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.