank anglers have caught well mouth of the Bigga Gronwen and popular side with a few fish starting to show in Braich y ffedew. Jason Williams below with a cracking rainbow from the boat, weight 7lb.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – The lake is fishing well in the calmer, warmer weather. When fish were moving on the surface they seem preoccupied on very small dark buzzers and challenging to tempt. Most of the fish are being taken on static tactics on washing line method, with tip lines on either black diawls / buzzers or booby on the point. Congratulations to Marian Davies who weighed in a good bag of 10 fish for 19lbs 2ozs in the Welsh Police Regional Championships on May 5th. Senior Trials took place on Llyn Trawsfynydd at end of April. Darren Williams had a great result, for an excellent 1st place. The venue will continue to offer great fishing through May.
Llyn Brenig – End of April report: The wind has been predominantly from the Northeast which has meant that there has been a chilly breeze blowing across the lake driving the fish over to the Western shore. Interestingly the fish farmers were saying that they stocked a number of tagged fish in the Nant Glyn/ Ring of Stones area, and these have been turning up in the Brenig Arm and in Sailing Club Bay, illustrating that the wind has been a major factor in the location of the fish. It also shows us the distances that the fish travel after being stocked, going from one side of the lake right across to the other side. Although the water temperature has increased since opening day, standing at around 10 degrees C on the top of the water, the fish are still about two to three feet deep. This has meant that snake flies and lures have worked well during the week. With the water still on the cool side the fish have been a little less active than previous weeks pushing down the rod average to 3.5 fish per angler. Although one or two have struggled fishing from the bank others have prospered such as Mr. R.O.Roberts from Holywell who caught eight whilst fishing from Tower Bay including a 6lbs 2oz Rainbow and Mr. Kevin Whitley who landed sixteen Rainbows whilst fishing in the Brenig Arm. The boat anglers have also had a varied week with Mr. Clive Gilbert remarking on a ‘rubbish day’ although his boat partner Dave might not have agreed with him after landing a lovely 7lb 8oz Rainbow. On the other hand, the biggest bag of the week was recorded by Mr. Chris McCloud from Wrexham whilst fishing from a boat who landed 5 Rainbows for 19lbs and released eight. Not a bad day indeed. The big fish are still there with Mr. Weatherill catching a 7lb 12oz Rainbow, Mr. Jim Connell landing an eight pounder, Mr. Mike Archer with another 7lbs 0oz Rainbow and Mr. Scott Pozzi recording the biggest fish of the week, an 8lbs 9oz whopper. The hot spots for the boats and bank have been similar this week with the Brenig Arm, Sailing Club Bay and Watersports bay all fishing well. The top flies this week have been snakes, cormorants, diawl bach, buzzers, nomad, and various blobs and boobies particularly a coral booby. A reminder that if you catch a tagged fish then present the tag at the Visitors Centre and your name will be put into an end of year draw. First prize is £1,000, second prize is a full season ticket, and the third prize is a half season ticket.
Usk Reservoir, Trecastle – The reservoir has been stocked by Welsh Water with rainbow trout and good bags of fish being reported on the Fishing Passport through April in to May, this is a great fishery to try from the bank in a lovely location. Book tickets online.
Llwyn-on, Merthyr Tydfil. This 150 acre reservoir is the largest of the Taff reservoirs. It is a favourite amongst local anglers and is a fly, spinner and worm fishing venue. Anglers are reporting lots of action in April and early May. This is a great venue to take a young angler due to easy access and the multi methods that can be used. Book online with the Fishing Passport.
Llys y fran reservoir, Pembrokeshire – a regular delivery of fish has arrived once again to replenish stocks. The average catch return per angler throughout March and April was a strong 3.1 fish per angler. The best fish was a beauty at 5lb, caught on worm. The best 4 fish bag weighed in at 12lb 4oz caught on the fly. Fishing in May has been good, with bank anglers also reporting wild brown trout in with the rainbows.
Natural brown trout venues
These are just waking up after the cold start to spring, with some good fish to 2lb reported on Talybont to buzzers and small lures. Teifi Pools are also fishing well, Llyn Egnant especially, with good catches of fish to 1lb 12oz on wet flies. Llyn Ogwen is reporting lots of wild brown trout, as is Llyn Idwal. Expect the Aber AA, Talybont Angling and the Cambrian AA lakes to start fishing well in May and June, as will the Elan valley reservoirs when the Coch-y-bonddu beetle arrives in late May and early June. Claerwen Reservoir has been visited a few times, with lots of small fish to 10oz reported recently. Below – typical Llyn Egnant wild trout.
Fishing In Wales - March Game Fishing Report (28/03/2022)
River trout fishing
March the 3rd is the long-awaited date in the river anglers calendar, with many of our best trout rivers opening for fishing on that day. Despite high water, the early fishing didn’t disappoint, with quality wild brown trout coming to nymphs and dry flies on the various rivers that opened. A lot of rain put paid to the fishing in early March, but as the rivers dropped back the fishing has been superb and continues to provide great sport.
The opening few days were high water, but there were reports of fish from the upper reaches on WUF beats in the Sennybridge and Brecon Town stretches, with spiders and euronymphing producing fish to over 2lb. Dry fly also scored early, with good hatches of March Brown and Dark Olives. Tim Hughes with a cracking Brecon trout below.
As the weather settled and warmed up, the mid to lower river began to fish, with brilliant dry fly action on the various WUF beats, Glanusk, Gliffaes, Merthyr Angling and Gwent Angling stretches. Despite bright blue skies and easterly wind, fly hatches have brought good fish to the surface. The hatches are at their peak 12pm to 2pm at this time of year, so whatever you do don’t take a lunch break or you will miss the action!
We expect April to continue to be exceptional dry fly fishing, with the lowest beats coming into their own as the water drops. For some Usk catchment inspiration and beat ideas check out this feature by Denise Ashton.
The upper Taff has been fishable from 8th March, the Merthyr Angling water has produced some big fish of over 3lb, most of these to dry fly by selectively stalking the rising fish using March Brown or Olive patterns. Nymphing blind has been very slow.
It must be noted it takes the Taff a while to wake up, with a few big fish usually the first to show. So, if you have patience and fish the river at lunch time you might be in with a chance of a real specimen, but it is not easy by any means.
Glamorgan Angling club water on the Taff has also thrown up some big early March trout. Dave Phillips below with a 4lb plus fish that took a swung spider in the Gabalfa area.
The Ebbw and the Sirhowy tributary are both exceptional early season rivers and quick to fall after rain. The March brown and olive hatches have been superb this season so far, with many trout between 2lb to 3lb captured this month. Fishing here is mostly with Islwyn Anglers Fishing Club. Kyle Cheshire, below, with a stunning example from the Ebbw.
The Tawe is another great south Wales river, with a mixture of wild and stocked fish, some of which are very large, up to 6lb, example pictured below, caught just a few days ago by Richie Howells. Fish are being caught on a mixture of dry fly, nymph fishing and with streamers during spells of high water. Tawe Angling and Mond Angling Society both have great water on the river, easily accessible and good value.
We have heard reports of trout being caught on the upper Teifi above Lampeter (the lower part doesn’t open till 1st April) on the Welsh Dee and the upper Severn, which opened on March 18th. The river Monnow has also produced some lovely early season trout. The Clywd has seen some early action too. The upper Wye around Rhayader has been surprisingly good for trout this early, Kyle Chesire landed a monster fish for this part of the river, check it out below. Wye beats such as the Rectory have also recorded good trout fishing this month.
Prospects for Welsh rivers look great into April, thanks to fairly settled weather continuing on the long-term forecast. If it stays as predicted, with just a drop of rain to help, then expect April to be the cream of the season.
The Wye has started to produce early spring salmon, with water levels now just about perfect height in the lower Welsh reaches and in the upper river between Glasbury and Builth Wells. 21st March saw a massive salmon of 41.5 inches from Gromain & Upper Llanstephan, captured by Brian Skinner. It was estimated at 30lb. A fair number of other captures reported including 24lb at Caemawr on 7th March, which was the first recorded Wye springer. We have not heard of any other rivers producing spring salmon yet.
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake was stocked with hard fighting Exmoor Rainbows on 8th and 16th March, so it will be well worth fishing at the moment. Expect the resident fish to switch their attention to buzzer and olives as the water heats up, with spring dry fly fishing being successful on the fine calm days. Otherwise, a nymph under a bung is a good bet.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – with improved weather some nice fishing being caught, including brown trout, big specimen caught by regular Daniel of 14lb, below. This was a PB and a Trout Master entry for March! Remember, the fishery will be hosting FREE coaching days for CADAC Juniors this year, click here for details.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – lots of big fish being caught on the Winter League Competition, fish of 6lb 4oz, 7lb 5oz and 9lb 2oz reported recently. Flies to try are green buzzer, blue flash damsels, and snake lures.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – Ben Evans below with a 6lb rainbow. This venue is wonderful in early spring and is kept well stocked by the local club. It is primarily a lure water in winter, but on clam spring days buzzer and spiders work well, especially around the shelter of the island.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – Has been producing big bags of fish on catch and release tickets. For example, Martyn Rae had a good day with 13 fish falling to a tadpole imitation and black buzzers. Another angler reported 16 fish. The location is stunning, with easy access all around the lake. There is always the chance of a double figure trout here.
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – This fairly large ‘small’ smallwater of 7 acres is a bit different, it has a lot of natural food and plenty of space to roam. Remember you can book the whole fishery for the day exclusively for you and your friends any time of the year. Water is still a bit cold, but it is picking up now and a few quality fish are coming out.
Wal Goch, Mold – Neil Hubbard reports a good day on 19th March, ‘’Great day on Friday 15 to the net and 2 lost . Catching on slow retrieved buzzer and PTN. Wonderful fishery with lots of wildlife and bird song. Very little traffic noise just the working farm and sheep’’ Fish are also taking lures at this gem of a fishery, David Humphreys used a small beadheaded Cat’s Whisker on an intermediate line to success recently.
Llandegfedd reservoir, Pontypool – this venue opened in March. It will be stocked with about 10,000 trout this coming season, and an initial trout stocking was made on 8th March and a double stocking was made on 24th March. Boats will be available, and the bank fishing should also be excellent heading into April.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot – Fish quality is second to none. There are now 4600 fish in the lake, which have hardly seen any pressure, more fish have been stocked on March 16th so the lake should be fishing well and will now start to switch onto the buzzer hatches.
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Opened 10th March, 6000 fish have been stocked already. It has been windy and sunny so tough on the boats early on, with bank anglers enjoying the best action with some big catches made. Rainbows have been captured to 5lb 12oz, with a brown of 12lb 7oz the biggest reported yet for Keith Row (below) on a white minky. The wind dropped in late March, with warm and calmer weather fish are starting to rise freely to spring buzzer. So there should be fantastic boat or bank sport to come in April. Bookings on weekends is advisable.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – Opened 1st February, has been stocked heavily. If the calm and mild conditions continue as the temperatures rise during the mornings buzzers will start to hatch and get the fish on the feed. Otherwise sinking lines and various lures will be best approach. Round 1 of the Cynghrair Traws Turrall Traws League took place on 12th March. At the weigh in a total of 187 fish were recorded for a total weight of 359lbs 5oz with a rod average of 9.4. Morgan Jones had best bag of 24 fish, for a total weight of 47lbs 2oz. A great example of how good the spring trout fishing can be on Traws!
Llyn Brenig – The new season began on Friday March 18th. Stocked fish average at over 2lbs and with a mixture of bigger fish, some around the double figure mark. Around 4000 have been put in, with early reports of bank anglers doing very well, with one angler (below) having 17 fish up to 9lb. A new competition is being launched this year with tagged fish being released into the lake every week. If a tagged fish is caught, then the anglers name will be put forward into an end of season draw and the winner of the draw will be given a £1,000 prize. Rhyl & St Asaph AA member Derfel Williams had a day to remember on the Brenig recently. Bagged up by lunch time with several more fish returned during the afternoon. The highlight was this 10lb monster from the deep.
Usk Reservoir, Trecastle – The reservoir has been stocked by Welsh Water with rainbow trout and good bags of fish being reported on the Fishing Passport already, with 8 or 9 fish being caught by some anglers despite wind and sunny conditions. This is a great fishery to try from the bank in a lovely location. Book tickets online.
Llwyn-on – Merthyr Tydfil. This 150 acre reservoir is the largest of the Taff reservoirs. It is a favourite amongst local anglers and is a fly, spinner and worm fishing venue. It has now been stocked and anglers are reporting lots of action, with some bags of 22 fish recorded (C&R after limit), lots of catches of between 4 and 8 trout. This is a great venue to take a young angler due to easy access and the multi methods that can be used. Book online with the Fishing Passport.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – This reservoir opened March 1st with MTAA and moving forward there will be no close season for rainbows on the reservoir. We haven’t heard of anyone fishing it yet, but it has been stocked pre-season with rainbow trout of excellent quality by the club. No day tickets on Cantref, but membership is only £65 for the year including Talybont reservoir for wild trout.
Natural brown trout venues
Most of the wild trout lakes opened their doors on March 20th. Early spring on the wild waters can be hard, and we started the season with bright blue skies and howling eat winds. Not ideal! Nevertheless, it was good to see so many anglers enjoying opening day on Talybont reservoir in the Brecon Beacons, where despite the poor conditions most anglers caught fish, up to 1lb 8oz and in stunning condition. Small black lures and nymphs such as black ‘muskins’ were the order of the day. As the winds fall and clouds come back expect great buzzer fishing here in April.
Some hardy anglers have tried the north Wales lakes, in the Ffestiniog area, not much to report yet, but it is still very cold water and bright sun, not a good combination. Mid-April is when these lakes start to fish well. We have heard of a march trip to the Teifi pools, where a 2.5lb brown trout was captured on llyn Teifi, which is a proper specimen for this lake.
Fishing In Wales - February Game Fishing Report (22/02/2022)
Trout Fisheries and Reservoirs
Garnffrwd fishery, Cross Hands – The lake was stocked with hard fighting Exmoor Rainbows on 20th January and has been lightly fished ever since, due to the weather (and rugby games!) so it will be well worth fishing as soon as we get a break in the conditions.
Llandegla fishery, Wrexham – Despite horrible weather some nice fishing being caught, including some very nice brown trout (George Clarke with an example below) The fishery will be hosting FREE coaching days for CADAC Juniors this year, click here for details.
Eglwys Nunydd, Port Talbot– It has been slow recently, with moderate numbers of fish being caught, however quality is second to none. There are nearly 4000 fish in the lake, which have hardly seen any pressure, when these switch on it will be incredible fishing. More fish will be stocked soon, which will stir up the residents. For a feel of the place check out our recent video here.
Papermill Fishery, Swansea – lots of big fish around 9lb to 11lb being caught, fish being caught on flies including Olive Damsels, Pheasant tail nymph and Black/green fritz lures. Image below of Gavin Evans with 11lb 4oz rainbow.
Llyn Gwyn, Rhayader – The winter league is fishing well, a match went ahead on 19th February where 37 fish to 6lb were caught. Christian Jones was top rod with 9 fish. This venue is a real gem and is kept well stocked by the local club. It is primarily a lure water in winter, but on clam days buzzer and spiders work well especially around the shelter of the island.
Graiglwyd Springs, Penmaenmawr – Has been producing doubles. Dave Stavros Jones reporting a 10lb rainbow that took a green damsel lure fished down around 12 feet depth. On February 8th Dave Jones had a very good day fishing at Graiglwyd with 16 fish to the net with a great mix of blues and rainbows averaging 3-4lb with a bonus double. Pete Jones brought 8 rainbows to the net caught on Damsel Nymphs on a floating line and white and black snakes, fished on an intermediate line
Pantybedw fishery, Carmarthen – Another delivery of Exmoor cracking rainbows was made at the end of January. This fairly large ‘small’ smallwater of 5 acres is a bit different, it has a lot of natural food and plenty of space to roam. Remember you can book the whole fishery for the day exclusively for you and your friends any time of the year.
Crynant Fishery, Neath – Has fished well all winter. 5lb to 6lb fish being caught regularly, mainly on lures at this catch and kill venue.
Cantref reservoir, Brecon – This reservoir opens March 1st with MTAA. This is stocked with 600 rainbow trout of excellent quality by the club through the season, membership is only £65 for the year including Talybont reservoir for wild trout. Cantref is a great option easy reach from Cardiff and mid-Wales.
Llandegfedd reservoir, Pontypool – this will be opening in March. We have heard it will be stocked with about 10,000 trout this coming season. Boats will be available, but the fleet will be reduced to about 10. This reservoir was once one of the best in Wales, it deserves support from local anglers to help keep the fishing going here.
Clywedog Trout fishery, Llanidloes – Opens 10th March. Should be fantastic boat or bank. Expect fish to be taken on lures, especially snakes and Humungous on Di3 and Di5 lines. On calm mild days deepwater buzzer can bring fish up to the top. Bookings on weekends is advisable.
Trawsfynydd Reservoir – Opened 1st February, has been stocked heavily. The weather has meant it has not seen much pressure yet. Fish seen to be moving in sheltered areas when the wind drops. With a mild winter fish have been feeding well throughout, so overwintered stock should be fighting fit – expect March to be a bumper month on Traws.
Llyn Brenig – has been open over the winter months. The quality and quantity of the fish caught over the winter has been remarkable, with Mr. Fred Salt, catching two stunning fish, one at 7lbs and the other at 9lbs 3oz. Brenig will be closing the lake to fishing on Monday 28th February whilst restocking takes place, with 3,300 fish going into the lake and the new season will begin on Friday March 18th. Stocked fish will average at over 2lbs and with a mixture of bigger fish, some around the double figure mark. A new competition is being launched this year with tagged fish being released into the lake every week. If a tagged fish is caught, then the anglers name will be put forward into an end of season draw and the winner of the draw will be given a £1,000 prize.
Wal Goch, Mold – Michal Last reports a good day on 15th February, ‘’7 to the net few moves around the lake to keep in touch with the fish. Yellow dancer, black leech, shammy worm all taking hits’’. Fish are also taking buzzers fished under bungs at this gem of a fishery.
Natural brown trout venues
Most of the wild trout lakes open their doors on March 20th. Early season on the wild waters can be hard, but small black lures fished on 12 foot intermediate tips can work well. Good early waters include Talybont, Tal-y-llyn, Elan Valley, Beacons, Lake Vyrnwy and Nant Y Moch.
Teifi Pools near Tregaron opens earlier than most, on March 3rd. So if you are craving a mountain escape they are worth a go, we have had fish here with thick snow on the ground, it is a long winter and the fish are hungry, they will take if your flies if presented deep in the water, larger flies in sizes 8 or 10 score well, for example Mallard and Claret, Black Pennell or black woolly bugger.
As I write this, we have just been hit by storm Franklin, which has caused serious flooding in Wales, therefore the rivers are blown and will be for at least a few days, and that is IF the rain stops.
Prior to the recent spell of stormy weather grayling fishing on the rivers in the first half of February was good, we had low water conditions and fairly mild weather, we even saw some early hatches of large dark olives, and the grayling responded, with Dale Parsons of Pontypridd making the most of a good hatch with 8 in quick succession on CDC emergers on the upper Taff Osprey Fly Fishers water.
The Taff has had quite a good year for grayling compared to the last two, there are plenty of pound plus fish about, with fish to 2lb plus regularly hitting the nets. The Glamorgan Anglers water in Cardiff is a good bet, from Llandaff to Sofia Gardens. And encouragingly lots of small ones have appeared.
Brothers Kyle and Cory Mason fish the river Taff a lot around Abercynon, they have had a great graying season, just look at the stunning fish below caught by Kyle, a real beauty.
Strangely the section of the Taff between Radyr weir and Treforest has been very hard, with grayling and trout conspicuous by their absence this season and the last. Some smaller fish have appeared, so we hope it improves in 2022.
The Rhymney is another post-industrial gem, it has good grayling but this year it has been dominated by few but larger fish. 2-3 fish in a session of a few hours can be regarded as good, but fish of 1lb 8oz or thereabouts appear to be the average size. Some of them are pushing 2lb. If the levels drop then both rivers will be worth a try before the grayling season ends.
The Wye system has wonderful grayling and the upper reaches fished well, with Builth Town producing in early February. Craig Llyn is another great beat, which is usually fishable quite quickly after a flood. The upper Irfon continues to produce quality grayling, with the WUF beats doing well. It can be hard however, especially if low and clear, so expect to work for them. Rewards however can be spectacular, there are grayling pushing 3lb there, with a 2lb 14oz fish reported from the upper beats.
The Severn in the Llanidloes area has been fishing well for grayling – it looks like there has been a revival in numbers and average size judging from the catches being made on social media, Dan Cartwright and Thomas Leah fish the Caersws area regularly, grayling from 40cm to nearly 50cm figure quite often on their Instagram page.
The Welsh Dee has been ever consistent; however, it will now take a good week for it to fall to a fishable level. Instructor Phil Ratcliffe has been visiting the river a lot, check out the stamp of the fish he has been catching below.
We look forward to the trout season opening on March 3rd – with the high levels the upper reaches of major rivers and the smaller rivers will be best places to try. Rivers that fish well for trout in early March include the Ebbw, Sirhowy, Lwyd, Upper Taff, Upper Teifi, Upper Severn, The Usk, Tawe, Upper Dee and Alwen. Expect limited insect activity with a brief hatch of Olives or March browns around mid-day, so it is best to fish around that time. Otherwise, fish heavy nymphs deep with a ‘French leader’ for best results.
Fishing In Wales - December/January Game Fishing Report (18/01/2022)
Eglwys Nunydd reservoir at Port Talbot has been re-stocked for the winter ‘season’ with at least 3000 fish now in the lake. These mend fast and grow on well, thanks to rich feed including ‘killer shrimp’. For a taste of ‘big water’ trout fishing in south Wales the venue is well worth a try. Details here or join the TATA Game Angling group on Facebook. Below: Sport at Port Talbot.
The small stillwaters are in their prime at the moment, with clear water and cold water temperatures – just perfect!
Graiglwyd springs in north Wales has re-opened after weed control and essential repairs. It is fishing well now, with a good chance of a fighting fit double. Other lakes in the area such Llandegla and Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery are fishing exceptionally well, with tigers in particular featuring on Llandegla, nice example below left. The Wal-Goch fishery near Mold is producing some lovely browns, check out the fish below right, captured by Dave Roberstson.
In West Wales Garnffrwdd fishery has quality blues, spartics, browns and rainbows, some of which regularly double figures. Black Mamba, Blue Damsel, crisp packet buzzers and apps bloodworm are patterns that will bring success here. Pant y bedw fishery in Carmarthenshire is now open, with a net average per angler of 6 cracking hard fighting rainbows. Expect some superb winter fishing on this larger than average stillwater, which is unusual as it allows float tubing by prior arrangement.
Llyn Gwyn near Rhayader is a fantastic natural venue that is well worth a try this winter for something a bit different. It is well stocked with rainbows and blues. The club has been running a successful winter league recently with plenty of fish being caught.
Papermill fishery near Swansea is fishing well with fish up 12lb 8oz being caught. There is now a café operating on site, if you fancy a hearty breakfast. Booking is advised here. Below: Richard Rees, 8lb 4oz Yellow daddy fly, on the right Anthony Poole, 12lb 8oz on a black nymph.
We have had some good spells of dry weather since start of December, which has meant that at times the grayling rivers have been fishable. The Dee has continued to fish well, with the annual grayling festival at Llangollen being a success, with nearly 400 grayling caught to 47cm, which was good going considering the mild temperatures which saw the grayling spread out and hard to find. Below: Dee grayling, Rob Redman and client.
Other rivers include the Rhymney, which has been producing some grayling of over 1lb 8oz on the Royal Oak and Caerphilly stretches. Below: Neil Ashman and Nathan Gittings on the Rhymney.
The Taff on Glamorgan anglers water and the upper Osprey AA stretches have seen some good grayling fishing, with fish over 2lb reported. Below: Cracking 2lb plus Taff fish caught by Kyle Mason and Ceri Thomas.
The Irfon has fished well with fish to 2lb 14oz reported, with average size being high, however for the fly angler it can be tough if the water is low and clear, so expect to work for them. The upper Wye at Craig Llyn and Builth Town has been ever consistent, and the Elan is worth a try, since it has stable flows due to the Elan valley dams. Other decent grayling rivers to try include the upper Severn on Caersws AA and the Monnow on the Fishing Passport at Skenfrith. Prospects for grayling look perfect for the coming few weeks.
Game fishing competitions
We have posted all of the major WSTAA game comps for Wales HERE. Worth taking a look should you fancy competing in a trial, which could lead to you representing Wales.
Fishing In Wales - November Game Fishing Report (22/11/2021)
Game – Rivers
November has been a fantastic month for grayling fishing so far, thanks to a couple of weeks of dry weather which has allowed anglers to enjoy the many rivers in Wales that hold stocks of this delightful fish.
Of note has been the Dee, which consistently produces big grayling (Guide Rob Redman below 52cm) from Bala AA.
Llangollen AA club waters have also been ever consistent and offer good numbers of fish. The upcoming river Dee Hanak grayling festival on the 4th and 5th December should be a successful one this year, lets hope it stays dry and cold as forecast! There are a couple of team spaces, if interested contact Hywel Morgan.
Other grayling rivers that are fishing well include the Severn around Caersws on the local angling club stretches, and the upper river Irfon which is producing quality grayling over 2lb – especially on the Fishing Passport beats. Talking of the Irfon we recently shot a video on a new Fishing Passport beat; look out for this soon! One of the captures on film was an impressive 47cm fish captured by Terry Bromwell during the shoot (pictured below)
The upper Wye beats, such as Craig llyn and Rhayader AA are well worth fishing and have been in fine form this winter.
Some of the urban and semi urban rivers of south Wales have superb grayling fishing. The Rhymney is always worth a go, with inexpensive tickets available on Royal Oak Club water and Caerphilly AA stretches. The Rhymney generally produces small grayling, but fish to 2lb are being caught quite regularly this season.
The Taff, from Abercynon to Cardiff has seen a resurgence in grayling numbers this autumn after two fairly poor years. Lots of fish around 3/4lb to 1lb are being reported and the odd 2lb specimen. The Taff has some good options on Glamorgan AA water in the City and the Osprey Fly Fishers at Pontypridd.
There are also quality grayling in the Ogmore and Ewenny rivers near Bridgend, controlled by local angling clubs, though for these we believe day ticket access is very limited so best to enquire for full memberships.
The Monnow is a real gem of a river and has excellent grayling on angling club and Fishing Passport water, right on the English border. A couple of scale perfect Monnow fish below.
Grayling prospects look perfect for the next few weeks – so get and make the most of it! One thing to note if fishing for grayling please avoid spawning salmon and take particular care not to wade on top of redds (gravel salmon nests) as this can disturb and destroy their eggs.
Game – Stillwater
Most of the major reservoirs will close the end of November. In the run up to closing great fishing is being enjoyed on venues such as llyn Clywedog and Brenig, where thanks to the recent mild weather fish were caught near the surface consistently, with intermediates and humungous lures being the favoured tactic. The cold snap this week may well necessitate the use of fast sinking DI lines for the final week. Below – Clywedog trout for Gaz Dixon and Wayne Jones.
Lyn Clywedog was reporting catches of 40 plus fish per boat with browns to 7lb just a few days ago, and during the ‘fry bash’ competition on 7th November 264 fish were reported to 32 anglers. The fishery has a ‘Blue Light Fur and Feather’ match on 27th November to see the season out, there are a coupe of spaces free as I write this. Details here.
A reservoir that remains open until the 20th December is llyn Trawsfynydd, which continues to fish well at this time of year. The fishery continues to produce large brown trout, for example the 12lb specimen below captured by Pryderi Hedd.
The Welsh small Stillwater fisheries will be at their best at this time of year, especially the ever-reliable Garnffrwdd fishery which has again been stocked with spartic trout for the winter. In addition, expect quality blues, browns and rainbows here, some of which reach double figures. Blue flash damsel, diawl bach nymphs, buzzers and egg flies are patterns that will bring success here.
The nearby Pant y bedw fishery is currently closed due to the owner being temporarily out of action but look out for an update on their Facebook page. Once this re-opens expect some great winter fishing. Llyn Gwyn near Rhayader is a fantastic fishery that has recently been re-stocked, it is well worth a try this winter for something a bit different.
Abernant (Crynant) farm lake near Neath is one to try for larger fish, with doubles and fish of 6 to 7lb caught regularly on this catch and keep venue. Papermill fishery near Swansea is fishing well with fish up to 9lb 7oz being caught (Adrain Baskervill below) black cormorant being the best fly to try.
In North Wales the ever-popular Graiglwyd springs has just been closed for a few weeks to manage weed and do some essential repairs. When this re-opens there the real chance of a Welsh double.
Other lakes in the area such as Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery are fishing exceptionally well, with spartics in particular featuring here. Wal-Goch fishery near Mold is producing some fin perfect rainbows to lures, especially white snakes on intermediate lines.
Prospects: Winter can be the best time of year visiting a Welsh fishery, trout thrive in cold water so expect good sport as it gets colder. Even if you only fish for wild trout on the rivers and natural lakes we’d urge you to give a stocked fishery a try over the winter – not only for an enjoyable day out, but to help support them after what has been a very tough year.
Fishing In Wales - September/October Game Fishing Report (19/10/21)
Stillwater trout angling
The wild trout lakes finished on 17th October. Many of these fished really well up until the end, including venues such as Talybont reservoir, Elan Valley, Beacons reservoir, tal-y-llyn and Cambrian Angling Association lakes. Rosebush reservoir (a syndicate) produced several cracking brown trout in the 3 to 4lb plus category – the biggest caught for 30 years. Vaughan Thomas with large Rosebush trout below.
Our wild trout lakes seem to be improving year on year with numbers and average size of fish increasing which bodes well for the future. Fly hatches have been good and the wild lake trout have been in mint condition – next season should be fantastic. Below: Float tube fishing on Llynnau Gamallt and bank fishing Tal-y-llyn.
On the large stocked reservoir front autumn is always a brilliant time. Clywedog has been consistent, despite low water, whether you bank or boat fish. The venue is very popular, so make sure you book a boat in advance. Fishing here carries on until 30th November with fish often keen to take dries on calm autumnal days.
Llyn Brenig and Trawsfynydd are also great back-end waters, the rainbows feed up well and are in fighting fit condition. Traws has reported rainbows and browns in excess of 10lb recently. Below: A Brenig trout caught by George Barron which shows the quality you can expect in autumn.
The small Stillwater fisheries really came into their own in October after the warm, unproductive month of September. Waters such as Garnffwrd, Pant-y-Bedw, Craiglwyd springs, Paper Mill Swansea and Crynant at Neath are all fishing well and are at their best in October/November. So look up your local water and give them a try.
September was a very tough month for the river trout angler with almost no rainfall. This meant that for most of the month fishing activity was really limited, especially on the smaller streams and rivers which were on their bones. Larger rivers such as the Taff, Severn, Usk and upper Wye did continue to fish OK despite being low, although it wasn’t as good as previous years simply due to a lack of rain and distinctly summer-like weather.
Some rain did fall a couple of days before the end of the season on 30th September which did perk up the fishing somewhat, with some cracking trout caught, including upper Taff fish ranging from 2lb to 3lb 8oz, which will be part of an upcoming film on our YouTube channel.
Prospects are now excellent for grayling – we are really spoilt for choice in Wales, with the Dee, Severn, Taff, upper Wye and its tributaries being the main grayling rivers of interest. More on grayling fishing in Wales here.
River Salmon and Sea trout
September was really a write off for migratory fish, it was just so dry that most of our rivers were at almost record low levels and no fish were running. Right at the end of September we finally had a good hit of rain, and with the season just ending (October17th) it seems some salmon were caught in good numbers right at the end as levels fell. Salmon were reported on the Usk, Towy and Wye, although these were quite coloured. There were a lot of fresh fish waiting in the estuary’s and with a sudden flood most of these have run straight through. Below: Barry Hale with an end of season 9.5lb Tywi salmon.
Sea trout fishing wasn’t that memorable this year, rivers such as the Dovey and Towy being notably poor. We can only hope this is due in part to the overall dry conditions. The Teifi had an OK season and the Neath and Ogmore of south Wales produced good sewin after what limited rainfall we had. Some rivers did fish well in north Wales, the Wnion, Mawdach and Glaslyn especially. A single rod on the Conwy reported over 100 sewin this year on the fly at night. Below – an 8lb Sewin from Llandovery AA water from September 29th.
Fishing In Wales - July/August Game Fishing Catch Report (17/08/21)
River trout fishing
July started well on the river trout front. The trout rivers came to life after an abnormally cold early summer, with fishing on-form on the Severn, Rhymney, Upper taff, Ebbw, Dee, Alyn, Teifi, upper Wye and many, many others. The blue winged olive spinner falls kicked in at this time, and evening dry fly fishing was superb. Below: Usk spinner feeder caught by Dale Parsons.
The smaller streams and brooks still had a lot of water in them in early July. This made for great fishing on the Fishing Passport wild streams and also the smaller angling club rivers, which tend to have abundant stocks of smaller fish, with the odd bigger surprise. Below: Fishing the River Edw.
The good fishing came to a grinding halt in the middle of July. Baking hot temperatures of 30 degrees for over 2 weeks killed the fishing for the rest of the month, with water temperatures simply being too warm for river fishing. Many clubs and the Fishing Passport closed their fishing temporarily for fish welfare, and thankfully most anglers also laid down the rods – high water temperatures equate to dead fish!
The effects of the heatwave were long lasting and despite some rain (not enough!) it has taken a few weeks after the searing temperatures for the rivers to return to ‘normal’. As I write the past week or two has seen a return to brilliant sport, with lots of trout showing on all of the well-known rivers and some good grayling too.
August can be a bit slow on the rivers – but not this year – the fish seem to be making up for lost time and feeding hard. It will be worth getting out and enjoying the rivers right until the end of the season on 30th September, It seems we are in for a bumper ‘back end’.
Welsh stillwater’s were fishing well in early July, especially the big waters such as Clywedog, Brenig, Usk res. and Traws. The small water fisheries were at their prime early in July. Then the heatwave hit. Many of the smaller stocked waters decided to close entirely or impose ‘catch & kill’ only – a sensible decision. During the heatwave some anglers took to the carp fisheries and tried the fly, carp being one of the hardy species that hot weather doesn’t effect – some great fish were caught. Below: carp on fly Jason Williams.
Some of the larger, deeper waters have cooler water and continued to fish OK during and after the heatwave – anglers had to fish deep to reach them, as much as 30 to 40 feet on waters such as Clywedog using Di7 lines.
As we went into August, the larger venues slowly started to fish better and now are pretty much back to normal with plenty of fish coming out near the surface. Below: Gazz Dixon with a Clywedog specimen from a few days ago.
Some of them (such as Llandgefedd reservoir) have just been re-stocked now the water temperatures are sufficiently cool. It’s now a great time for fishing dry fly – hoppers, crane fly and cow dung imitations will work well on our upland reservoirs from now until well into autumn.
The smaller Stillwater fisheries have now re-opened and we’d urge you to support them after being closed most of last month – so why not pay your local fishery a visit?
Wild trout lakes were pretty hopeless during the heatwave, and have taken weeks to cool down in the aftermath. Only now with wind, rain and cool temperatures are waters such as Talybont fishing well. Look out for the sedge on the lakes of mid and north Wales (Aber AA, Talybont AA, Llanbrynmair AA and Cambrian AA have excellent lakes) you can expect great sport dibbling a sedge back on the top dropper when there is a good wave on. The wild trout venues will continue to fish well al August and into September now we have some cool, overcast and windy weather. Below: 3lb 8oz brown Llanbrynmair AA taken on a sedgehog.
Salmon & Sea trout
Early July on the Wye was marred by an algae bloom, it was a shame as clearly there were plenty of salmon in the system, especially the lower beats such as Wyesham, Bigsweir and also further up at the Rectory at Boughrood. Despite the algae a fair number of salmon were caught from these beats. Following the bloom the heatwave put a stop to all salmon fishing on the Wye, and it is only a week ago that salmon have started to show up again in the catches on the aforementioned beats.
The Usk has produced some good salmon prior and after the heatwave – below left – an early July fish for Sarah Hodgkin and right – Alun Rees with an Usk fish from a few days ago.
Other rivers in Wales also suffered due to the heat – It was reported by various sources that a large run of Sewin had entered the Towy in July, but soon after the heatwave hit. Those fish have now disappeared into the system. Depending on who you talk too the Towy has either had a terrible or just ‘OK’ season. There are certainly fish to be caught though, with anglers such as Alun Rees catching a few recently. There is often a late sewin run in August and early September that will be worth fishing for, and if we have a good spate salmon, speaking of Which Barry Hale (below) landed a grilse recently whilst filming for a local venture, Shwmae Sir Gâr.
After the heat wave and a bit of water earlier this month The Teifi has reported a good number of smaller sewin plus some larger ones – see below caught by guide Steffan Jones of 8.5lb and 6.5lb from early August. Prospects for the Teifi for late season sewin and salmon are excellent.
The Neath and Ogmore have both produced some good sewin, especially after some rain around a week ago. The locals like to keep these under the radar for a good reason – they have a great run of sea trout especially late summer after rain.
The Dyfi had a slow start this year, with some anglers saying it was the worst season for many years. It has now picked up after recent rain, see fish captured by Gazza Dixon below. We’ve also heard of fish off the Rheidol, which can benefit from hydro dam releases in summer to bring fish up.
The Mawdach and Wnion system has been producing, guide Rob Redman (below) has been putting in some hard work and it has paid off with some quality fish.
The Dee has also been producing some nice sewin, as has the Conwy system. Prospects for both of these rivers are good for the rest of the month.
Remember up until 5th September you can ‘take a friend fishing’ and claim a free NRW rod licence – more details here.
Fishing In Wales - June Game Fishing Catch Report (30/06/21)
Looking back at June it has been an unusual and at times challenging month for game fishing in Wales. We have gone from one extreme to another – from non-stop rain and cold conditions to the dog days of summer in just a couple of weeks. Despite this, fishing has still been excellent for our game fish species providing you pick the best times to try for them, which is usually early or late in the day.
The rivers have been fishing well for trout, with a noted shift to evening fishing recently. The usual south-east Welsh rivers have been fishing well – the Ebbw, Usk, upper Taff, Tawe and the Rhymney have all been fishing productively, especially in the evening or early morning. The exception is the lower Taff from Pontypridd down to Cardiff, which hasn’t been great this season and some investigation needs to be done to find out why.
A cracking river Usk trout below, a fish of 22’’ for Pheon Radford which is a giant for the river.
Moving west the Ogmore fished well after the rain early in the month. It’s now a lot harder as the levels have dropped, but the trout fishing is still good with grayling also figuring in the catches.
We’ve heard reports of good trout being caught in the Gwendraeth fach and fawr rivers near Kidwelly, as well as some unusually large trout from the Towy, which rarely gets much trout fishing attention – check out the 3.5lb brown caught be Colton Brett Kelly on Crosshands AA water.
The Teifi has been fishing well for trout. On 12th & 13th June Llandysul AA hosted an invite only event for fly anglers from all over the UK. This involved two days of fishing on various beats of the river. It was well organised and full credit goes to the club for their hospitality and quality of their beats. Despite hot and sunny conditions, the river produced countless small to medium sized trout (a great sign for the future!) and several good grayling, which appear to be well distributed in the whole river now. Many larger trout (some 4lb plus!) were seen and lost. The weekend was filmed by Andy Ford of BT Sport for ‘On The Bank’ – this should be aired soon. Below: Fishing on the Teifi.
The upper Wye has been a bit hit and miss or trout, due to some colouration from algae, which has thankfully now cleared above Glasbury. It has produced some good ones though. There are several ‘wild streams’ in the upper Wye catchment that are worth fishing, even in warm weather, due to their shady, gorge like nature. These include the Duhonw, Edw and Clettwr all of which come into the Wye just below Builth Wells. Do not expect huge fish (a pound is good) but expect plenty of them – great sport on light tackle.
The upper Severn in Powys is always worth a go in the summer – it gets a lot of cold water from llyn Clywedog so it usually fishes well even in the dog days. It produced some nice fish in June.
In north Wales, the Conwy seems to be producing some really nice trout, as is the ever reliable Dee, where good grayling are also starting to show in the catches.
With July being probably the hardest month, the best advice is to fish in the evening or if we are lucky enough to have rain just as the rivers fine down.
Salmon and Sea trout
The Ogmore near Bridgend produced with some great sea trout and salmon after the rain in early June. This has slowed down now, but bodes well for the rest of the season. Nathan Richards below with a nice chunky Sewin.
The Neath, well known for its sea trout and salmon has had a slow start, but as soon as we have rain this is expected to pick up, with reports of fish in the estuary waiting to run the river.
The lower Wye still continues to fish OK for salmon, with 4 caught at Wyesham on 29th June at 20,16,15 and 12lbs – all on the fly. Salmon are there in most of the noted pools through the river, but sadly the annual algal bloom has tinted the water on the lower beats which makes fishing a little harder. Rain is seriously needed to flush it away.
Sewin are now being caught in our major rivers – the Towy has produced some cracking fish, although the numbers are not quite there yet. The Teifi is starting to produce with good number of smaller fish, and the Mawddach and tributaries have started to fish well. We’ve also heard reports of sewin out of the Rheidol and of course the Dovey. The Dee in north Wales is also starting to fish for sewin, with some schoolies reported. Rob Redman below, who is a guide on the Mawddach with a nice June sewin.
What we need now is a big summer spate to bring the main summer run into our rivers and we should have the best sewin fishing of the season as we go into July – fingers crossed!
Reservoirs, lakes and fisheries
The ever-reliable llyn Clywedog has been producing some great fish. Its depth and altitude mean it stays cool in the warm months and can fish well all summer. The Coch y bonddu beetle is now making an appearance (a bit late) and the dry fly fishing has been frantic.
Llyn Brenig has been providing some excellent sport with catches of 20+ fish being reported to the boats. The banks are also fish well early and late in the day. Top of the water methods using intermediate tip and floaters are scoring well.
Llyn Trawsfynydd reservoir is going well, lots of rainbows and browns coming to dry fly, traditional wet fly or nymphing with midge tips. Cool water temperatures are helping due to its location in the rugged Snowdonia hills. Coch y bonddu has been reported there – good news for dry fly anglers for the next week or two.
We have heard that Llys-y-fran reservoir in Pembrokeshire is finally open to anglers again – tickets can be booked online via www.llys-y-fran.co.uk/fishing-llys-y-fran The lake has been re-stocked with rainbows and still has a good head of wild brown trout.
The natural hill lakes and wild trout reservoirs woke up at the start of June and now with Coch y bonddu reported it will be a great time to try them. Talybont AA, Aberystwyth AA, Elan Valley and Nant-y-Moch in particular. We’ve heard the Ffestiniog lakes are fishing well, as are the Dalgarrog AA llyns, where a few char have been reported as well as wild brownies. July is a good month if you are evening fishing or if you go on a rough, wet and windy day.
On the fisheries, things have slowed down due to the higher water temperatures. Even so, we have plenty of spring fed waters in Wales which fish well all summer due to their cold water. These include Garnffrwd, Graiglwyd Springs and Ravens Nest.
Another great Garnffrwd double below.
Fishing In Wales - May Game Fishing Catch Report (25/05/21)
Reservoirs, lakes and fisheries:
Despite the unusually cold and wet weather this month fisheries and reservoirs have been fishing well for those that have dared to venture out.
Garnffrwdd has fished well, with our very own Ceri Thomas capturing a 16lb rainbow whilst filming at the venue. The film will be released early next month. Numerous other doubles from 13lb to 17lb have been landed this month at the fishery, some images below. The fish are mostly being caught on imitative patterns such as small dries and buzzers, rather than on lures.
Papermill near Swansea has also been producing some whopping rainbows, Gareth Morgan caught this cracking 12lb 1oz rainbow on an olive snake, well done Gareth!
Graiglwyd springs fishery in Penmaenmawr has also been producing quality fish, with doubles amongst them, as has Crynant fishery near Neath, which is producing a good stamp of fish.
On the reservoirs Brenig, Traws and Clywedog all fished well this month. Clywedog recently hosted the Scierra pairs comp, where 406 fish were caught by 33 anglers, a rod average of 6.2 fish. The venue has produced several doubles to 14lb 3oz. Llandegfedd reservoir has opened again for trout anglers and here there are reports of good bags of quality fish to boat and bank anglers.
The water is still very cold on these larger venues, so lures fished on intermediates and Di lines are still catching lots of fish. That said on warmer days dry fly action to hawthorn fly and buzzer is possible and can only get better.
In the Brecon Beacons, the Usk reservoir has been re-stocked and is providing good fishing, whilst Llwyn-on near Merthyr is also producing some nice rainbows and wild brownies.
Onto the wild lakes and Talybont in the Brecon Beacons continues to produce quality wild trout from 1lb to 2lb 8oz. Buzzers and traditional wet fly scoring well. Club water such as Beacons reservoir and Ystradfellte near Penderyn are worth a try. In Mid Wales Claerwen and the Elan valley reservoirs are waking up after a slow start. Aberystwyth area Talybont angling club lakes are fishing well, these have been re-stocked with browns and rainbows to supplement the wild fish. Aberystwyth AA lakes have been slow to start, but quality fish are now coming out of them also. The Teifi pools have also produced some nice fish, despite it being very cold and exposed up there.
Further north the lakes of Ffestiniog Cambrian AA have just started to wake up, as have Sgotwrs Ogwen, with nice fish reported from llyn ogwen. Llyn Cwellyn has also been fished and has produced some good action. On all of these lakes traditional ‘walk and cast’ with wet fly patterns is the way to do it.
As we head into June look out for improved surface activity on the wild lakes. Many of them have the coch-y-bonddu beetle in June, which is an important food source. If you can catch this hatch expect fishing of a lifetime, you can sometimes find almost all of the fish in a lake rising to them – something special to behold! So always carry some imitations, wet and dry.
Rivers and streams
May really has been appalling with river levels just too high for the most part. At the start of the month the Usk, Ebbw, Dee, Severn, Teifi etc. were all fishing well. The upper Taff on Merthyr AA also. As soon as levels drop expect super sport at the best time of the year.
In the mean-time, smaller streams and rivers are well worth fishing as they drop back. For example the Taff Fechan, Sirhowy, Llynfi (Bridgend), Clydach (Pontypridd) and the numerous wild streams on the ‘Fishing Passport’ many of which are upper Usk or upper Wye tribs and can potentially hold surprisingly big fish: see 2.5lb brown below, captured from a stream near Brecon.
Tactics wise its all been heavy nymphs in the high water, or even streamers when there is colour on. If it settles down expect the insect life including mayfly, olive uprights, brook dun and yellow may duns to appear in huge numbers, bringing dry flies to the fore.
Salmon and sea trout
The Wye has been producing some nice salmon this spring, the upper reaches around Erwood to Builth Wells on various Fishing Passport beats produced quite a few in May before the last deluge blew the river out. There have not been much other reports, aside from few on the Usk, Towy and Cothi that we’ve heard of, but conditions have hardly been ideal. No reports of any significant sewin activity yet. All will be revealed when the waters recede – hopefully salmon and sea trout will have populated our major rivers in good numbers.
Fishing In Wales - March/April Game Fishing Catch Report (20/04/21)
Reservoirs, lakes and fisheries:
Reservoir fisheries were finally allowed to open at the end of March. Predictably, Llyn Clywedog led the way with some massive double figure fish coming out to bank and boat anglers – to 16lb 12oz. Some examples below. Lures such as humongous fished on Di lines are working well, but on calm days fish are taking spring buzzer off the top and dry fly is the order of the day.
Trawsfynydd has also kicked off with a bang – plenty of rainbows are gracing the net and some gigantic brown trout. There is some debate on whether the 24lb and 25lb fish reported this spring are indeed the same fish re-captured, or different fish that have grown on in the water. Either way long may the venue continue to throw up these huge browns.
Unfortunately Llyn Brenig and Llangdegfedd have not re-opened for fishing yet, but both will be opening on 26th April. Apparently Llys y fran reservoir will be opening for fishing again, sometime this spring.
At Port Talbot the Tata Game Angling Eglwys Nunydd reservoir is off to a great start, with some really good fishing on offer. With so many fisheries and reservoirs (for example Ynys y Fro) closed in south Wales then this well managed venue is a great option just off the M4.
The Brecon Beacons lakes have been good – the Usk reservoir has been stocked with decent rainbows reported to any method and fly anglers, the same goes for Llwyn Onn. Both of these can be booked with the Fishing Passport. Talybont reservoir has produced lost of wild brown 1lb to 2lb, tough on the calm and bright days but buzzer patterns are working well. Swiss Valley reservoir above Llanelli has fantastic fishing for rainbows, this is a well-stocked club water and it’s a great venue for those looking for something a bit off the radar. Pics below of Lewis Rumble at the reservoir.
Natural lakes have been slow, due to the very cold spring. Lakes in Snowdonia need a good month yet to get going The lakes of mid Wales have been a bit better – Teifi Pools and llyn Berwyn have produced some nice early season wild browns.
On the small Stillwater front Garnffrwdd is leading the way with some cracking fish, with rainbows stocked in excess of 20lb – including a new fishery record of 21lb 8oz! Plenty of doubles are also coming out. We plan to do a film there shortly, watch this space! Some of the recent lumps are pictured below.
Prospects: As we enter May we can expect the cream of the crop for lake fishing! With water temps still cool for time of year, the fish should be fighting fit and still willing to chase lures or wet flies. We can expect big buzzer hatches and falls of terrestrial insects such as Hawthorne flies to begin if the weather (as forecast) continues to be settled and increasingly warm.
Rivers and streams:
River fishing finally kicked off in Wales in time for the end of March, traditionally a great time with hungry trout willing to take nymphs fished deep or rise to dry flies during hatches of large Dark Olives and March browns.
The Usk fished well from the off, with trout caught all over the river from Sennybridge down to Chainbridge. Fish to 3lb have been reported. Cold, dry and settled conditions have helped, with few days lost to high water levels. The strong northerly or easterly winds have been a nuisance at times, but thankfully things are calming down. The fish seem to have overwintered well and are in great condition. As I write this report the grannom hatch is in full swing, with some anglers reporting 20 fish in a session on grannom emerger patterns. A few images from the spring Usk fishing below.
The Teifi is fishing really well – this river is going from strength to strength with improving fly life and larger fish from 17 to 20 inches now figuring in the catches. Look out for a Fishing In Wales video on spring fly fishing on the Teifi soon!
The Wye has started to fish in the upper reaches, Craig Llyn beat as usual producing some cracking early season fish. The upper Severn around Caersws is fishing well also, plenty of good sized trout coming to nymph and dry fly. Further north the Dee has had a slow start but is now starting to pick up, with trout and grannom hatches reported in the Llangollen area and CADAC stretches.
Other rivers that have been worth fishing include the Ebbw and Sirhowy, both post-industrial rivers with a big head of wild fish and some surprisingly big fish, especially the Ebbw in the Risca area. There have been good fly hatches on these rivers including olives and brook duns. Despite low water, the upper Taff from Abercyon to Merthyr has been fishing well, some nice fish being caught on dries. However lower river Taff has been very slow, with not much happening on the trout fishing front – yet.
Some of the Fishing Passport wild streams fished well early, surprising given how cold it has been. At the moment however these will be very low as we haven’t had rain for weeks.
River Prospects: Fly hatches will continue, bringing trout to the surface. Expect grannon, various olive species, brook duns and yellow may duns to make an appearance soon. Fishing should be excellent on the middle and lower reaches of all of our significant trout rivers. We do need rain though – a lot of the smaller streams and upper reaches are very low indeed, so fishing will be very hard if things continue as they are. No rain forecast for the foreseeable future!!
Salmon have started to show in the lower river Wye over the past few weeks, with some massive fish caught, seen and lost!! It seems a promising start, given how bad the past few years have been. These springers are truly magnificent, recent examples below both weighed in at 22lb.
Prospects: The Wye should continue to fish well, especially if we get some much needed rain. We have also heard of salmon starting to run the Towy, along with a few large early season sewin. So migratory sport should continue to pick up into May.
Fishing In Wales - November/December Game Fishing Catch Report (16/12/2020)
STILLWATER TROUT FISHING
Most of the major reservoirs closed at the end of November, prior to this some great fishing was enjoyed on venues such as llyn Clywedog and Brenig, where thanks to the mild weather fish were caught near the surface and on dry flies right through to the seasons end.
Below is a stunning fish from Clywedog captured near the end of the season.
A reservoir that remains open until the 20th December is llyn Trawsfynydd, which continues to fish well at this time of year. The fishery continues to produce large brown trout – check out the enormous fish which was weighed at 23lb and is potentially a new Welsh record (The current record is 18lb 13oz from the now drained Wentwood reservoir). The fish was captured by a pike angler on a dead bait and was safely returned to the water so it is unlikely a record claim will be submitted.
There was some debate on social media as to whether this was a wild or stocked fish. Judging by appearance and condition It did appear to be a stocked triploid, which the fishery eventually confirmed. Although they do not stock them at this size. Wild or not it is a fantastic capture and one of the biggest grown-on reservoir brown trout ever captured in the UK. Who knows what else might be in there?
The small Stillwater fisheries continue to fish well, especially the ever-reliable Garnffrwdd fishery which has recently been stocked with spartic trout, a cross between a char and a brook trout. In addition, expect quality blues, browns and rainbows here often on dry flies even in winter. For more on spartic trout read our feature by Ceri Jones here.
The nearby Pant y bedw fishery has just been re-stocked with hard fighting rainbows and blues from Exmoor fishery. It is fishing well. Blue flash damsel, nymphs, buzzers and damsel nymphs were flies most commonly used.
Abernant farm lake near Neath has opened its doors for trout fishing, with catch and release allowed over the winter and is fishing really well. Papermill fishery near Swansea is fishing well with fish up to 8lb being caught on lures (see image below) Humongous being the best fly to try.
In North Wales the ever popular Graiglwyd springs has just been re-stocked for Christmas with tigers, rainbows and browns – expect quality fish here with the real chance of a Welsh double. Other lakes in the area such as Tan-y-Mynydd Trout Fishery are also fishing well. Wal Goch fishery near Mold is producing some nice browns and rainbows to nymphs especially Diawl Bach.
Fishery prospects: Winter can be the best time of year visiting a Welsh fishery, trout thrive in cold water so expect good fishing especially to lures as it gets colder. Even if you only fish for wild trout on the rivers and natural lakes we’d urge you to give a stocked fishery a go over the winter – not only for an enjoyable day out, but to help support them after what has been a very tough year.
The winter so far has been fairly tough for grayling anglers, with rain causing levels to rise unpredictably. However if you choose a window in the weather carefully, the results can be fantastic. A tip is to monitor the river levels before fishing, this new online river gauge tool from NRW is really handy for picking the best day.
During the drier spells we’ve heard of some cracking grayling being caught on the upper river Severn, the Dee, Irfon, upper Wye (craig llyn beat in particular) the Rhymney and the Taff in and around Cardiff on the Glamorgan AA stretches.
Nymphing with heavy jig flies (4mm and 3mm tungsten beads) with pink or red tags in the dressings will work well. Fish under a strike indicator or use on a French leader.
Recent grayling catches (L to R): Kyle Cheshire, river Wye. Simon Barton river Rhymney, Kieron Jenkins river Severn.
Prospects for January: provided we don’t have too much rain (and a full Covid lock-down!) things look excellent on the grayling front. All of the usual grayling rivers will continue to fish well. It does get harder to find the fish in January since they tend to shoal up. But when you find a shoal expect some great sport. The image below illustrates this – a three fly team of czech nymphs resulted in three fish in just one cast from the prolific river Rhymney.
Fishing In Wales - October Game Fishing Catch Report (20/10/2020)
October has been one of the best months we’ve seen for salmon fishing for a long time in Wales, with almost all of the major rivers producing well up until the season closed on the 17th October.
The Towy and the Ogmore were rivers that produced especially well, and also the Neath, Teifi, Usk, Mawddach and even the Taff in Cardiff saw a few caught. The Wye had a late run with reports of good numbers of fish being captured, one rod (Ed Brown) reported 21 salmon on the fly in 3 days at the Spreadeagle beat near llyswen.
The good news is thanks to the NRW catch and release regulations all of these great fish will have been returned to spawn, so the future is looking brighter than it has for some time.
Below is a gallery featuring some of the salmon catches from October.
The wild brown trout season ended on the lakes on 17th October. October was a great month for wild trout fishing and some stunning fish were caught, especially from the lakes of mid-Wales and Cambrian Angling Association, where we recently filmed a mountain trek llyn fishing film that will be out next month. Check out the wild fish below, from left to right: Talybont reservoir, llyn Rhosrydd, llyn dubach. Season starts again for most of the natural waters on 20th March.
Trout fishing action continues on our many fisheries and reservoirs that are stocked with rainbows and other trout varieties. The trout fisheries are all fishing well – October and November being some of the best months on waters such as Wal-goch, Graiglwyd springs, Pant-y-Bedw, Garnffrwdd and reservoirs including Brenig, Traws Clywedog and Ynys-y-fro, Lures will be most effective on the fisheries when water temperatures drop. Below is a nice Spartic trout from Garnffrwdd captured recently by Ceri Jones.
Grayling will of course now be on anglers minds, with all of the Welsh grayling rivers coming into their own including the Taff, Rhymney, Wye, Irfon, Ithon and Dee. Euro/Czech nymphing with heavy flies will be the best method, although dry flies will score on milder days if there is a hatch of fly. The image below is of a nice grayling, typical of the river Rhymney, captured by Kyle Cheshire who is a member of the senior Welsh World team.
Please consider that a national ‘Fire break’ lock down is being imposed in Wales from 6pm 23rd October to 9th November. This is going to affect angling, since you will not be allowed to drive to fish, only walk from home if you are fortunate to be near a suitable venue. Day ticket fisheries will be closed during this time, and unfortunately anglers from outside Wales will not be allowed to visit. More details can be found here.
Fishing In Wales - September Game Fishing Catch Report (22/09/2020)
September has been a great month for Salmon fishing in Wales, one of the best seasons for a good few years especially on the Usk, Teifi, Neath, Ogmore, Conwy and the Towy. Some say this is due to reduced trawler activity out to sea due to COVID, but we have also been fortunate enough to have had heavy rain at the right time to bring good numbers of fish up, unlike the past two years.
The images below show the stamp of Welsh salmon being caught, the fish on the left captured by 11 year old Steff Miles, his first ever salmon, from the River Usk.
Trout fishing on the reservoirs has been excellent in September and will carry on into October. With abundant hatches of buzzer, plus terrestrial insects such as daddy long legs being blown onto the water, the fish are really looking up at the moment – so remember to bring a box of dry flies!
On the Welsh rivers, the trout fishing has been superb, with the smaller streams coming into their own as the better fish push upriver. Many of these are tributaries of the Usk, Monnow and Wye, and can be fished on the Fishing Passport Wild Streams pass. With just a week left of the season, make sure you get out there to enjoy the rest of the season! Beyond 30th September the grayling fishing will really come into its own, especially on the upper Wye, Taff, Rhymney, Dee and Irfon.
For those wanting to fish for wild brownies a bit longer, remember a lot of the natural lakes stay open until 17th October, which is a great time for fishing them with traditional wet flies or dry flies. Places to try included the Ffestiniog lakes and those around Aberystwyth (Talybont & Aber AA) and the Elan Valley, also reservoirs in the Brecon Beacons.
Fishing In Wales Catch Report - July/August Game Fishing Report (19/08/2020)
Whilst August isn’t usually the best month for trout fishing, some of our rivers have fished well, particularly earlier in the month after a bit of water. Flying ants can be found on the rivers at this time of year, when it happens the fish can go into a frenzy – so always carry some imitations! Image below is from the river Usk, which was fishing well a few weeks ago after a drop of rain. One thing to remember is not to bother if the water temperature is over 20 degrees, its not good for the fish and they are unlikely to feed anyway.
The sea trout (sewin) rivers of West Wales have been fishing well this season. The Teifi and Towy particularly, with night fishing now well underway. There are plenty of fish about and the angler pressure is low. There are reports of salmon in good numbers in the lower reaches of some of our rivers, so it could be a bumper autumn (remember all salmon must now be released – regulations here). Night fishing for sewin should be good again when the weather settles down. Salmon below from the Towy, captured by Barry Hale in July on the fly, estimated at 16lb to 18lb.
The large upland lakes and reservoirs have continued to fish well – thanks to their elevation and exposed locations, oxygen levels remain good and temperatures lower. Llyn Clywedog fishery, Brenig and Trawsfynydd are all fishing well, with heather fly on Brenig which provided fantastic dry fly fishing. Traws has thrown up some real monster brown trout recently – check out the 15lb fish below!!
Some of the smaller fisheries are also fishing well, especially those that are spring fed such as Garnffrwd. This cracking double figure rainbow from the fishery was captured by Brian George on a size 14 blue buzzer.
The smaller natural lakes are also well worth a go – venues such as the Aberystwyth AA waters, Cambrian Angling lakes at Festiniog, llyn Fawr in the Rhondda and the Talybont AA lakes. These are producing a mixture of great quality wild and stocked fish. Look out for the great red sedge and daddy long legs later in the month – these can provide superb surface sport.
As we write this it is raining heavily and the rivers are on the rise – most welcome after the recent hot weather. As soon as the rivers fall expect brilliant fishing for trout, sea trout and salmon right through till the end of the season.
If you cannot wait for the main rivers to fall, then try a small tributary, these can produce surprisingly big trout at this time of year, the Usk and Monnow catchments especially. Fish below was caught yesterday from a ‘wild stream’ on the WUF Fishing Passport while the river was in flood. For more on fishing the wild streams pick up a copy of this months Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine which features 7 different beats to try.
The recent rain (week of 24th August) has indeed brought salmon into our rivers in good numbers. These great fish were caught by Barry Hale (River Towy) and Morgan Jones (River. Conwy). Remember to use barbeless hooks and return all salmon to the water.