What are the best spots for fly fishing in the Welsh valleys?

Fishing is not just a pastime — it's a way of life for many. And there's nothing quite like the thrill of casting a fly onto the pristine waters of a wild river, waiting for the bite of a trout or salmon. Wales, with its spectacular landscapes and rich fishing tradition, offers plenty of excellent opportunities for fly fishing. Nestled between soaring mountains and rolling hills, the valleys of Wales are home to some of the best fly fishing rivers, lakes, and spots in the United Kingdom. This article will guide you through the best spots for fly fishing in the Welsh valleys, focusing on the species you can expect to catch, the beauty of the surroundings, and the unique features of each location.

The River Wye

The River Wye, renowned for its natural beauty and bountiful fish populations, is one of the best places to go fly fishing in Wales. The river runs through the Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering stunning views as you cast your line for brown trout and salmon.

The fly fishing season on the Wye traditionally starts in March and runs through to September. During this period, the river teems with brown trout. Later in the season, around September and October, the river becomes a hotspot for salmon fishing.

A standout feature of the Wye is its diverse range of fishing environments. From fast, shallow runs ideal for wild trout to deep, slow-moving pools perfect for salmon, the river caters to a variety of fishing styles and preferences.

The Usk River

The River Usk, another prime spot for fly fishing in Wales, is particularly famous for its brown trout and salmon. The river winds its way through the scenic Brecon Beacons National Park, providing a stunning backdrop for a day's fishing.

The fishing season on the River Usk typically begins in March, with brown trout being the main catch until June. From June onwards, the river becomes home to a healthy population of salmon.

When it comes to fly selection, dry flies and nymphs are particularly effective on the Usk. So, make sure to add these to your tackle box when you head out.

Taff River

Taff River, located in South Wales, is another gem for fly fishing enthusiasts. The river boasts a healthy population of brown trout, making it an angler's paradise.

Fishing in the Taff River is a unique experience due to its urban setting. Despite its location, the river maintains a healthy ecosystem and offers excellent fly fishing opportunities.

The fishing season on the Taff starts in March and continues through to October. During this period, anglers stand a good chance of hooking a brown trout, especially in the river's upper reaches.

Llyn Lakes

Llyn Lakes is a collection of lakes in North Wales, each offering unique fly fishing opportunities. The lakes are known for their wild brown trout and Arctic char.

Fishing in Llyn Lakes is a different experience from river fishing. Here, you're surrounded by the tranquillity of the lake waters, flanked by verdant hills.

Fishing season in Llyn Lakes runs from March through October. During this time, dry flies, nymphs, and streamers are all successful fly patterns for catching trout.

River Dee

Last but not least, River Dee, another top spot for fly fishing in Wales. Known for its salmon and brown trout, the river is a favourite among anglers.

The fishing season on the Dee begins in February and continues until October. The river is particularly popular for salmon fishing in the autumn, while the brown trout are active throughout the fishing season.

For anglers looking to cast their line in the River Dee, it's worth noting that salmon flies such as the Ally’s Shrimp or the Cascade often prove successful.

Fishing in the Welsh valleys offers not only the chance to catch a variety of fish but also the opportunity to do so amid some of the UK's most spectacular scenery. So, pack your fishing gear, grab your waders, and get ready to explore the best fly fishing spots of the Welsh valleys.

Conwy Valley

Conwy Valley, a picturesque region in North Wales, is a treasure trove for fly fishing enthusiasts. Renowned for its rivers and lakes, it offers fantastic fishing opportunities for brown trout, sea trout, and rainbow trout.

The River Conwy, the main river in the valley, winds its way through the breathtaking landscapes of Snowdonia National Park. This river is notably rich in brown trout and sea trout. During the fishing season, which runs from March to October, the river is particularly abundant with these species. Fly fishers often find that a dry fly or nymph works best on this river.

Llyn Brenig is another notable fly fishing spot in Conwy Valley. This man-made reservoir is one of the best places in Wales to catch rainbow trout. With a fishing season that starts in March and ends in November, it provides an extended window for anglers to try their luck.

The presence of wild brown trout and rainbow trout make Conwy Valley a must-visit for anyone interested in trout fishing. The valley's natural beauty, with its undulating hills and clear waters, provides a serene backdrop for a day of fly fishing.

Merthyr Tydfil

Situated in South Wales, Merthyr Tydfil is an unexpected haven for fly fishing. Despite its industrial heritage, the region boasts several rivers that are great fly fishing spots, including the Taff River and the Cynon River.

The Taff River, which also flows through Cardiff, is teeming with brown trout. It's a great place for fly fishing, with the season typically running from March through October. The best spots for fly fishing in the Taff River are generally found in the wilder, upper reaches of the river. Dry flies and nymphs are often the most successful.

The Cynon River is a lesser-known spot for fly fishing but is worth the visit. Here, you can expect to find brown trout and rainbow trout in abundance. The fly fishing season on the Cynon typically starts in March and runs into October.

The urban setting of Merthyr Tydfil provides a unique experience for fly fishers. Despite the city backdrop, the rivers maintain their ecological richness and offer excellent fishing opportunities for anglers.


Wales, with its abundance of beautiful valleys and rich fishing tradition, is truly a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts. From the scenic River Wye and River Usk in the Brecon Beacons to the tranquil Llyn Lakes in North Wales and the urban rivers in South Wales's Merthyr Tydfil, there's a spot for every angler.

Whether you're in pursuit of wild brown trout, sea trout, or rainbow trout, these fly fishing spots in the Welsh valleys will not disappoint. It's not just about the catch, though. The experience of fishing amid such stunning natural beauty – be it the verdant hills, the crystal-clear waters, or the majestic mountains – is in itself, a catch.

So, ready your fly fishing gear and waders, plan your visit according to the fishing seasons, and set out to explore the best fly fishing spots in Wales. Along the way, don't forget to take a moment to appreciate the spectacular surroundings that make fishing in Wales such a unique and rewarding experience.

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