2016 Passport - The Wye and Usk Foundation



2016 Passport - The Wye and Usk Foundation
16 rds
2 a
Tel: 01874 712 074
Over 500km of salmon, sea trout, brown
trout, grayling and coarse fishing across
Wales and The Marches, along with some
of the area’s best still waters.
Participating Rivers
Front cover photo: Adam Fisher, Angling Dreams
Passport Contents
Features and Information
Improving Your Fishing .................. 7-10
Passport Q&A ...................................11
Salmon & River Flows ..................14/15
Trout & Grayling ...........................16/17
New Life for the Taff .................... 20-23
Tenkara ........................................24/25
Sea Trout .....................................26/27
Coarse Fishing .............................28/29
The Coarse Angler’s Holy Grail .... 32-34
Biosecurity ........................................36
Minimising the Impact of Canoeing ....37
Canoeing on the Wye & Usk ..............38
Canoeing Code of Conduct ................39
Guiding & Instruction ........................41
Tregaron Angling Association ............65
Leaving a Legacy ..............................87
Booking Your Fishing
Introduction .................................46/47
Wye ............................................ 48-51
Usk ..............................................52/53
Severn .........................................58/59
Dee ...................................................60
Loughor ............................................61
Towy & Cothi ...............................62/63
Aeron & Arth.....................................66
Taff ...................................................67
Eden & Prysor...................................68
East & West Cleddau .........................69
Hidden Lakes & Reservoirs ..........70/71
The Wild Streams
The Fishing Passport is produced and distributed by:
The Wye & Usk Foundation Unit 4, Talgarth Business
Park, Trefecca Rd, Talgarth, Brecon, Powys LD3 0PQ
Registered Charity No. 1080319
Tel: 01874 712 074
email: [email protected]
Introduction .................................72/73
Fly Fishing Small Streams ............74/75
Wye & Usk Wild Stream Map........76/77
Upper Wye, Ithon & Irfon ...................78
Edw ..................................................79
Clettwr, Llynfi & Llynfi Dulas ..............81
Lugg & Arrow ...................................82
Monnow & Garren .............................83
Severn & Forest of Dean Streams .84/85
Usk Tributaries ..................................86
good on the Wye. The general trend for all
types of fishing is upwards and we expect
this year to be another great year. What lies
behind this is all the work carried out by the
Foundation, as well as managing the fisheries
themselves. Details of our work can be found
on pages 7 to 10 and on our website. We urge
all anglers – game and coarse – to read about
what is going on to improve the rivers. From
restoring access to the tributaries to reducing
diffuse pollution, the work benefits all species
and we hope that anyone who enjoys fishing
these rivers would also take an interest in their
restoration and protection.
gain it’s my very great privilege to
introduce the fourteenth edition of the
Fishing Passport: an opportunity to welcome
new fishers and wish our regulars all the best
for 2016. You will see that while our horizons
have got broader, the Passport itself is getting
smaller! This is a sign of increasing reliance
on the web to supply you with much more
up-to-date information and to take bookings
alongside our manned office. This year we will
introduce a new, fully comprehensive online
booking system that allows regular updates
and expansion throughout the season and
is easier to use for both fishers and for those
working at our end.
With hindsight, last year proved to be
something of an oddity: just 18” of rain fell
until mid-November and then almost nonstop into the New Year. This gave a total of
28”, well short of 2014’s 54”! Essentially, 2015
was a very dry year and for the most part a
good one for coarse and trout fishing (until
the drought intervened). It was also good for
grayling fishing in the late summer until the
wet intervened, bringing that to an end along
with the winter pike-ing.
Both Usk and Wye produced decent numbers
of salmon in 2015 with the spring particularly
So once again, we really do need your
support to keep the momentum of
improvement going, build for the future
and maintain what we have in what is an
increasingly difficult economic time. There are
forms included with this Passport asking you
to make a regular donation. Your gifts are what
enable us to improve and maintain these two
lovely rivers.
This year marks our 21st year of operation
and we will be celebrating in Hay-on-Wye
with a series of presentations in late May, the
week before the festival. These will be setting
out what we have achieved so far and how
with contributions from all the partners and
colleagues who helped to make it possible.
There will also be some presentations on
interesting future projects. Please keep in
contact with the events page on our website
and make sure you are on our e- news
circulation (page12 for details).
Finally, thank you for all the emails and
messages of support, your witty feedback
which brightens up our day and for sharing
your delight in the rivers, their fish and the
beautiful Wales and Marches countryside.
With best wishes.
Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith OBE
Executive Director,
The Wye & Usk Foundation
Chairman’s Appeal
Using the Gift Aid form overleaf, or on our
website, you can choose to donate now or
make a regular gift either to current projects
or to our new Endowment Fund (see below
for details). Please also consider leaving a gift
to the Foundation in your Will (more details
on page 87).
Please help us to continue to make a
difference and become part of our success
With all good wishes and thanks.
y personal involvement with The
Wye and Usk Foundation started
in 2001 when I volunteered as a fund-raiser
for an area of the Wye catchment with which
my family had historical ties. Very quickly,
the number and variety of threats facing our
rivers and their ecology became apparent. I
resolved to do something about it.
The Foundation and partners began tackling
these challenges in 1996 and now, against
a national decline in fish stocks, our rivers
are bucking the trend. Most people with an
affiliation to the Wye and Usk now agree that
they are in recovery mode and everyone who
has supported the work up to now can be
very proud of themselves for helping to get
this far.
But we cannot allow the rivers to slide back to
their former state of neglect. Our vision is for
a strong, financially stable and independent
Rivers Trust that can maintain the existing
work and face up to new challenges and
threats that lie ahead. Without such an
organisation, the Wye and Usk will very soon
revert to their previous, precarious state.
We need your help to do this and I appeal to
all anglers to support WUF, an organisation
with a history and culture of delivering
its objectives. I ask that anyone who has
enjoyed the rivers (or knows someone who
has) helps us to protect them, not just for the
present but into the future too.
Elizabeth Passey
Chairman of Trustees,
The Wye & Usk Foundation
WUF’s Endowment Fund
River restoration work is only possible
because we are able to use donations
from anglers and others interested
in the rivers’ wellbeing as “core
funding” to draw down external funds.
However, Government funding for
fisheries is being reduced on both
sides of the border and we have to
ensure that we are in a position to
access what little is available.
Our Trustees have started an
Endowment Fund and are appealing
to everyone with an interest in the
rivers to contribute towards it. The
income from this fund will guarantee
a level of core funding every year
that will enable us to raise the money
needed to support restoration
projects. By helping us achieve a
level of financial stability that ensures
the good health of the two rivers,
your donation to the Endowment
Fund really will make a difference
to the future of the Wye and Usk.
Contributions can be made by using
the form overleaf.
The Wye & Usk
working to
everyone’s fishing.
he Passport is only a part of our
daily activity, though as fishermen
ourselves, a very important one! Our main
mission is to restore the fisheries and
environment of our two rivers, ensuring
there are enough fish to be caught and
breed for the future and with that, create
new opportunities for anglers. Ultimately,
this boosts the local economy, brings in
future investment and provides jobs for
local people. Our holistic, whole catchment
approach brings benefits for all species of
fish, to a wide range of other wildlife and to all
types of angling. Our website gives full details
of all the issues we face and the projects that
were designed to tackle them. The emphasis
will always be on restoring river habitats. This
is how we do it:
Fish Access
Our first action in 1996 was re-opening
the tributary system of the upper Wye and
removing as many barriers to migration as
possible. We found a staggering number of
barriers in our walk-over surveys. With our
various partners, we have completed 87 fish
passes and easements, and 53 barrier dam
removals to date. 841km of stream has been
re-opened to spawning fish. This crucial
aspect of our work is nearing completion.
Salmon and trout have been the major
beneficiaries although eels too require free
passage up and down rivers. We are glad
to say that this species has been enjoying
something of a resurgence in the past few
Our next task was restoring the habitat of
the streams themselves. Heavy grazing
results in wide and shallow streams along
with a loss of their tree cover. Our restoration
comprises double bank fencing, pinning
as much hazel and other wood as possible
into the stream, and tree management so
that we end up with a range of species and
varied age structure. For tree cover, we rely
on natural regeneration and the key aspect
of re- establishing trees is fencing out stock
animals. These renewed stream corridors
reduce the amount of silt in the tributaries
and the amount washing downstream into
the main stem. A cleaner river is better for all
All anglers know that good water quality
and quantity is vital. Demands for water
for domestic supply and agriculture have
reduced flows at critical times on both rivers.
WUF staff installing a revetment into
the river Lugg. This work shores up the
banks, reducing erosion and the amount
of sediment entering the rivers. The lower
Lugg is an important coarse fishery.
A low cost baffle fish pass on the river Arrow, just one
of the fish passes WUF built in 2015 to help salmon
and trout migrate more easily to the spawning areas.
On the far right of the photo is the eel pass.
The Gwenlas, a tributary of the river
Ithon (upper Wye catchment) one
year after WUF installed a fence.
Vegetation within the fence is starting
to regenerate, stabilising the banks.
The narrower, deeper stream channel
provides much more suitable habitat
for juvenile salmonids and better
water quality (less sediment) for all
species further downstream.
An increasingly important part
of WUF’s activity is working
with farmers to reduce diffuse
agricultural pollution within
the catchments. Here we
are conducting a practical
demonstration of soil structure
with Herefordshire farmers.
Blocking forestry
drains and sand
liming within WUF’s
recent ISAC project
has helped reduce
acidity problems
in the river Irfon, an
upper Wye tributary.
Working with Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water
and Canal and Rivers Trust, WUF has led a
successful project to change abstraction
to be much more fish and river-friendly, the
results of which took effect last year. In what
was for the most part a very dry year, the
levels of the upper Wye held up very well
in 2015. We hope that further changes in
abstraction will be in place by 2018.
Water quality concerns take different
forms in different parts of the catchment.
At the uppermost extremities of the Wye,
commercial forestry plantations, with their
coniferous trees and extensive drainage
system cause severe acid events. This
had resulted in the loss of all fish and most
invertebrate life in over 62km of main stream
and tributaries. Our liming programme has
allowed trout and salmon to re-colonise
and breed in these areas. Grayling have
increased their range too. We are recreating
some of the original wetlands in the forests
to increase base flows and reduce flooding.
Both these actions affect the whole river.
Other water quality issues stem from farming.
Pesticides (especially sheep dips), nutrients
and phosphates, along with heavy sediment
loads enter our rivers and streams as a result
of bad agricultural practices. We are working
with farmers to correct this but perhaps there
are not the regulatory incentives yet for this to
happen as it should.
All of this work gets regularly monitored.
Electrofishing shows whether we have
improved habitats enough to increase fish
densities. We also use diatom analysis (the
slime you find on stones are diatoms) and the
various species indicate presence of a whole
range of pollutants to see if our farm advisory
work is improving the situation.
Other Activities
Every year we spray Giant Hogweed and
Japanese Knotweed. We are winning this war
and hope to expand our activities to include
Himalayan Balsam. If you find Hogweed
(which is poisonous) or Knotweed please let
us know on [email protected]
We also try to clear all the bankside litter. Last
year we completed the final stretch of the
Wye (Luggsmouth to the estuary) and then
we hope to keep it litter free, again with your
help. This year we are extending our litter
clearing operations to the Usk.
Please support us..
As anglers ourselves we know that
many fishermen have much more
kit that they need! A new rod for the
start of a season may give us extra
anticipation and confidence but will it
mean we’re going to catch more fish?
If everyone who receives a copy of the
Passport donated £20 (the equivalent
value of a few flies and a spool of
leader or a 10kg bag of halibut pellets)
we could, amongst other things, do
all this:
Restore the habitat of a further 22kms
of river….. build 12 major fish passes…..
reduce agricultural diffuse pollution on
10 tributary streams….. buy 35 years’
worth of lime to continue reducing the
effects of acidity in the headwaters…..
continue the electrofishing monitoring
programme for a further 6 years. In
other words, it would enable us to
increase the number of fish for you
to catch.
So next time you are about to buy
some fishing gear, please consider
investing in more fish in the rivers
instead. Without them, the gear we
buy is a waste of money!
Donating the value of these flies
to river restoration work could
help to secure a healthy future for
the rivers and their fish stocks.
Fishing Passport Q & A
We receive hundreds of questions about the Passport scheme.
Here are the answers to some of the more common ones.
Where does the money from my day ticket go?
The majority goes to the fishery owner or club with WUF retaining a commission fee. Owners
can use their portion to pay for bank clearance/maintenance and in many cases, to support river
improvement projects in their catchment. The rest is used to produce and manage the Passport,
with anything over going towards river restoration works in whichever catchment the day ticket
is bought.
Does the Foundation own or lease water?
No, we don’t own or lease any water. We let fishing on the behalf of owners and clubs.
Why aren’t day tickets cheaper and why aren’t more anglers
allowed on each beat?
Our philosophy is to set prices so that for a good or average day’s fishing, the day tickets are
excellent value (on a bad day, even a £5 ticket isn’t good value!) and restrict the number of
anglers in line with sensible conservation and sustainability. This means you can enjoy a degree
of exclusivity and know the fishing hasn’t been “flogged to death.” If you want cheap, unrestricted
fishing, there is plenty available elsewhere.
Why don’t you clear all the riverbanks and build steps/walkways?
Both the Wye and Usk are Special Areas of Conservation and we aim to keep the banks as natural
as possible. Our policy is to clear in such a way as to allow access but never permanently alter the
environment. True, there are places where you will find concrete walkways, launch places etc.
but often these were constructed before the laws were in place or, sometimes, put in without the
necessary legal consents.
What is WUF’s approach to restoring Wye and Usk fisheries?
We believe that correcting all the issues that adversely affect the river is the right approach. For
salmon, trout and other migratory species, we have bought off the estuary nets and putchers,
fenced out 302km of tributary, built fish passes or removed barriers at over 130 sites and
discovered an innovative approach to treating the Wye’s 62km of acidified and dead headwaters.
Other programmes include reinstating gravel in the Elan. Meanwhile, for the benefit of all species,
our four farm advisors are making progress with farm diffuse pollution and we have completed a
six year project to reduce abstraction. Our work in the plantation forests will restore wetlands and
also improve flows.
We do not support the use of hatcheries. They treat the symptoms (low fish numbers) but do not
treat the cause (damaged environment).
Further Fishing
Throughout the year we supplement the
information given in the Passport in a
number of ways, keeping you updated on
such issues as fishing conditions, catches
and even new beats joining the Passport
E-newsletters, monthly fishing reports (that
you don’t have to wait weeks to read!),
fishing blogs and anglers’ catch returns are
all crucial ways in which you can keep up to
date on what’s happening on the rivers.
To sign up for e-newsletters, please visit
our website www.wyeuskfoundation.org/news/
or call us on 01874 712 074
WUF Gift Vouchers
WUF gift vouchers are priced at £10, £20, or £50 each and can be purchased in any
multiple of these figures. They make a great present for anyone who enjoys game or
coarse fishing and can be used by the recipient to book Passport fishing at any point
through the year. The fishing is described in the following pages and the scheme is
one of the most delightful, economic and easiest ways to gain access to fishing some
of the best waters in the country.
Please see our website - fishingpassport.co.uk/shop to purchase vouchers or call us on
01874 712 074.
Fishing at The Glanusk Estate
The Estate has 5 miles of private fishing on
the River Usk, offering the visiting angler
wonderful opportunities for both Brown
Trout and Salmon. The majority of fishing is
within the Park surrounded by the many
different species of The Glanusk Oak
Collection with over 16 pools from fast
rapids to open water. Historical features line
the river including the private church, the
symbolic bridge with a tower and the Fish
Stone. (Standing Stone)
Staying at The Glanusk Estate
The Estate offers a range of exclusive
accommodation including self-catering and
fully catered properties all within its 400
acres of private parkland.
Penmyarth House has been the home of the
Legge-Bourke family for nearly 200 years. It is
a sought after location for fishing and
shooting parties as well as exclusive
celebrations including weddings. The house
is available on an exclusive use basis for
parties of up to 15 guests and is fully
catered. It sits in its own parkland with
formal gardens.
If you prefer self catering, there are two
cottages to choose from:
Garden Cottage is situated next to the
original, walled garden and is quiet and cosy.
It sleeps four guests in one double bedroom
and one twin bedroom and is accessed via
the old stable block.
For larger groups, Glanusk Lodge offers
accommodation for up to 12 guests and is
within walking distance from Garden
Cottage. The Lodge sits next to the site of
the original mansion in Glanusk Park and is
surrounded by a walled garden with views
over the Park and up to the Black Mountains.
There is an open fire in the drawing room
with triple aspect views, a separate dining
room seating up to 14 guests and a well
equipped kitchen with an Aga.
If you prefer, full catering can be arranged in
both Garden Cottage and Glanusk Lodge.
We are also very happy to put together a
bespoke fishing package for you.
The Estate Office
Glanusk Park, Crickhowell, Powys NP8 1LP
Tel: 01873 810414
Salmon and
river flows
Stephen Marsh-Smith WUF’s Director tries to
shed some light on the mysteries of flow and water
height and how this relates to ideal conditions for
taking salmon on our various rivers.
don’t think we would be giving too much
away if we said that it is flow or rather
changes in flow that cause salmon to move
and become more likely to take. That’s the
easy bit to understand and predict, especially
in small spate rivers. Typically, when one
(eventually!) arrives, water levels peak, start
dropping and fish will already be heading
upstream – (assuming there are some nearby
or in the estuary) offering, albeit for a brief
period, the opportunity to be caught.
When the flows return to summer level, fish
will stop moving and find shelter in deep
pools or even drop downstream, becoming
difficult if not impossible
to catch.
On larger rivers,
especially those with a
spring run in addition
to summer and later
running fish (Usk and
Wye for example),
knowing the right
moment is a little
more complicated,
especially at the start
of the season. With
higher flows in the early
spring months, there
is invariably enough
incentive to get salmon out of the estuary
and moving steadily upstream on almost any
day. So there is always a chance in the early
part of the year of finding a fish just about
anywhere given good fishing heights. At this
time of year temperature plays an important
part too and the speed at which salmon
move is generally slow compared to summer.
Some rivers have distinct spots where
springers stop or pause. There is plenty of
time for them to reach the headwaters where
the majority will be aiming.
A spring spate can bring fishing to a
temporary halt as they are often larger and
longer lasting than later in the year. Once the
rivers settle, local knowledge is very helpful
for a newcomer to a beat as each pool
will fish best at differing levels. We try and
include this in our beat particulars and will be
updating many fisheries that don’t yet have
this information. Quite quickly you will learn
when pools are too high and fast and when
the ‘steam’ has gone out of them. It’s quite
easy to become a ‘gauge junkie’ and looking
at the huge number of website hits on our
gauges when it rains, the importance is quite
clear, especially in avoiding a washout or
seeing what you might be missing!
Eventually the spring flows drop away and
as summer arrives, salmon fishing often
To keep up to date on latest catches,
conditions and prospects, please see
our monthly salmon fishing report on
our website:
or to receive them by email, sign up
for the WUF e-newsletter at
graduates towards the lower beats but
not before the spring run has spread out,
hopefully giving everyone a chance up
and down the river. Those at the top will
be looking at the weather forecasts, as will
those at the bottom and for a while they will
be hoping for quite different results. The
upper beats want plenty of rain and spates,
the bottom some, but never too much. With
luck there will be spates and you may find
that once again your beat has reached its
optimum height. If this is ‘up river’, you may
find that although there is a good height,
there has not been enough of a spate to shift
new fish upwards. However, if it is ‘right’ then
don’t wait – get fishing as summer spates
drop very quickly.
Our e–news, monthly salmon reports or the
office will help point you in the right direction.
Old hands at picking the good conditions
will need to factor in the changes we have
negotiated to the Usk and Wye abstractions,
which led to more water coming from the
Elan throughout the summer.
Wishing you all a successful season!
Sometimes fish just don’t want to move
whatever the gauges say; the key is to
understand whether that particular spate was
big enough to move anything. Movement
may come from any point downstream
from the estuary or the neighbouring beats.
Conversely, for lower beats their gauges
might once again have dropped back
to good fishing heights but the fish have
moved on. The essence is to spot the size
and duration of any spate especially on a
long river like the Wye and not simply look at
gauge heights on the day.
Trout and
he rivers and stillwaters of Wales and
The Marches offer some first class
wild brown trout and grayling fishing. The
Usk is rated as one of the best freestone trout
rivers in the country. Fish are distributed
throughout its system with many of the
tributaries also offering superb opportunities.
Although May and June are generally
regarded the best months, the trout are still
catchable during the summer if anglers adapt
their tactics - it is often not until sunset that
fish start to become active at this time of year.
The number and size of wild brown trout in
the Wye is becoming comparable to those
in the Usk. Better water quality has meant
increased fly life - olives, sedges, caddis
and, in some reaches of the main river and
tributaries, traditional mayfly hatches. This,
allied with improved access to spawning
streams and juvenile habitat, has enabled the
brown trout populations to prosper. Although
they can be caught throughout the main
stem, the best of the Wye trout fishing is in
the rockier, faster flowing upper reaches on
the Welsh side of the border. Some excellent
fishing is also available on tributaries such as
the Lugg, Arrow, Irfon, Ithon and Monnow.
The Passport also includes some excellent
trout fishing outside the Wye and Usk
catchments, including the Towy and Cothi,
Eastern and Western Cleddau, Aeron and
To keep up to date with catches,
conditions and other news, you can
read Oliver Burch’s monthly Trout
& Grayling Fishing Report on our
website - fishingpassport.co.uk/
or to receive them by email, sign up
for the WUF e-newsletter at
Arth, Mawddach, Dee and Severn. It offers
a huge variety of water, ranging from large
main stem to remote mountain streams only
a few feet across.
In addition to the river fishing are some of
the area’s best stillwaters, including five of
Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water’s reservoirs and
for the more adventurous, some smaller,
wild upland ‘llyns’. These fisheries offer not
only superb game fishing in their own right,
but also provide an alternative should the
rivers be unfishable due to flood or drought.
The stillwaters in the Passport are set in
remote and dramatic upland scenery. Both
wild brown and stocked rainbow trout can
be caught on the fly, with spinner and bait
fishing also permitted on some of the Dŵr
Cymru reservoirs.
Photo: Steffan Jones
Grayling are the premier game fish of autumn
and winter, enabling fishermen to enjoy
sport throughout the year. With their radiant
dorsal fin, they are a truly spectacular fish
that provide a challenge to hook and give
a good fight. Sport can be good at any time
in the season, but late August, September,
October and November are probably the
best months for the specimens. Just being
on the river at this magical time of year is
enough for some though. Czech nymphing,
New Zealand style nymphing or traditional
‘down and across’ techniques are all popular
fly fishing methods. Except for the harshest
of conditions, grayling are also very willing to
come up to a dry fly or emerging pattern.
There are lots of grayling in the Wye, and
plenty of really big ones! The main stem
upstream of Hay and some of the larger
tributaries such as the Irfon, Ithon and the
Monnow system provide excellent grayling
fishing, with the Lugg and Arrow in particular
producing some very large fish. In addition,
two other famous Welsh grayling rivers are
now available via the Passport - the Dee and
the Taff. The upper Teifi also holds grayling.
An increasing number of fisheries also
allow trotting maggots for grayling in the
autumn and winter, which is often the only
way to catch if water levels are high or
temperatures low.
Flies tied to catch �sh,
not Anglers
web: www.barbless-�ies.co.uk
tel: 0330 6600 587
Find Luxury In Wales at
Gliffaes Country House Hotel
Kick off your shoes and join us for comfortable,
gorgeous rooms, open fires, delicious food and excellent
service, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
One of the last real fishing hotels, this relaxing haven is located off the
beaten track in 33 acres of stunning grounds, surrounded by
magnificent trees and next to the River Usk. The Good Hotel Guide has
awarded Gliffaes its Editor’s Choice Award for Fishing Hotel of 2015!
Chosen by the Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s Top 100 Affordable
Hotels and recipient of a Gold Award for 2015 from Visit Wales, we
offer sheer luxury – without the exorbitant prices.
More than just a place to stay, we want you to leave us relaxed and
refreshed. Welcome to Gliffaes.
- James & Susie Suter
Telephone: +44 (0)1874 730 371
Gliffaes Hotel, Crickhowell,
Powys. NP8 1RH
New life
for the
Urban rivers like the Taff and Afon Lwyd only form a small
proportion of the total fishing that’s available via our
Passport scheme and booking office, but we see them as
real jewels in our crown – rivers that have miraculously
come back from the dead. Theo Pike, author of Trout in
Dirty Places, explores the story of the Taff and Taf Fechan.
“This romantic stream is formed by the
junction… of two streams, called respectively
the Taf Fawr and the Taf Fechan, ‘the greater
and lesser Taff’, which descend from the
highest mountains of South Wales, the
beacons of Brecknockshire…
Its stream, in dry weather, is frequently scanty,
but in case of sudden rains or thaws, the
waters of this, as of all other mountain rivers,
roll over their rocky bed in an impetuous and
destructive torrent. The vicinity of Merthyr
Tyd-vil has greatly contributed to render
certain portions of the Taf unworthy of the
angler’s attention. The poisonous matter
discharged into it from the iron-works, and
the lawless practices of the forge-men,
continually diminish the stock of fish. In dry
seasons, these depredators assemble in
bands, and, wading into the streams armed
with sledge hammers contrive, by violently
striking the stones under which the trout are
concealed, to destroy an incredible quantity
of fish of all sizes…”
When you’re looking into the deep, dark past
of an urban river, finding a quote like this is
gold dust for any writer or river restorationist.
For one thing, it tells you how far we’ve all
moved on – even the most unscrupulous
modern poachers have given up stunning
trout with sledgehammers. And it also gives
us license to hope and plan: if all those years
of abuse couldn’t kill the Taff completely,
maybe we really can use what we now know
to make a better future for this and many
battered urban rivers.
Because there’s no doubt about it: the
Taff has been through the mill. Not long
before George Agar Hansard wrote those
words above, in 1834, it was still said that
a squirrel could scamper from Cardiff to
Brecon without touching the ground. But
within a matter of decades, the ancient
sessile oakwoods on the ‘beacons of
Brecknockshire’ had been clear-felled for
coal-mining pit props, and Merthyr Tydfil’s
annual production of iron had grown to equal
a quarter of the output of the whole United
States. As the industry developed, ironworks
down the whole length of the river converted
to steel milling. Temperatures in the blast
tunnels under the Cyfarthfa furnaces
reportedly reached a searing 1,500 degrees,
and vast quantities of water were used to
quench hot steel in the forges – heating,
deoxygenating and contaminating it with oil
and other pollutants before flushing it back
into the Taff with all the washings from the
factories’ cinder dumps.
Even when the iron and steelworks started to
decline, and then shut down altogether, coal
and chemical industries grew to take their
place, and brought their own set of problems.
When I interviewed Tony Rees, Chairman of
the South East Wales Rivers Trust and longtime stalwart of the Merthyr Tydfil Angling
Association (MTAA), for the first time in 2011,
he pointed to the gaping black culvert where
Wales’ biggest colliery once stood in Merthyr
“When the pits were running and all the coal
washings came out at night into the river”, he
told me, “I even wrote a letter to the Chairman
of Welsh Water, telling him I thought it would
be nice to see the fish coming up the Taff with
miners’ lamps, because that would be the
only way they’d have got through all the coal
dust in the water…”
But I always think it’s a fabulous irony that
the confluence of geological factors that
put so many urban rivers at Ground Zero of
the Industrial Revolution are now the same
circumstances that can produce (shhh!)
some of the best fishing in Europe. Those
mountain streams and Carboniferous-era
seams of limestone, coal and iron on the
southern edge of the Brecon Beacons
once provided power and raw materials
for Cyfarthfa’s forges: today, they add
tumbling oxygenation and a spike of highpH chemistry to the water of the Taff that’s
noticeable in the diversity of its flourishing
fly-life, and, in turn, its populations of trout. (As
local guide Gareth Lewis says, it’s only when
a hatch comes off that you see how many
fish the river really holds…)
By 2009, championed by the legendary Moc
Morgan, and again in 2013, the whole river
catchment was considered healthy enough
to host the International River Fly-Fishing
Championship between the home nations
of Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland. In
2011, the Environment Agency even listed
the Taff as one of the ten most improved
rivers in the UK. But environmental miracles
Photo: Daniel Popp
A 4lb wild brown from the Taff
which was caught twice in 2015
by local angler Daniel Popp.
The Taf Fechan.
like this don’t happen by accident, and it’s
largely due to the hard work of members of
MTAA that the upper Taff can now be said to
offer truly world-class fishing for wild trout.
For this part of the river, the modern era
began in 2001, when the Club started work
with the Wild Trout Trust to improve the
health of the Taf Fechan between Pontsticill
reservoir and the Blue Pool at Aberglais.
Historically, this isolated stretch of stream had
suffered repeated pollution problems from
the water treatment works below Ponsticill
dam, as well as being starved of spawning
gravels because the reservoir interrupted all
the natural processes of sediment transport.
More than 80 tonnes of gravel were replaced,
trees over the riffles were coppiced to let
light back into the stream, and flow deflectors
and other structures were installed to add
habitat diversity. Supported by Orvis and the
local Gurnos Community Project, hundreds
of hours of hard work by MTAA’s volunteers
paid off in better fly-life, more wild trout and
better fishing. There was even a boost for the
local economy, as travelling fly-fishers came
to the Taf Fechan from as far away as Holland
to see the results of this early example of river
restoration for themselves, and the project
went on to win a runner-up spot in the Wild
Trout Trust’s Conservation Awards in 2004.
But anyone who fishes our urban streams
knows only too well that these are truly rivers
on a knife edge – always something less
than a single wrong turn of a stopcock away
from catastrophe. And so it proved for the Taf
Fechan on 13 August 2006, when calls from
local farmers started coming in to say that the
river was running white with three tonnes of
aluminium sulphate from the water works,
and all the fish were dead…
During the weeks that followed, Tony
Rees and his crew of volunteers had the
heartbreaking task of picking up more than
The Taff at
Merthyr Vale
7,000 dead trout, talking to the Angling Trust
and the Environment Agency about court
cases and restitution, finally receiving a total
of £47,000 in compensation from the water
company. But even with careful restocking,
their best guess was still that the river would
take up to 12 years to recover from this blow.
Today, however, the Taf Fechan is back on
sparkling form, and so is the main river (in
the run-up to those first international fishing
tournaments, the amount of rubbish removed
by the MTAA’s volunteers was amazing,
including a full set of traffic lights complete
with the cable connecting them!) Thanks to
funding from Defra related to the European
Water Framework Directive, the South East
Wales Rivers Trust is steadily dealing with fish
passage problems throughout the whole Taff
catchment: grayling still can’t quite get over
the weirs at Quakers Yard, but salmon have
recently been seen spawning in the upper
Taf Fawr for the first time in 200 years.
Now, where the waters of the Taff once ran
Bible black with coal dust from the collieries,
you can stalk big wild trout that are also
known to move up and down the full length
of the river on their own mysterious travels.
And whether you prefer matching the hatch
with surprisingly tiny dry flies, or carefully
dissecting current seams with weighted
nymphs and indicator rigs, there’s room here
for every technique. Yes, the Taff’s recovery is
a true miracle of modern river mending, and
I know where I’d like to spend much more of
my own fishing time this season…
The Merthyr Tydfil Angling
Association controls about 10
miles of fishing on the Taf Fechan
and the main River Taff. For the
3rd year in succession, day tickets
are now available via the Wye &
Usk Foundation: find out more at
Theo Pike is Chairman of Trustees of
the South East Rivers Trust. His trailblazing book ‘Trout in Dirty Places’ was
published by Merlin Unwin Books in
2012, followed by ‘The Pocket Guide to
Balsam Bashing’ in 2014, and his blogs
can be found at www.urbantrout.net and
Another superb wild brown from
the Taff, showing why it is so highly
regarded by trout anglers.
This one was caught by Nick Steedman.
Glyn Williams, Tenkara
enthusiast, on the Japanese
style of fishing that is increasing
in popularity in the UK
his way of fishing has been practised
in Japan for many hundreds of years
but remained virtually unknown in the
western world until very recently. Since being
‘discovered’ it has grown in popularity and is
now practised widely.
currents in to calmer ‘pocket’ water which
would be virtually impossible to achieve
with a traditional fly rod. Tenkara fishers are
also able to manipulate their flies, imparting
movement with the rod tip to move the fly
either upstream, across or even downstream.
Historically, it was a way for Japanese
people to supplement their food supplies
and income as fishermen walked up into
the mountainous areas to fish the clear,
tumbling, boulder-strewn streams and retain
their catch, which they would return to their
villages. Tackle was very primitive and would
usually have been a long bamboo pole with
a plaited horsehair fixed line and a fly made
of feathers dressed on a bent needle. This
was not pleasure fishing as we know it; the
method had to be good at catching fish. It
was and still is extremely effective in such
Today the method is applied in many types
of river and stream. Tackle needs are minimal
and equipped with a rod, line, tippet, a small
selection of flies and a net, one can wander
freely investigating those hard to reach areas
which fish seem to like! Tenkara fishing is
not the answer to all fishing situations but
it is a superb method to know and apply in
circumstances where normal fly fishing is
ineffective. The simplicity of it is refreshing
in these times of increasing complexity
of equipment and methods, whilst the
effectiveness of it cannot be understated.
These days bamboo has been replaced by
telescopic carbon fibre and rods can vary in
length from 6 to 15 feet or more. The ‘line‘
can be of Monofil, Fluorocarbon, Copolymer
or Furled material and be slightly shorter than
the rod length with a tippet of some 4 feet or
so to which would be attached a single fly.
The method allows extremely delicate,
accurate presentation and control of the fly
as the angler can hold much of the casting
line off the water, preventing drag and often
allowing the fly to be presented across strong
The Wye, Usk and other Welsh river systems
offer a huge range of opportunities where
the method can be practised, particularly
the upper reaches and rocky streams. Many
retailers now supply Tenkara tackle and
there are numerous fishing guides who use
and can instruct on the method. Helped by
volunteer enthusiasts, the Foundation has
run successful instructional days on Tenkara
fishing and plan to continue this on Sunday
June 26th. Details of this event can be found
on the page opposite.
Wye & Usk
Tenkara Day –
Sunday 26th
June 2016
We will be holding a Tenkara Day at
the Caer Beris Hotel, Builth Wells on
Sunday 26th June to give participants
the opportunity to enjoy the delights and
challenges of this style of fishing. The day
will include an illustrated introduction to
Tenkara and a practical demonstration
of casting before dispersing to fish local
beats in the upper Wye catchment. Several
Tenkara enthusiasts (including Glyn
Williams) will be available for advice and to
accompany the less experienced Tenkara
anglers on the rivers. Angus Campbell
from Tenkara Centre UK has kindly agreed
to support this event and will be able to
provide kit to use on the day for those that
don’t have their own Tenkara rod yet.
For more details on this event please see the
Events section of the WUF website
or contact the Foundation on 01874 712
074 to book your place.
Bannister Rods
Hand Planed Split Cane Fishing Rods
So Why Split Cane?
The answer is simple...
For stream and river
fishing rods there is no
better material. No other
material casts like cane.
It will tuck short, neat,
roll casts into the quiet
places, where trout lie.
The fabric of the cane
itself will help to load
the rod.
And in the right hands it
will cast a long line
delicately and accurately.
Hook a fish on a well
balanced cane rod and the
whole set up will come alive like no other material.
A well designed taper not only transmits the energy of the caster’s
arm down the fly line and out through the tippet but also
communicates the movement and power of a fighting fish back
down the line into your hand.
Hook a 10" wild trout on a good 7ft 4wt and you will see why so
many people are talking about cane rods.
For any further information please contact:
Luke Bannister. Unit 4, Little Northcott, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 9EQ
Tel 01288 353986
Sea trout
by Steffan Jones
ea trout, or sewin as they’re known in
Wales, hold great appeal but they also
hold great intrigue. They are a very mystical
fish often referred to as silver ghosts, being
there one day or night and gone the next due
to their migratory nature. They can captivate
an angler like no other but conversely drive
an angler to despair like no other too…
What makes sea trout so special and why
should you entertain a visit to one of the
plethora of rivers and beats now showcased
through The Fishing Passport? I believe
that there are two main reasons we go
fishing. First of all it’s the surroundings we
find ourselves in when pursuing our chosen
species and nowhere is this highlighted
greater than the sea trout rivers of West
Wales. Secondly and perhaps foremost, we
go fishing for “the take” and trust me, from
this perspective nowhere will you experience
this better than with a sea trout. A sea trout
take is special and any seasoned sea trout
angler will gladly divulge that this is one of
the main attractions that turns the species
from a target into an obsession.
To keep up to date with catches, conditions
and other news, you can read Illtyd Griffith’s
monthly Sewin Fishing Report on our website
- fishingpassport.co.uk/monthly-reports
or to receive them by email, sign up for the
WUF e-newsletter at
Using his intimate knowledge
of Welsh rivers, Steffan runs his
own guiding service
based in Llandysul on the
river Teifi
Perhaps one of the main traits of sea trout
that makes them special and unique is their
pursuit with a fly under the cover of darkness.
This may sound bizarre at best and insanity
at worst but let me assure you this is where
sea trout come alive in more ways than one.
Not only is ‘the take’ exacerbated at night
because your sense of touch is heightened
but the sea trout are more active during
low light conditions being both easier to
approach and catch. They can, of course, be
tempted in the daylight and fishing a falling
river after a spate can yield prolific sport
with a fly, spinner or bait. However, the true
essence of their pursuit is with a fly at night
and the best conditions for attempting this is
the opposite of what would be regarded as
good daytime conditions: a low, clear river.
With a myriad of sea trout fishing options now
available to you and all presenting fantastic
value for money it really is something you
should try at least once, perhaps twice if you
like it. Soon enough you will find the sea trout
drawing you, holding appeal and captivating
you like no other. Start your journey when
they are at their freshest and most plentiful,
where your chances of intercepting a taking
fish is increased. This is normally anytime
from the end of June through to the end of
August, but local advice should be sought.
Whenever you decide to make the journey
I’m sure you will not regret it, whether you
manage to stay attached to a sea trout or not.
The Wye is widely acknowledged as the
UK’s premier coarse fishing river.
he Wye is blessed with a variety of
species - barbel and pike being the
focus of attention for most anglers, with
large shoals of chub and dace encouraging
more and more anglers to bring out the float
rod. The amount of water available to coarse
anglers continues to increase, with land
and fishery owners becoming increasingly
aware of the need for wild stretches of this
river to be sustainably managed.
To maintain the quality of Wye fishing, our
policy is to limit both the number of rods
and the amount of fishing on each beat.
This means many fisheries retain their
natural state so be prepared to occasionally
push back a few nettles or some long grass
to make a cast.
Chub are prevalent throughout the Wye,
except for the very smallest streams. 3 to
4lbs is the average but with stealth and
patience, specimen chub of 5lbs+ are there
to be caught. In winter, roving with bread
flake and mash will get consistent results,
while in the summer and autumn, good
numbers can be caught on most methods.
The Wye is widely regarded as a top
UK destination for barbel anglers. The
river provides an ideal habitat for these
fast, powerful fish. 5-8lb specimens are
commonplace, frequently interspersed
with doubles. Wye barbel are noted for their
lean, muscular physique and for putting
up a hard fight. A good quality rod and
line is therefore necessary to have the best
chance of getting them to the net.
“Wye barbel are noted for
putting up a hard fight ”
Although the summer months are the most
popular times to fish for barbel, a warm
flood in the middle of winter can be enough
to trigger them to feed. Many coarse
species, but especially barbel and chub
are still caught on the Wye during a flood,
and as such, we seldom offer wash-offs for
these species. A big flood can often be the
most exciting time to fish, so think twice
before you ignore your early morning alarm
The current record Wye pike, a fish of 37lbs,
came from the river near Hay and the best
pike fishing is to be found from Glasbury
downstream. Some of the beats further
upstream, however, especially around
Builth Wells, also hold the occasional
specimen and every year pike of 20lbs+ are
landed. Lack of angling pressure enables
these fish to thrive, so with many of the
Passport waters being lightly fished, pike
fishing prospects are excellent.
Photo: Martin Bowler
Numbers of dace have increased in recent
years and can be found as far upstream as
Builth. They provide fantastic sport when
long trotting maggots and fish approaching
1lb are often reported (maggots are not
permitted on the Wye between 16th June
and 14th September). Reports of good roach
come in from time to time, usually caught by
chub and dace anglers, but these days they
are not really targeted on the Wye. Specimen
fish (2lbs plus) are there and the dedicated
angler, with favourable conditions, has every
chance of catching one.
All of the Passport’s coarse fishing is let via
the Booking Office, including that on the
smaller rivers and stillwaters. As well as
byelaws and individual fishery rules, there are
some standard Foundation coarse fishing
rules and regulations that are applicable to all
beats participating in the Passport scheme.
These include:
• No keepnets for any species.
• Barbless hooks at all times.
• No camping or night fishing.
• Only 1 rod per angler.
• No worm, prawn or shrimp baits.
• Pike lures must be over 6” (15cm).
• No maggots or non-aquatic pupae
on rivers between 16 June and 14
September (byelaw).
To keep up to date with catches,
conditions and other news, you can read
Adam Fisher’s monthly Coarse Fishing
Report on our website fishingpassport.co.uk/monthly-reports
or to receive them by email, sign up for
the WUF e-newsletter at http://mailer.
Woody’s Angling Centre
Coarse Fishing Specialists
you need to
fish the
river Wye!
Run by anglers, for anglers
Guy Linley-Adams Solicitor
12 Castle Street
T: 01432 379093
M: 07837 881219
E: [email protected]
Guy Linley-Adams Solicitor is authorised and regulated in
England and Wales by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority
(no. 524741) and by the Law Society of Scotland (no. 30663).
Providing legal services for the environment, conservation,
fisheries and freedom of information
Providing legal services for the
environment, conservation, fisheries
and freedom of information, and
backed by 25 years of experience in
environmental campaigns, Guy
Linley-Adams delivers the highest
levels of service and individual
attention to your particular matter,
providing practical legal opinion,
advice and representation across
England, Wales and Scotland.
Guy Linley-Adams Solicitor
67 Whitecross Road, Hereford HR4 0DQ Tel: 01432 344 644
Photo: Dougal Ziegler
Adam Fisher explains
that catching Wye
barbel on the float is not
only exciting but often
the most successful
tactic when conditions
are tough
f all the river species to catch on the
float, the Holy Grail for many anglers
is the barbel. Granted, it’s certainly less effort
to sit behind static rods, swilling a flask of tea,
your comfort and tranquillity only broken by
the excitement of the “3 foot twitch” or the
sound of a baitrunner. Fishing like this means
you can take your mates along with you,
even first time fishers. You can fish into the
gloaming, you can catch in the middle of the
day in bright sunshine and, if you are serious
about it, you can target specimen sized fish
of over 10lbs. Add the fact that you have to
go a long way to find more accessible and
rewarding fishing in the UK and you have
to ask the question: why employ any other
method when fishing for Wye barbel?
The Wye has, for some, become the easy
river to visit. An angler can simply turn up
on a new stretch and cast out a feeder with
a pellet on a hair and, without too much
patience or skill, can catch a few fish. Once
these “easy” shoals of barbel receive a little
bit of pressure, however, they become more
difficult to catch. The fish become finicky and
a bit rig shy. It’s still good fishing, especially in
a flood, but not quite as prolific as before. At a
couple of stages through the summer barbel
can become ultra fussy – the river is usually
low and the fish have already seen plenty of
bait since June 16th. Combine this with the
fact you may be sat in a swim someone was
in yesterday and a first time visitor fishing
during these periods might wonder where
on earth it went wrong as they drive home
having caught only perhaps a chub or two, or
even nothing.
Conditions are supposed to improve as
autumn sets in. Barbel catches pick up again
after the “dog days” of August with the more
oxygenated water getting them into feeding
mode again. Recent autumns have been
a little different, however– the river levels
have been unseasonably low, the daytime
temperatures warm and nights cold. Such
conditions are signs of high pressure and
although barometer-watching has always
been an essential activity for carp and pike
anglers, there is now a theory that this high
pressure affects barbel fishing too. Static
baits stop working as well and even dusk
doesn’t always signal a distinct switch onto
bait as the fish’s confidence returns under
the security of darkness. There is a way to
overcome these finicky times and that is to
give the barbel a moving bait.
Autumn signals a good time to trot for
multiple species – dace are shoaling up, the
chub not far behind, the specimen grayling
start to appear and bleak, roach, minnow and
perch can also be targeted by the trotting
angler. Trout might take you by surprise
when trotting in pacey water and small
barbel can often be caught this way too. But
apart for a few expert anglers, float fishing
has rarely been considered for big barbel……
until now.
A recent encounter…
The swim I had chosen looked good for all
species. Approximately 100 yards upstream
was shallow, pacey water, pushing over to
the far bank as it ran off the main current,
then slowing and deepening to about 7ft
to form a distinct channel. Wading midway
across the river was possible here, the water
going only waist deep and the bottom still
visible through polaroids. A cast of about 25ft
was required to get between the trees and to
allow the float to run under the canopy that
lined the far bank as far as the eye can see.
The rain of maggots had to be kept going;
3 catapults per trot of fresh white grubs.
Then, with a good chuck of a 5g loafer and
with the 12ft Avon helping to load the cast,
the whole rig was flying through the air in
a controlled arc. A middle or forefinger to
slow the line down on the spool helped
straighten everything out on landing. An
over-cast allowed for a pouch of maggots to
be sprayed without dragging the float off line
and, with a mend of the line to keep the rod
tip in touch, it was allowed to run. Holding
back every now and again gave several
benefits but the main one was to keep
everything in a straight line so when striking,
there was maximum efficiency in setting the
hook. A bow in the line would only cause
a delay as the slack is taken up. Another
benefit of holding back occasionally was that
it allowed the bait to flutter up enticingly off
the bottom, which sometimes induces the
fish to take.
The depth of the float was adjusted after
each run, until eventually the bait was
tripping bottom. On the first few runs
through, a strike occurred in the same spot. I
shallowed up a fraction and held back over
the top of whatever piece of weed or boulder
was catching the rig. Reassuringly, the false
alarm went off each time - at least I was
putting the float through consistently and by
overcoming it with the most incremental of
shallowing or holding back, the swim was
being “worked’.
Trot number 20 and the doubts started to
creep in. The only thing that could be done
Photo: Dougal Ziegler
in these circumstances was to keep feeding…
feeding, feeding and feeding. Then, as if out
of nowhere, the float dipped. A big, sweeping
strike followed and the resistance was solid
but very much alive.
Although impossible to tell right then if it
was a barbel or chub, after a few seconds
the kiting and the dead weight made it clear.
Often the first run of a barbel is unstoppable
and when using a small hook, instincts say
not to pull back so hard. With a barbel rod
and feeder, the harder the angler pulls the
harder the fish does too. However, with float
gear they tend to come in a little easier, even
if it doesn’t feel like it at the time! The gentler
they’re played the more they behave and
when that fish came over the rim of the net a
big sigh of relief was breathed. I can’t be sure
but wouldn’t be surprised if it was followed
by a quiet “whoop”, perhaps even a loud one!
Fishing for barbel on the float is like fishing
for a whole new species. The fight alone is
just, well, different and the rewards are worth
every ounce of effort. Any angler using this
method will wax lyrical that one on the float is
worth 20 on the feeder and if you are an avid
barbel angler that hasn’t caught one using
this method, I urge you to give it a try in 2016!
My top tips for float fishing for
- Keep varying the depth cm by cm.
This makes all the difference
- Keep feeding, feeding and feeding
- Use a strong hook
My Tackle:
- Drennan Series 7 Avon 1.5lb TC
- Daiwa Theory reel
- Drennan Loafer floats
- Guru MWGB hooks in size 14,16
- Maxima 6lb straight through
- ESP bait pouch: essential kit for
- Several pints of white maggots
Guiding services
Day and season tickets
Accommodation & fishing packages
Fishery management
Consultancy services
TV & magazine production
Angling photography
Biosecurity notice for all anglers
Threats to Our Rivers
All river users benefit from a healthy
aquatic environment. In addition to the
work to improve the ecology of the Wye
and Usk, the Foundation must make
anglers and other river users aware of the
dangers that they might inadvertently pose
to indigenous flora and fauna, and what
they should do about it.
Clothing and equipment (especially
nets and waders) that have not been
thoroughly dried or disinfected can carry
parasites and other diseases and infect
water bodies. These can have devastating
effects as species that inhabit the newly
infected water body have little or no
immunity. Crayfish plague is just such a
disease. It is carried by the American signal
crayfish, which is widely prevalent and
immune to the parasite whereas our native
White clawed crayfish is not.
Another potentially damaging plague is
Gyrodactylus salaris (above right), this
affects salmon and could be brought in
from the continent. It has devastated rivers
in Norway.
A more recent threat has come from
the killer shrimp Dikerogammarus villosus (pictured above), a destructive species that has
arrived in UK waters from Eastern Europe. If introduced into the Wye or Usk they too could
have a devastating effect on native species of invertebrates, fish and other wildlife. For more
information on killer shrimp please see:
The risk of crayfish plague, GS and killer shrimp require you to
take precautions.
What you must do: Certain items of your clothing and equipment (especially nets, felt soles
and waders) can be very effective means by which you could infect water. In addition to
abiding by the rule of no keepnets, if your equipment or clothing has been used abroad or on
any different UK river in the 7 days prior to you visiting the Wye or Usk (or any tributary), you
must ensure that it has been properly sterilized through one of the following methods before
you arrive:
Method A: Drying to a minimum of 20 deg C for at least 2 days.
Method B: Heating to above 60 deg C for at least one hour.
Method C: Deep freezing for at least one day.
Photo: Adam Fisher
Minimising the
Impact of Canoeing
n recent years there has been an
increase in the number of canoe trips
undertaken on the navigable section of the
Wye. This has impacted not only angling but
also other recreational activities on the river
and, perhaps most important of all, wildlife
that includes highly protected SAC species.
There has been a welcome initiative recently
by local authorities and the EA to establish
a registration scheme whereby canoe hire
companies and their customers follow more
closely codes of conduct, health and safety
policies and practices to reduce their impact
on the river. However, there are some other
steps you can take to minimise the impact
canoeing has on your enjoyment of the river:
1. Try to avoid weekends and bank holidays
when canoe traffic is at its heaviest,
especially during low water in the summer
months. If possible, concentrate your fishing
on weekdays.
2. Concentrate your fishing efforts early and
late in the day when canoe traffic is at its
lightest. These are also the times when fish
are most active in summer.
3. If you are well concealed, make canoeists
aware of your presence well in advance of
them arriving in your swim. Most canoeists
will move to the other side of the river.
4. If you are wading, indicate clearly which
side of the river you wish canoeists to pass.
5. Avoid confrontation and conflict. There
will be the occasional canoeist that does
not follow the correct etiquette (usually
inexperienced paddlers or those that have
not been adequately briefed by the company
they hired the canoe from). However much
this tests your patience, it is worth bearing
in mind that canoeists will respond much
more positively to polite advice rather than
6. If the canoes in question are from an
identifiable canoe hire company, report
any breaches of the canoeist code of
conduct to the Environment Agency. The
hire companies have a duty to ensure their
customers are fully aware of the code of
conduct on page 39.
7. Make sure you are aware of any access
arrangements on sections of rivers that
do not have a right of navigation before
you purchase fishing. For upper Wye and
Usk, a quick reference “Where and When”
guide is available on our website www.
If you come across any breaches to the
upper Wye and Usk access arrangements
please report them to us on [email protected]
with details such as where, when, how many
and if applicable, which outdoor activity
provider or canoe hire company were
Canoeing on the Wye and Usk
Where and when...
On the main river Wye below Hay there is a
public right of navigation and this is the paramount
right. The Environment Agency is the Navigation
Authority and it is their responsibility to ensure
adequate legislation, information and liaison.
canoeing can
take place
between 18th
October and
2nd March on
the Usk and
between 18th
October and
15th March
on the Wye,
additional days
on both rivers
are permitted
when the
height is over
the red line.
On all of the Usk and Wye upstream of Hay there
is no public right of navigation (save for the pool
immediately upstream of Newton Weir, Brecon)
although from time to time we receive claims to
the contrary. WUF has set up arrangements for
canoeing these sections, supported by Welsh
Government’s Splash fund. These arrangements
allow access to rivers and permission to canoe
outside the salmon fishing season and during
the season when the rivers are in spate. Red lines
on our gauges indicate the heights above which
navigation can take place. Convenient access points enable the most interesting sections to
be paddled but before doing so, it is vital to look at the full arrangements, terms and conditions
on our website:
We continue to make the case for voluntary access as an alternative to imposed legislation and
have assisted other rivers in Wales to establish their own arrangements.
Upper Wye & Usk Access Arrangements:
River Usk: Sennybridge to Crickhowell canoeing permitted 18th October to 2nd
March, and outside these dates when water
height exceeds the red line on the gauge at
Upper Wye: Llangurig to Newbridge canoeing only permitted when water
exceeds red lines on gauges.
Upper Wye: Newbridge to Glasbury canoeing permitted 18th October to 15th
March, and outside these dates when
water height exceeds the red line on the
Llanstephan gauge.
Upper Wye: Glasbury to Hay – no water
height restrictions apply but launching from
Glasbury Bont is restricted to the hours
between 10am and 4pm only all year.
Both rivers also have agreed access and exit
Canoeing in high water on the upper Wye in
summer. Note the water height is above the red
line on the gauge.
Code of Conduct for Canoeists
Stay Safe
When planning or partaking in your river trip
always consider:
• Use the river in a safe fashion and
ensure that you have the appropriate
safety equipment.
• Groups of young novice boaters must be
led by suitably experienced responsible
persons – preferably a qualified
• Don’t drink alcohol during and just prior
to your trip on the river.
• Follow instructions given to you by your
canoe hire operator and/or group leader.
And finally... if in doubt, don’t!
Consider Other People
• Park sensibly without causing
obstruction, do not block gateways or
load and unload vehicles in awkward
• Keep noise to a minimum.
• Get changed out of public view.
• Whenever possible come ashore
at recognised landing places; do
not trespass on private property or
• When canoeing have special regard
for beginners, as you would for learner
drivers on the road.
• Remember that larger boats are less
manoeuvrable and cannot use such
shallow waters as canoes, rafts and
rowing boats.
• Give way to those engaged in organised
competition and have regard to any
instructions given by officials.
• Hail to draw a person’s attention to a
situation which might otherwise result
in inconvenience, damage or collision.
Please treat a hail as a friendly warning
and not as an insult.
- as published by the
Environment Agency
Be Fisher Friendly
• Pass anglers with as little noise and
disturbance as possible.
• Keep away from banks being fished and
fishing tackle.
• Avoid loitering in pools if anyone is
• Comply with reasonable directional
• Please also note that fishing from a boat
is not allowed unless you have a valid
rod licence and permission from the
owner/ tenant of the fishery rights.
Care for Wildlife
• Avoid disturbing nesting birds along the
river banks, particularly in spring time.
• Avoid damaging beds of waterweed.
• Stop your activity if you are clearly
disturbing wildlife.
Help Keep a Healthy River
The river Wye boasts excellent water quality
in a largely unmodified water course. You can
help maintain a healthy river by:
• Taking your rubbish away with you.
• Avoiding damage to banks, the riverbed
and bankside vegetation - this can
lead to erosion. You can help by only
launching and landing at purpose made
launch points.
• Avoid dragging boats and equipment
over rock slabs and stones.
0871 911 7001*
* Calls cost 13p plus your phone company’s access charge –
Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary.
Guiding & Instruction
or newcomers, river fishing and
wilderness stillwaters can be a fairly
daunting prospect. Even experienced
anglers can struggle with the different
techniques required to successfully find and
catch fish on all types of river.
With fly fishing, casting correctly is only the
start. You need to know what methods to
use in a variety of water conditions, which
flies work and, perhaps most important of all,
where the fish are. River trout do not move
around a great deal - you have to go to them!
Most of the recommended instructors
advertise in the following pages. For a full
list with links to their websites, please see:
Photo: Steffan Jones
For both game and coarse anglers, an
experienced instructor/guide can be the
difference between spending many fruitless
hours and getting straight to the action. On
top of this, the knowledge and skills they
impart will be with you wherever you fish
thereafter and will be transferable to other
rivers and stillwaters. You can hire them on
an hourly or daily basis, on your own, for a
group or for a corporate event. They have
an intimate knowledge of the water and
will always know who is catching what and
where. They will also provide the correct
tackle if required.
Jonathan Morris
AAPGAI Advanced
Double handed casting tuition on
the upper Wye.
Based in Builth Wells, tuition
takes place on the banks of the
picturesque River Wye.
One to one tuition and small
groups by arrangement.
Tel: 07909 968348
Email: [email protected]
Guiding On The Picturesque Rivers of Wales
Guiding on the rivers, streams and stillwaters of Wales, or specialist
instruction in all fly fishing techniques including dry fly, spider,
nymph, wet fly, Czech nymphing and French nymphing.
Step Back In Time....
With an authentic period day out.
Fishing with cane rods and silk lines, for that step back in time experience.
Casting Instruction:
Tel: 01686 688196 Mobile: 07929 469160
Guid nded
Licenced and qualified fly casting instructor, able to teach all ages and abilities. ReFoundationk
Professional Game
Angling Instructor
50 years experience on Welsh rivers and lakes
for salmon, sewin, brown trout and grayling
I specialise in one to one or small group fly casting tuition for all competencies with both
single and double hand rods from large rivers to small streams. I will always strive to
enable all anglers to improve not only their technical skills but to become better anglers.
Tel: 01654 781 365
Mobile: 07974 942 853
email: [email protected]
Web: www.sewincaster.co.uk
Fly Fishing
Oliver Burch
Angling Trust licensed & insured
game fishing coach
a e ures
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i i ual as i
le sele i
ea y y
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beau iful ri ers a la es f
s all s rea s al
ales a
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e b r er u ry: s
rayli a sea r u
less s r ui e ays ra s r a
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a i i ri er raf
s e ialis y s i
i ues i lu i
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s i
s i f r sea r u i
ales e re i r i f r i er rayli
[email protected]
Tel: 07825 410800
Chris Price
Professional Fly Fishing Instructor
Let me offer you a guided picturesque tour of the
Usk and Wye for Salmon, Trout and Grayling.
From a basic introduction and tackle choice,
casting lessons can be tailored to your needs
from adapting to weather conditions to double
hauling to more advanced techniques such as
Spey and presentation casts.
All tackle and equipment can be provided
Tel: 01495 231899
Mobile: 07734 469158
Email: [email protected]
For further information visit
Sponsored by:
Professional Game Angling Instruction
Foun & Usk
Recom dation
Guid nded
If you are a complete beginner
or a competent angler, there is
no better way to improve your
skills than to hire the knowlege
and expertise of a professional
Game Angling Instructor.
Justin Connolly is a certified Level 2 CCA game angling coach
and a member of the Game Angling Instructors Association
(GAIA) - the leading body for fly fishing instruction in the UK.
Casting & Fly fishing Tuition - Guiding
07810 870 224
Online at fishingpassport.co.uk
Our Online Booking System is the simplest
way to secure fishing on the 100+ fisheries
that participate in the Passport’s Booking
Office (for details on how to book Wild
Stream beats, please see pages 72 & 73).
Simply find the beat you want to fish, check
availability and book the day(s) you want,
paying by credit or debit card. When you
have made your booking, you will be sent a
confirmation by email with all the necessary
beat maps, directions and other details.
Most of the beats in the Booking Office are
available to book online. For those that aren’t,
or for anglers without internet access, the
alternative is ……
By telephone or in person
Our offices are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to
Friday, telephone 01874 712074. Payment
can be made by credit/debit card and if
booking by phone, we will send the beat
maps and directions to you.
Please be aware that our office is always
busy, so sometimes it may be difficult to get
through by telephone. In addition to the day
ticket price there will be a booking charge,
which is less for booking online. If you need
catch information you can now search our
Follow us on Twitter
for up to the minute
Foundation news such
as new beats, river
conditions and more...
catch returns and feedback page at www.
for river, beat, month etc. to tell you what is
being caught, where and how! Our website
also gives you details on river heights and
weather forecasts - fishingpassport.co.uk/
Bookings, wash-offs and refunds:
Unlike fisheries in other areas of the UK,
most of our Booking Office beats operate
a “wash-off” policy. This means that should
you turn up and are unfortunate to find the
river in flood, you can re-book for another
day. Please note, however, that the policy is
subject to conditions:
• A “wash-off” must be reused on the same
beat and within the same calendar year.
• Re-bookings are only possible in the event
of a flood that makes fishing impossible
or dangerous and the Booking Office
Manager’s decision on water conditions is
• For salmon anglers, if your washed-off
booking is during a non-peak period and
you re-book during a peak period, you will be
required to pay the difference.
Photo: Steffan Jones
Otherwise, once you have made a booking,
either over the phone or online, no refunds
are possible. Prices, availability, rules and
regulations can change at any time of the
year and will be shown on the website.
Please note that Wye salmon day tickets vary
in price depending on the time of year.
Please Note:
Whilst the Wye & Usk Foundation
endeavours to ensure that the
information provided in this booklet
is accurate, we cannot be held
liable for any errors or discrepancies
that occur. Through the “Fishing
Passport”, miles of wilderness fishing
has been opened up that would
otherwise be largely inaccessible
to visiting anglers. With any fishing
there are risks involved. Whilst we
endeavour to highlight any such
risks, the Foundation cannot be held
liable for any accidents, personal
injury or damage to property.
The Booking Office also provides:
• Information on instructors, guides, ghillies
and tackle shops.
• Environment Agency Rod Licences.
• Advice on the best places to fish, which
methods are working and the prevailing
Photo: Steffan Jones
(Full terms and conditions can be seen on
our website)
The Wye
Salmon, trout, grayling and coarse fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he Wye has nearly everything a river
angler could want – salmon, trout,
grayling, barbel, chub, big pike and an array
of other coarse species in addition to, of
course, spectacular scenery along one of
the most famous valleys in the UK. The only
thing missing is, perhaps, a sizeable run of
sea trout although even a few of these are
caught every year, usually by pike anglers
using lures in February. For 2016, we have 63
Booking Office beats in the Wye catchment
for you to try.
Upstream of Glasbury is a fast, bedrock
dominated river, interspersed with sections
of gravel. This part of the Wye offers excellent
fly fishing for salmon in higher water
conditions along with the river’s best trout
and grayling fishing. There are also some
good coarse fishing opportunities, especially
for chub, pike and dace. Wading can be
difficult in places, although some beats are
easier than others. The upper river also offers
some great fishing on two of the Wye’s larger
tributaries, the Ithon and Irfon.
ideal habitat for these powerful fish. Other
coarse species are prevalent too with pike,
chub and large shoals of dace also drawing
anglers to this part of the river. Although not
targeted, there are an increasing number
of trout and grayling being caught in the
middle reaches of the Wye. Downstream
of Monmouth the river quickens and this is
where some of the Wye’s most productive
and exclusive salmon beats can be found.
From Glasbury to Monmouth the Wye takes
on a leisurely, meandering character, with
a more uniform width and depth, passing
through Hay-on-Wye, Hereford and Ross-onWye. While offering good salmon prospects
in medium water heights, this is the river’s
best coarse fishing, with barbel the primary
target species. The strong flow, gravel
riverbed and large banks of ranunculus make
Of the other tributaries, the Lugg joins from
the north just downstream of Hereford and is
a fine trout and grayling river in its middle and
upper reaches, along with its own tributary,
the Arrow. The lower Lugg also offers good
coarse fishing opportunities. The Monnow
joins at Monmouth and is highly regarded as
one of the best trout rivers in the country.
Photo: Adam Fisher
River Wye season dates
3rd March to 17th October
(Some upper river beats operate a season extension to 25th October)
Fly and spinning only
3rd March to 31st August
Fly fishing only
All season
Mandatory catch and release
All season
Brown trout
3rd March to 30th September
16th June to 14th March
16th June to 14th March
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for other restrictions.
The Usk
Salmon and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
weight with the average fish being around a
pound. An example of an Usk trout is shown
at the top of pages 16 & 17.
As well as being a premier Welsh salmon
river, the Usk is also acclaimed as one of the
best wild trout rivers in the UK, capable of
producing brown trout up to five pounds in
The salmon run on the Usk is slightly later
than the Wye, with the bulk of the catches
coming from May/June onwards but there
are springers to be found too. Early season
salmon fishing tends to be confined to the
lower reaches but from June onwards,
salmon can be found as far upriver as
rom the Usk reservoir, the Usk (Welsh
name:“Wysg”) flows in an easterly
direction through stunning scenery, passing
to the north of the Brecon Beacons before
starting to take a more southerly bearing
through Abergavenny and the town of Usk
itself, joining the Bristol Channel at Newport.
River Usk season dates
Fly only
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Mandatory catch and release
Sea trout
Fly only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly and Spin only
Brown trout
3rd March to 17th October
3rd March to 31st May
1st June to 15th June
16th June to 15th September
16th September to 17th October
3rd March to 15th June
20th March to 17th October
20th March to 31st May
1st June to 15th September
16th September to 17th October
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for other restrictions.
Country House
B&B and Self-Catering Cottage
Magnificent views of the upper Irfon
alley - Ideally situated for the Wye Usk
Passport fishing and other exciting local
waters. Reduced rate wild brown trout
fishing on the local Upper Irfon beat.
Local activities include photography, bird
watching, pony-trekking, mountain-biking
and walking.
Excellent local pubs and restaurants.
ee more of
e ha e to offer at
kils y
co uk and at
kils ycottage co uk
Phone Chris & Sue Cooper on 01591-610281 or email
[email protected] for further details, brochures and bookings.
a h
Llangammarch Wells
Powys LD4 4BY
A friendly welcome awaits you at the Cammarch, a renowned fishing hotel since 1864. Our
wonderful AA 4 star guest accommodation is on the confluence of the Rivers Irfon and Cammarch.
With 4 miles of left bank Irfon fishing, divided into three beats each set in fabulously secluded
locations we can provide superb fishing for high quality wild brown trout, first class grayling and some
reasonable salmon. Fishing is reserved for guests and we can cater for large parties as well as the
individual fisher and we are central to access many other fisheries across the Wye & Usk catchment.
Our accommodation is comfortable and relaxed, the dining room has a wood
burner and serves good food and our fisherman's bar is stocked with real ales,
wines and spirits to round off a perfect day's fishing.
Day fishing is permitted when availability allows. Catch and release only. Please phone the hotel to check availability.
Your hosts are Kathryn and Alan and we look forward to seeing you soon
Quality & Value B&B Accommodation
overlooking the River Wye
We are delighted to welcome patrons of the WUF to The Old Vicarage.
The Old Vicarage
Erwood, Powys
01 82 5 0 80
[email protected]
Nestling in the Wye Valley, we offer comfort, traditional Welsh farmhouse
hospitality, and the convenience of a location central to many of the
popular beats on the Wye and Usk catchments.
With WUF offices 10 mins away in Talgarth, plus Builth Wells
(10 mins), Brecon (20 mins) and Hereford (40 mins) within easy driving
distance, we invite you to use us as a base for your visit.
We specifically cater for anglers, with drying facilities, early breakfasts,
packed lunches, and the general flexibilities anglers find useful.
Delicious breakfasts from our own produce, sumptuous antique beds
and furnishings, plus stunning views, complete a unique B&B experience
at remarkably good rates.
Find our reviews at tripadvisor.co.uk !!
Small One Bed Cottage also available
FHG Award winner
The Cottage of Content
... in Carey is a warm cottage pub and country restaurant
in unspoilt countryside near Hereford and Ross-on-Wye
just minutes from several prime
Wye and Usk Foundation beats.
Owners Richard and Helen Moore are keen to
maintain the fine reputation this award winning
venue has had for the last few years and have
refurbished the pub in keeping with their
commitment to quality.
With 25 years Head Chef experience, Richard's
new menu is already satisfying diners from near
and far. We welcome all diners to take a look at
our sample menu. Families are always welcome to
dine and children's menus are available.
The Cottage of Content offers overnight
accommodation with 3 Double En-suite bedrooms
and 2 Twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities.
The Cottage of Content, Carey, Hereford HR2 6NG
Bookings 01432 840242 www.cottageofcontent.co.uk
The Royal Lodge
& Hunters Restaurant
Symonds Yat East
First class
Hunting and
Fishing Lodge
situated on the
banks of the
River Wye
The perfect location
01600 890 238
Genuine fishing lodge and two holiday cottages on the banks of the River Usk
to fish for Salmon and Trout on our one mile beat. Short breaks available.
Tel: 01873 840207 Mob: 07866 601310 www.swanmeadow.co.uk
Pantygoitre Farm, Llanfair Kilgeddin, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. NP7 9BE
Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages
Cottages in
The Brecon Beacons,
Wye Valley and
Black Mountains
01874 676446
The Severn
Salmon, trout, and grayling fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he River Severn rises on the slopes
of Plynlimon (Welsh: Pumlumon), the
same mountain that is the source of the Wye.
At around 220 miles, it is the longest river in
the UK and has the largest water flow of any
river in England and Wales. From its source,
the Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren) flows in a
north easterly direction to start with, through
the towns of Llanidloes and Welshpool.
Crossing the border into England, it takes
on a more southerly course and loses its
upland character, flowing more leisurely
through Shropshire, Worcestershire and
Gloucestershire before becoming the Severn
Estuary around the M4 bridge. The Severn
has some famous tributaries, including
Vyrnwy, Clywedog, Teme, Warwickshire
Avon and Stour.
Like the Wye, Severn salmon are of a good
average size. The main stem provides some
good salmon fishing opportunities but
below Shrewsbury is mainly concentrated
around the weirs. It isn’t until May/June that
fish start to arrive in the upper river. Of the
tributaries, the Vyrnwy offers salmon fishing
opportunities as does the Teme further to the
River Severn season dates
Fly and spin only:
Fly, spin and permitted baits:
Mandatory catch & release:
1st February to 7th October
1st February to 15th June
16th June to 7th October
1st February to 15th June
Brown trout
18th March to 7th October
16th June to 14th March
16th June to 14th March
Please see Environment Agency byelaws for other restrictions.
The Severn beat map is on page 85
Photo: Luke Bannister
The best of the main stem’s trout and
grayling fishing is in the upper reaches. Some
of the tributaries are also well known for their
wild brown trout and grayling, especially the
Teme and its own feeder streams. However,
it is the coarse fishing that the Severn is best
known for, particularly for barbel and chub in
the middle reaches.
Severn fishing has been available through
the Passport for several years, mainly on
the Teme, Onny and the Forest of Dean
streams, tributaries in the southern part
of the catchment. For 2016 we are happy
to announce that we have merged with
the Severn Rivers Trust Passport scheme,
incorporating several of their wild brown
trout beats into the Wild Streams and a few
other beats into the Booking Office too.
In addition to the Forest of Dean Streams,
there are 9 Severn beats available to Wild
Stream Season Permit holders for 2016 and
4 Booking Office beats (see page 85). We
hope to add a lot more in the future. A portion
of the commission from the revenue of these
beats goes back to the Severn Rivers Trust
as core funding for their river restoration
projects. For more details of their work,
please see their website
The Dee
Trout and grayling fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he Welsh Dee offers anglers some
of the best river fly fishing in Wales. It
is renowned for salmon, trout and sea trout
but is particularly famous for its grayling, with
prolific numbers, a high average size and
plenty of 2lb+ fish.
The salmon and sea trout fishing is underrated and although the spring runs of salmon
are not what they used to be, there are still
good numbers of summer and autumn fish,
with a good number over 10lb. Although
fish are present in the river from early May,
given good water conditions September or
Welsh Dee season dates
3rd March to 17th October
Sea trout
20th March to 17th October
16th June to 14th March
Brown trout
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for
mandatory catch and release dates and other restrictions.
October are the best months. Grilse usually
start running in July and sea trout are present
in meaningful numbers from June onwards.
The brown trout fishing on the Dee starts
on the 3rd March and ends on the 30th
September, while the grayling fishing starts
on the 16th June and continues throughout
the winter until the 14th March.
Photo: Oliver Burch
The Loughor
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he source of the river Loughor is an
underground lake near the Black
Mountain. It emerges at the surface from
Llygad Llwchwr, which translates as “eye
of the Loughor”. Rising out of limestone,
the river flows past Ammanford and Hendy
in Carmarthenshire and Pontarddulais in
Swansea. It divides Carmarthenshire from
Swansea for much of its course.
Well known for large sea trout and
late season salmon, it is a
relatively short river with a
huge estuary. Narrow and
winding, the Loughor is a
more demanding river to fish
at night than the Towy and
Teifi. It can, however, produce
spectacular results: the best
sea trout in 2013 weighed 13
pounds. This river is another
one of Wales’s hidden gems.
River Loughor season dates
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Sea trout
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Brown trout
20th March to 17th October
20th March to 15th June
16th June to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
20th March to 17th October
20th March to 14th April
15th April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for mandatory catch and
release dates and other restrictions.
The Towy
& Cothi
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he river Towy is one of the UK’s best
sea trout (known as sewin in Wales)
rivers and is renowned for producing fish well
into double figures. The river flows from Llyn
Brianne, through the towns of Llandovery
and Llandeilo before entering the Bristol
Channel south west of Carmarthen.
The Cothi starts to produce sea trout after
the first rise in water in May but early season
brown trout fishing can be fantastic with fish
up to 3lbs possible.
The river is approximately 75 miles long and
its valley is some of Wales’s most beautiful
countryside. Fishing starts in earnest on 1st
April with large spring sea trout possible from
the outset.
Fly fishing at night for sewin is a truly unique
experience. Feeling the line tighten in pitch
darkness before fighting with what could be
a double figure fish is a sensation described
eloquently by Steffan Jones on pages 2627. The Towy & Cothi also have a good run
of salmon up to 25lbs, with the average fish
being 8-12lbs.
The river Cothi is the main Towy tributary,
flowing from its source north east of the
village of Pumsaint, through Dolaucothi
before joining the Towy at Abercothi Estate.
These rivers give the game angler the rare
opportunity of pursuing salmon and trout
during the day followed by sewin at night, in
the magical Welsh countryside!
Photo: Steffan Jones
River Towy season dates
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Sea trout
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Brown trout
1st April to 17th October
1st April to 15th June
16th June to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 17th October
1st April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for mandatory catch and
release dates and other restrictions.
The Teifi
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he river’s source is Llyn Teifi, one
of several lakes known collectively
as the Teifi Pools which are situated in the
Cambrian Mountains. As the river makes
its way through the rolling hills of Mid
Wales it flows through Tregaron, Lampeter,
Llanybydder, Llandysul, Newcastle Emlyn,
Cenarth, Llechryd and, finally, Cardigan. The
river becomes tidal below Llechryd.
The Teifi is famous for its large run of sea
trout, which arrive from March onwards.
These are followed by the main run,
largely made up of sewin in the four to six
pound class. The smaller school fish arrive
The Teifi is also worth visiting for wild brown
trout fishing with fish up to three pounds
caught most years. Grayling have also
been caught on the upper river but they are
probably not present in sufficient numbers to
target outright.
1st April to 17th October
1st April to 15th June
16th June to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 17th October
1st April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 30th September
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for mandatory catch and
release dates and other restrictions.
Photo: Steffan Jones
River Teifi season dates
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Sea trout
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Brown trout
Upstream of Lampeter Bridge
in abundance from the middle of June
onwards, peaking in July and August. The
Teifi also has a respectable salmon run. The
larger spring fish arrive in March, April and
May, followed by good numbers of autumn
salmon and grilse, who make up the bulk of
the run.
Tregaron Angling
2016 sees the Centenary of Tregaron
Angling Association and a year of celebration
of this historic club, its characters and
wonderful waters is planned.
Tregaron Angling Association was formed
sometime in 1916, when a number of
local anglers got together to form a group
to arrange some fishing agreements with
local farmers, for the local and visiting
anglers. The upper Teifi around Tregaron in
those days was a superb fishery. It had not
changed much since the day that George
Agar Hansard, who wrote of Tregaron fishing
in 1834 ‘This is among the finest angling
stations in South Wales’.
Sadly the earliest minutes of the Association
have been lost in the mists of time but
records from 1939 onwards exist and
will form the basis of a brief history to be
launched in the spring. In the thirties the club
expanded considerably, and acquired more
water and actually built a bridge across the
Teifi, below Argoed Hall.
This is trout fishing at its best, where legends
such as Dai Lewis, Revd Powell and Oliver
Kite have all crafted their skills and where
angling tradition is embedded in the local
community. Sadly, perhaps the Teifi’s
greatest son Moc Morgan, who led, or
pushed, Tregaron Angling for over 50 years
did not live to see the centenary. However,
his legacy lives on not only in the strength
of the fishing that the club has acquired
but in the passion for angling throughout
Wales that he engendered amongst so many
generations but which had and has its roots
here on Tregaron Angling Waters.
The tradition of visiting anglers in Tregaron
is long and unbroken and in the early days
of the railway it was common for anglers
to come down from London for a week
on the Queen of Rivers. Today we carry
on that tradition with a warm welcome, an
abundance of advice when wanted and a
hospitality to fit a range of budgets which
ensures the continuity of Tregaron’s angling
Donald Patterson, Chairman Tregaron AA
For those not acquainted with the club’s
waters they consist of approximately 17
miles of the Teifi from the headwaters to the
bridge in Lampeter. There are also several
tributaries and some really wild brown trout
fishing on the Camddwr. Then there are the
extraordinary and unique lakes Llynoedd
Teifi (or Teifi Pools) and Llyn Berwyn.
Photo: Steffan Jones
The Aeron
& Arth
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he Aeron is a classic spate
river that contains sea trout,
salmon and brown trout. The sea
trout range in size from half to ten
pounds or more. Salmon have been
caught over twenty pounds and one
spectacular example can be seen
mounted in the bar of the Black Lion
Hotel in Aberaeron. The native brown
trout are usually small but can provide
challenging sport using light tackle.
Aeron & Arth Fishing
Aberaeron Town Angling Club
The sea trout begin running in April
or May and continue until the end of
the season. The runs are generally
water-dependent with the best fishing
usually coinciding with higher levels.
Sea trout can be caught during
the day on worm and spinner,
River Aeron season dates
especially during high water,
Fly & spin only
with fly fishing best after dark.
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Salmon run the river during
Fly & spin only
high water and are generally
Sea trout
Fly, spin and permitted baits
caught during the second half
Fly & spin only
of the season. Trout can be
Brown trout Fly, spin and permitted baits
caught throughout the season.
1st April to 15th June
16th June to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
1st April to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for mandatory catch and
release dates and other restrictions.
Photo: Theo Pike
The Taff
Brown trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he river Taff rises as two rivers in the Brecon
Beacons. The Taf Fawr starts below Corn Du,
south-west of Pen y Fan and flows south through
the Beacons, Cantref and Llwyn-on reservoirs. The
Taf Fechan rises immediately to the south of Pen y
Fan and runs south through the Neuadd, Pentwyn
and Pontsticill reservoirs before descending into a
wooded gorge and flowing into Merthyr Tydfil. Below
Merthyr it joins the Taf Fawr to form the main Taff,
which meanders its way towards Abercynon and
Pontypridd before arriving in Cardiff.
Thinking of
fishing the
Taff? See Theo
Pike’s article on
pages 20-23.
The Taff experiences a late run of salmon and the
occasional sea trout but it is more famous now for the
high numbers and size of brown trout and grayling.
River Taff season dates
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Sea trout
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
Brown trout
20th March to 17th October
20th March to 15th June
16th June to 30th September
1st October to 17th October
20th March to 17th October
20th March to 14th April
15th April to 30th September
1st October to 17th October
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for mandatory
catch and release dates and other restrictions.
The Eden & Prysor
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
fon Eden is a tributary of Afon
Mawddach. It runs in a mainly
southerly direction from Trawsfynydd to Y
Ganllwyd where it joins the Mawddach. It
is a spate river strewn with boulders and
with a peaty stain to the water. The upper
reaches have some deep pools as the river
meanders slowly through the peat before
increasing in speed towards the lower end.
There are some nice deep pools and glides
which hold brown trout typically up to three
quarters of a pound. There is a run of sewin
and salmon towards the end of the season.
Please note that wading is not permitted
as the river has the highest density of the
endangered Freshwater Pearl Mussels found
in Europe. Fishing from the bank is possible
and relatively easy. The upper beat is fairly
open while the lower beat is heavily wooded
in places.
Afon Prysor was made famous by the Welsh
war poet Hedd Wyn who was born and
raised within earshot of this beautiful river.
He died during the battle of Passchendaele
and was posthumously awarded the Chair
in the Birkenhead Eisteddfod for his poem
which he’d submitted from the frontline.
The river rises towards Arenig in Llyn Cwm
Prysor and flows in a westerly direction
towards Llyn Trawsfynydd. The river offers
some exciting fishing and holds brown trout
up to 12 oz. The occasional rainbow trout
can be encountered as these come up from
the lake. The river has some nice pools and
glides as it flows down Cwm Prysor. Wading
is not necessary as it is a small river although
casting is sometimes a challenge due to
trees. There is an excellent tackle shop
on the shore of Trawsfynydd Lake which
together with a small café provide a fantastic
start or end to a day’s fishing here.
The local angling club, Prysor Angling
Association, have worked hard to improve
the fishing on both rivers through initiatives
to prevent livestock access and to provide
better habitat for fish.
Eden & Prysor season dates
Fly & spin only
20th March to 15th June
Fly, spin and permitted baits
16th June to 7th October
Fly & spin only
8th October to 17th October
Sea trout
Fly & spin only
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
20th March to 14th April
15th April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
Brown trout
3rd March to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for
mandatory catch and release dates and other restrictions.
Photo: Steve Carter
Eastern &
Salmon, sea trout and trout fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he Eastern and Western Cleddau
are two of Pembrokeshire’s famous
rivers, which come together to form the
Daugleddau Estuary. The Eastern Cleddau
rises in the foothills of Mynydd Preseli ,
flowing in a south westerly direction for
around 22 miles, the last 4 of which are
tidal. The two branches of the Western
Cleddau meet at Priskilly, before flowing
south through Wolf’s Castle. From here
it flows through a spectacular gorge to
Haverfordwest, where it becomes tidal.
Both rivers are fast flowing and offer excellent
fly fishing opportunities for sea trout (sewin),
salmon and brown trout. The larger sewin
start running these rivers from mid May
onwards, with the best months being June,
July and August. The best of the salmon
fishing is from mid August onwards with
usually a good autumn run. Brown trout
fishing is available all through the season.
For 2016 there are 4 beats to access through
the Fishing Passport for salmon, sewin and
trout fishing. Interestingly, the two Slebech
Estate beats on the Eastern Cleddau are at
the top of the tide and during the summer
months offer the chance of stalking bass up
to just under 10lb and mullet during the day,
then catching sewin at night.
Eastern & Western Cleddau season dates
Fly & spin only
1st April to 15th June
Fly, spin and permitted baits
16th June to 7th October
Fly & spin only
8th October to 17th October
Sea trout
Fly, spin and permitted baits
Fly & spin only
1st April to 7th October
8th October to 17th October
Brown trout
1st April to 30th September
Please see Natural Resources Wales byelaws for
mandatory catch and release dates and other restrictions.
Photo: Adam Fisher
Hidden Lakes
& Reservoirs
Wild brown trout, rainbow trout and coarse fishing
For the latest information and to book fishing:
estled amongst the Welsh
mountains and amongst the
hills and the valleys of the Marches are
numerous lowland lakes and pools, large
reservoirs and small, remote upland llyns
all offering a wide range of game and
coarse angling opportunities. In addition
To see the location of these still waters, please
see the map on the page opposite.
Photo: Adam Fisher
Pant-y-llyn, near Builth Wells. A
remote mountain llyn that contains
highly prized wild carp.
to being popular destinations in their own right,
these fisheries also provide a good alternative
for river anglers coming from afar and finding
floods or unfishable river conditions.
One result of the Foundation’s
restoration work (pages 7 to 10) has
been the development of new fisheries
in remote and unspoilt upland rivers.
These streams and their occupants
offer an escape back to the essence of
fly fishing.
he Fishing Passport was created
in 2003 with support from a post
Foot and Mouth disease fund, Adfywio,
to kick-start rural tourism. In its early
years the Passport concentrated on wild
brown trout fishing in tributary streams
that had received habitat improvements.
The concept was an early example of
what is now widely called “the ecosystem
approach” to river conservation. If these
streams could provide an income for their
owners, there would then be an incentive
to look after them, thereby benefitting the
entire catchment.
For wild brown trout enthusiasts, this was
manna from heaven! At last there was a
quick and simple way to access miles of
river and stream that was largely unknown
to all but the most adventurous.
Many trout anglers enjoy the freedom
of being able to roam between streams,
dropping in whenever they see some
water that takes their fancy. Others,
however, prefer to know that a section of
river is theirs for the day, that they don’t
have to be up at the crack of dawn to beat
anyone else to the riverbank and that they
can fish in the knowledge that the trout
haven’t seen a fly that day. The Wild Streams
offers the best of both worlds.
Advance Bookings
For those who like to secure their fishing, the
Wild Streams fisheries are available to prebook online or over the telephone (contact
details on the following page). Once you
have booked, you will be emailed your day
ticket, along with maps, directions etc. Unlike
other Booking Office beats, however, you
book the whole beat (rather than individual
‘rods’). This means that the beat is exclusively
yours for the day, enabling you to fish just by
yourself or with a friend for no additional cost.
Please note the maximum number of anglers
per booking is two. Like Booking Office
beats, pre-bookings on the Wild Streams can
be made by anyone... i.e. you do not need a
Season Permit to do so.
Wild Streams Season Permits
Wild Stream beats cannot be booked on
the day. In fact, bookings for any particular
day cease at 6pm the day before. Those
beats that haven’t been pre-booked are then
available to those in possession of a Wild
Stream Season Permit, who are free to roam
and fish any of them. Season Permits can be
New for 2016!!
The Severn Rivers Trust has joined
the Fishing Passport with several
new Wild Stream beats on offer
(see map on page 85).
Please note that for the 2016 season,
these beats are only available to Wild
Stream Season Permit holders and are
not bookable in advance.
For more information on the Wild Streams please
call us on 01874 712074 or see our website:
bought from the Foundation for £80 (single
rod) or £120 (double rod) respectively.
A list of the beats available for each day is
shown on our website and Season Permit
holders must check to see which beats are
free before setting out. The list is viewable
only by Season Permit holders entering
their username and password. Alternatively,
permit holders can find out what beats are
available for the day by calling us.
You will find a great diversity of
characteristics in the 60+ Wild Streams
beats - open to overgrown, fast and shallow
to deep and meandering, easy wading
beats to those best suited to a mountain
goat! What we do promise is that they all
hold catchable wild brown trout and, in
some cases, grayling too.
When you have finished a beat and are
returning to your car, please understand
that these beats are situated on farming
land so apart from instances where there are
roads or clearly marked footpaths, anglers
should stick to the course of the river. Once
you have arrived home please ensure you
complete an online catch return. As well as
essential catch information, this will give us
instant feedback on any access issues.
Wild Streams
Despite the wet conditions, the
volunteers have again been out
over the winter clearing beats
and improving access. Most of
their work takes place before the
trout season starts. Please let us
know of any access issues you
come across but bear in mind that
these streams will always be more
overgrown in July and August!
We would like to take this
opportunity to thank the
volunteers involved. It is crucial for
the whole Wye & Usk fishery that
these streams are open to visiting
anglers because it provides an
incentive for their owners to
protect them. Their importance to
the overall health of a river system
is acknowledged widely within
fishery conservation.
Fly Fishing
Small Streams
Oliver Burch on how to get the most out of fishing small streams. Oliver is a
qualified fly fishing instructor and writer of our trout & grayling monthly report.
mall stream fishing, which usually
involves a good long walk in delightful
scenery, teaches the angler to become a
minimalist. Start by discarding everything
which you don’t actually need to carry.
Anything longer than a 7 foot rod will be a
real hindrance under the trees. You will need
a reel weighing about 3.5oz to balance
it and a floating line of about 3 weight,
which might as well be double-tapered
because you will not be casting for any
great distance. A short leader which can be
cast accurately will be a lot less trouble than
a long one. Try a 5 foot section cut from a
tapered leader needle-knotted to the main
line and ended by a mini-ring, followed by
about 2 feet of 6X tippet. Carry a spool of
tippet material in your pocket, because it
will likely be tangled up in vegetation and
changed several times during the day!
One little box of flies will be quite enough
- small stream trout are opportunists, rarely
fussy about exact imitations if they aren’t
spooked and the fly is presented in the
right place. Stick to small, dull, generalist
patterns in which you have confidence. I fish
a dry fly on brooks for most of the season,
so my own box contains plenty of tan or
rusty-brown Klinkhammers tied on size 16
hooks (a small Adams would do just as well
if you prefer), a few little Black Gnats and
Gold Bead Hare’s Ear nymphs in sizes 14
and 16, to be selected depending on the
strength of flow. I also carry some Deer’s
Hair Emergers in size 14 and 16 to cater for
those rare occasions when a prominent
wing is required, a few Foam Beetles to try
on trout feeding under bushes, and Pink
Shrimps for holes where grayling are to be
found. Only where mayfly can be expected
would I carry a few appropriate imitations,
plus some heavier tippet nylon to present
the larger fly properly. Licence, fly floatant,
tippet degreaser, nylon snips and forceps
for unhooking, plus a small wooden net,
complete the requirements.
Is a net necessary? Most trout in brooks
are small enough to be brought to hand,
but there are occasional exceptions and
quite a number of Wild Streams beats have
recorded trout and grayling to 18 inches or
so. The last time I was tempted to leave the
net in the car, as luck would have it I found
myself with the little rod bent double and
connected to a 16 inch trout lunging down
to reach nearby tree roots in a deep hole!
Fly-fishing a small stream is in some ways a
microcosm of fishing on larger rivers, but the
challenges and pleasures are multiplied. Out
on the main Wye or Usk you can be busy
all day on a couple of pools, but walking
up a couple of miles of brook you may deal
with fifty miniature pools one after the other,
each of them presenting opportunities and
problems to be solved.
The essential charm of this fishing lies in
taking the time to solve these problems,
sitting down and looking at the water now
and then, trying to work out where the fish
lie and how they might be taken.
The lesson that a fish on station needs
access to both food supply and cover from
predators gradually becomes instinctive.
The angler begins to get a feel for how far to
stand off, how closely he can approach to
fish, and how to take cover. Fishing on tiny
brooks, I would argue, will teach you more
about the quarry and its environment than
any other branch of game angling.
Newcomers who might already be good
fly-fishers in more open spaces, often start
off with tangles in trees. An hour or two
more to get the casting eye in, the first few
trout come up to the dry fly and you start
to hear: “How interesting…I wonder if one is
there…oh yes!” The process becomes more
and more absorbing. After a day of it, most
of us become hopelessly addicted.
Flexibility is key to the Wild Streams. The
fishing includes a variety of waters and
different characteristics so do pay attention
to the online guiding notes and feed back
your experience to the Foundation after
fishing. You will usually be proceeding
upstream and trout at close quarters are
easily spooked; the first or second cast will
give you the best chance at each fish, after
which it is normally best to move on.
If fishing via a Wild Streams Season Permit,
the presence of a car on a designated
parking spot indicates that another angler
is already on the beat. If so, select one of
the other beats available that day – small
streams always take a day to recover once
an angler has been through them.
Last but not least, please respect fences and
livestock, and the farmers and land owners
who have made this fishing available to us.
Wild Streams Day
In conjunction with the Lugg
and Arrow Fisheries Association
(LAFA), we will be holding a Wild
Streams Day on Saturday 14th May
2016 on the banks of the Lugg at
the Riverside Inn, Aymestrey.
Run by volunteer enthusiasts, this
event is to introduce newcomers
to the pleasures of fishing small
streams and to help those with
less experience to get the most
out of them.
For more details, please see www.
events or call the Foundation on
01874 712074.
Location of Wye, Usk & Taff Wild Streams Beats
Photo: Paul Reddish
The Upper Wye,
Ithon and Irfon
For the latest information and to book fishing:
et in wonderfully remote and rugged
scenery, the upper Wye and its
tributaries offer some of the most inspiring
trout and grayling fishing available through
the Passport scheme.
With the exception of the Ithon, these rivers
are also often fishable when high water is
affecting the rest of the catchment, rising and
falling quickly and remaining clear in all but
the worst of floods.
Located in the heart of Wales, these rivers
offer a variety of characteristics from the
open, gravel bedded stretches of the main
stem and the river Ithon, to the more bedrock
dominated Irfon.
Amongst the upper Wye’s smaller tributaries
are the Edw, Clettwr and Llynfi Dulas….
For the latest information and to book fishing:
teeped in history, it is easy to lose
yourself in the magical Edw valley.
Folklore has it that Prince Llewelyn, the last
Welsh Prince of Wales, hid in the caves at
Aberedw in 1282 before escaping the forces
of Edward I by turning the shoes on his horse
the wrong way round, eventually being slain
near the river Irfon.
Whatever the legend, the valley’s history is
evident through the numerous castles and
earthwork fortifications, many of which are
still visible today.
Photo: Paul Reddish
The Edw
This upper Wye tributary has been one of the
most popular trout streams in the Passport
scheme. With 4 beats and around 5 miles of
water to fish, it offers a good variety of water.
The Edw could almost be described as a
river in reverse. The lower 2 beats are high
gradient and flow quickly over bedrock
making them a fairly difficult wade but
providing some fantastic pools and glides.
The upper 2 beats, however, run through
farmland and are more leisurely and
The Clochfaen
Self-catering and B&B
accommodation on a
historic estate in Mid Wales
The Clochfaen offers
comfort, peace and quiet in
spectacular surroundings within
their welcoming B&B or their self
catering cottages, in this recently
restored historic house and estate.
A newly designated
Conservation Fishery
Llangurig, Near Llanidloes
Powys SY18 6RP
Tel: 01686 440687
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.theclochfaen.com
Photo: Paul Reddish
Clettwr, Llynfi and
Llynfi Dulas
For the latest information and to book fishing:
Llynfi & Llynfi Dulas
s the name suggests (Clettwr is
derived from the Welsh for ‘rough
water’), this stream is an interesting mix of
gorges, riffles, pools and minor falls. The
Clettwr runs off the slopes of Cefn Clawdd
and enters the Wye at Erwood, 7.5 miles
south of Builth. For its size it holds a good
population of trout and benefits from two
Foundation fish-passes.
he Llynfi has many of the
characteristics of an Usk tributary,
running red when in flood for example.
This small stream holds one of the highest
densities of trout of the Wye tributaries, with
plenty of 1lb+ fish. It has a spectacular mayfly
hatch - be there for that if you can!
This is real mountain stream fishing and
a challenge to the most hardy. It can be,
however, extremely rewarding to those
willing to try! Pure escapism, you won’t know
the joys of this stream until you have fished
it. Go with a small brook rod and be prepared
for a climb.
Stealth is required to fish the Llynfi Dulas
effectively. Wade carefully - walking on the
high banks will mean that you are often
silhouetted against the sky. A few anglers
have been surprised at how small this river is
but when fished properly with the right tackle
and tactics, the Llynfi Dulas can produce
spectacular results.
Over 4 miles of fishing is available on the
Llynfi and Llynfi Dulas via the Wild Streams
with another mile of Llynfi accessible through
the Booking Office. In addition to the wild
trout, the Llynfi also holds good numbers of
The Lugg
and Arrow
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he Lugg begins life
in the heart of the
Radnor Forest, flowing in an
easterly direction to begin
with. It is joined by the Arrow
just south of Leominster,
before continuing south to the
confluence with the main Wye,
a few miles downstream of
Photo: Guido Vinck
There are fifteen Wild Stream
beats to try on these two
wonderful rivers in 2016, all of
which provide exciting brown
trout fishing. In addition, the
Court of Noke, Eardisland,
Arrow Mill and Monkland
beats on the Arrow and the
Middlemoor beat of the Lugg
also have populations of
grayling. More Lugg and Arrow
fishing is available via the
Booking Office.
It is worth noting that due to
the nature of the geology in the
Lugg and Arrow catchment,
these rivers hold their flows
in prolonged dry periods for
much longer than others.
Conversely, they can take
much longer to drop after a few
weeks of wet weather!
The Monnow
and Garren
For the latest information and to book fishing:
orming the border between
England and Wales for much of its
length, the Monnow starts life in the hills
around Hay Bluff, flowing for approximately
26 miles in a general southerly direction
before entering the Wye at Monmouth.
Photo: Steffan Jones
Named in Welsh “Myn-wy” literally “by
the Wye”, it is the major tributary of the
lower Wye and was historically known
as “one of the very best trout streams in
south Britain” (The Field 1904). This bold
claim is still upheld by those who fish
it regularly. Grayling are also present in
many of the middle and lower reaches.
Until recently much of the Monnow was
relatively private and therefore frustratingly
unavailable to visiting anglers. However,
alongside extensive habitat restoration
schemes undertaken by The Monnow
Rivers Association, much more of the river
has been opened up. We have 16 highly
recommended Wild Stream beats on the
Monnow system.
The Garren is a lower Wye tributary that
enters the main stem between Ross and
Monmouth. It is a lowland stream with a
mixture of slower, meandering water and
faster sections flowing over gravel. It holds
a range of species, including chub, but it is
the trout and grayling that will be the main
interest to the fly fisher. For 2016, there are
two beats on the Garren to try.
The Severn
and Forest of
Dean streams
For the latest information and to book fishing:
Photo: Luke Bannister
he Severn has a vast array of tributary
fishing, ranging from the small
upland streams of the upper catchment to
the more leisurely rivers of Shropshire and
Worcestershire and the small, relatively
short brooks at the very lowest part of the
system in the Forest of Dean. The Teme, one
valley north of the Lugg (Wye tributary) is
a famous trout and grayling river, as are its
own feeder streams such as the Onny, Rea
and Clun. Further north, upper catchment
streams such as the Cain, Vyrnwy, Banwy
and Mule all provide the small steam wild
trout fishing enthusiast with some wonderful
The Forest of Dean is an area of ancient
woodland to the east of the lower Wye.
Three of its trout streams, all of which flow
directly into the Severn Estuary, have been
available via the Passport for a few years and
are popular among small river enthusiasts.
Despite their size, the Cannop, Bideford and
Blackpool brooks are consistently high in
the average catch statistics. You won’t find
monster trout here but the sheer numbers
that inhabit them is impressive.
The Severn Rivers Trust have run their own
Passport scheme for several years. In 2016,
we are delighted to join forces, enabling
Wild Stream Permit holders to access the
wonderful trout and grayling fishing available
in this large catchment (please note that
advance bookings are not possible on
Severn Wild Stream beats in 2016).
The Usk Tributaries
For the latest information and to book fishing:
he quality of Usk tributary fishing
is well reflected in the difficulty in
obtaining it. Rivers such as the Grywne Fawr
are renowned locally for their wild brown
trout fishing and we are lucky to have two
beats on this magical little stream. The
Grywne Fawr is located one valley west of
the Honddu, a tributary of the Monnow (not
to be confused with the Usk’s own Honddu!)
and a wonderful trout stream itself. This is
a good area to be based for a few days of
small stream fishing as the Wye & Usk Wild
Streams map on pages 76 & 77 shows.
Much of the Passport’s other Usk tributary
fishing is in the upper catchment, where the
Cilieni, Senni, Crai and Bran provide some
wonderfully remote, small streams to explore.
On the lower catchment, the Afon Lwyd
(Grey River) is a small river in South Wales
which flows from its source in the Black
Mountains, through Pontypool and
Cwmbran before flowing into the river Usk at
30 years ago, this was one of the most
polluted rivers in the UK, carrying
effluent from mines, steelworks and
urban development (hence its name). A
comprehensive clean up has enabled trout
to recolonise and Natural Resources Wales
and WUF are removing the various barriers to
migration so that sea trout and salmon may
again return. It remains essentially an urban
river and one is never far from remnants of
the post industrial age but we see it as a
triumph that fishing is now available.
Photo: Steffan Jones
Leaving a Legacy
Custodians of
Healthy Rivers
Why leave a Gift to WUF?
The Wye & Usk Foundation is dependent
on the generosity of our supporters and
we constantly strive to secure the levels
of core funding needed to draw down
larger funds which we use to improve and
maintain fisheries.
History teaches us that the Wye and
Usk will continue to face a wide range
of new challenges and threats in the
future. Leaving a gift in your Will to the
Foundation is a very good way to help us
to continue restoring and protecting these
two precious rivers. Any gift will enable us
to ensure that future generations can enjoy
the benefits of clean, healthy rivers too.
The Three Types of Legacy
Legacies can either be a percentage of
your estate, after all other payments are
made (residuary), a sum fixed by you
(pecuniary) or an item or property (specific
legacy). All gifts to charities in your Will are
exempt from Inheritance Tax.
Ideally we would like to thank someone
who has left a gift in their Will and of course
we can only do this if we are advised when
the Will is made. We also appreciate that
giving in a Will is a personal matter and can
be a delicate issue, so we also appreciate
if you wish to remain anonymous. Any
information you do give us, of course, will
be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
Thank you.
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