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Angling Trust licensed Game Fishing coach Guide for the Wye, Usk & tributaries

Wye & Usk

Oliver Burch

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Small Streams

River Trout

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River Trout

The Usk, sometimes locally known as “God’s own river,” is probably the best brown trout river in Wales, with a very good average size of fish and heavy trout of 18 inches and upwards are quite common. Different parts of the Usk suit different styles of fly-fishing, from wide gravel flats with fast flows in the middle and lower river, particularly suitable for the north country spider wet fly fishing which I love, to the deep rocky gutters further upstream which need to be searched with nymphs. Dry fly fishing is good everywhere. The best of the Usk fishing comes in March - June, and then again in September, although late evenings can be good in hot weather. It is a river which still has significant hatches of fly: early large dark olives, the March brown is still spectacular in places, the grannom sedge and then the August dun late in the year.

The upper Wye is now producing some very good trout; of its tributaries, the Monnow is sometimes challenging to fish, but can be very special around mayfly time. Over in Herefordshire, the Lugg and Arrow are justly famous medium sized trout streams, also with good mayfly hatches. A tradition of border angling grew up here and the fishing is still of a very high quality. And the Irfon, a fast flowing tributary which joins the upper Wye at Builth Wells, is now producing some very large trout and fishes especially well at the back end.