Welsh Rivers Await: The Thrill of The Trout Fishing Season
As winter gradually loosens its grip, nature’s subtle signs of transition begin to emerge. Snowdrops adorn the landscape in full bloom, while the melodious chorus of birds fills the woods and hedgerows with renewed vitality. Daffodils, an iconic flower in Wales, are the harbingers of spring, these now stand poised on the threshold of bloom.
The 3rd of March is a day etched in the calendars of anglers across Wales, marking the long-awaited opening of the wild trout season on some of the country’s most renowned rivers. Among the celebrated waterways opening on the 3rd for trout fishing are the Dee, Taff, Usk, Wye, Monnow, Ebbw, and Teifi above Lampeter, each offering its own unique blend of natural beauty and angling challenges.
The Gower district rivers, Including the Ogmore, Tawe, Neath, Gwendraeth’s and Lougher, also open for trout fishing on the 3rd.
The upper Severn, known for excellent spring trouting, wont be far behind, with 18th March being the key date here. Most of the rivers in West Wales however, must wait until 1st April.
River by river – An early season tour
THE TAFF: On the River Taff, nestled amidst the valleys South Wales, the opening of the trout season brings with it the promise of large wild brown trout that can be captured using dry flies from day one.
Although urban or semi-urban in places, with its diverse habitats and abundant insect hatches, the Taff can be an exhilarating angling experience with the chance of a river trout of a lifetime.
Access is provided by several angling clubs, including Merthyr Tydfil Angling Alliance, Osprey Fly Fishers and Glamorgan Anglers.
THE USK: Venturing further north into the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), the River Usk emerges from the rolling hills as one of the best wild trout rivers in the UK, along almost its whole 70 mile course. The Usk offers anglers a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Welsh countryside, it is a truly scenic river.
As the spring unfolds, anglers can expect to witness the emergence of famous hatches, such as march browns, large dark olives, grannom and other aquatic insects, providing ample feeding opportunities for hungry trout.
The Usk is easily accessed on a day ticket basis through the many Fishing Passport beats, or with various local angling clubs. Don’t forget the smaller tributaries too; these can and will produce some excellent trouting in spring.
THE WYE: Flowing gracefully from its source in the wild heart of mid-Wales, the Wye is famous for its majestic scenery and legendary fishing. Increasingly, the upper Wye offers anglers a chance to connect with a prized wild trout, some of which exceed 4lb; year on year it seems the trout fishing is improving, in particular the section from Rhayader downstream to Glasbury.
As the season progresses, anglers can anticipate the emergence of spring hatches to rival that of the Usk. Fishing access is easy, with numerous Fishing Passport beats on the river, with angling club water at Builth Wells and Rhayader.
Don’t overlook the many Wye tributaries; the Irfon, Ithon and Monnow systems all produce superb early season trout fishing in their own right.
THE EBBW: In the South East, the River Ebbw charges through the rugged landscapes of the Valleys, offering anglers a glimpse into the region’s rich industrial heritage.
Despite its urban surroundings, the Ebbw boasts a thriving population of wild brown trout, in numbers and average size almost unparalleled; there is a reason why the Welsh international trials and competitions are held here almost every year.
The Ebbw’s main tributary, the Sirhowy, also offers first rate early spring trout fishing, with most of the catchment available to fish on a day or season ticket with the Islwyn & District Angling Club, providing anglers with ample opportunities to explore the Ebbw’s trout rich pools and runs.
THE TAWE: Situated in the Swansea valley, the Tawe is one of the lesser-known gems of Welsh angling, boasting a reputation for harboring some of the largest and most elusive trout in the region. From its source in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Tawe runs through stunning landscapes, from cascading waterfalls and wooded valleys in its upper reaches, to a wide valley framed by rolling hills.
Although close in a few places to urban areas, the Tawe is a haven for fly anglers, with wild and stocked trout present in excellent numbers. Spring fly hatches of march browns, olives and brook duns are superb, often bringing trophy sized fish to the surface to feed.
Several local angling clubs manage the river for day and season ticket access, including The Mond, Pontardawe and Swansea Angling Society and Tawe & Tributaries Angling Association.
THE TEIFI: In West Wales, the Teifi River above Lampeter bridge beckons anglers with its ever improving stocks of wild brown trout. Famous in the 1960’s for it’s early season dry fly action, the river has now re-gained much of its former glory as a trout river.
Above Lampeter this part of the Teifi is quite sedate, with its many ranunculus weedbeeds and meanders, which are almost reminiscent of an English Chalk Stream.
A number of clubs provide access to the beats above Lampeter, including Llandysul AA, Pontarddulais and District Angling Association and of course Tregaron Angling Association.
As anglers excitedly prepare for another action packed trout season, Wales’ rivers remain timeless symbols of natural beauty and resilience. With every cast, local and visiting anglers will honor Welsh angling’s rich tradition of river trout fishing.
There are many more places to go river trout fishing in Wales, Head to our ‘Find Fishing‘ game section to discover them all!
Don’t forget your licence!
For those looking to enjoy and explore Welsh rivers, please be aware in addition to your day ticket or season permit, you will also need a valid EA or NRW Freshwater fishing rod licence, which you can easily purchase or renew online.