Fishtec’s marketing director Tim Hughes dusts off his stillwater trout fishing tackle and revisits an old favorite haunt in the beautiful hills of Mid Wales. Llyn Clywedog trout fishery is one of the unsung gems of the UK fly fishing scene; 615 beautiful acres of premier fly fishing venue stocked with hard fighting rainbow and brown trout. Read on to find out how he gets on!
Llyn Clywedog is an established reservoir fishery of 615 acres set in the beautiful rolling hills of central Wales. I used to fish the reservoir regularly many years ago when I lived in the area, but it had been quite some time ago since my last trip – over 10 years in fact!
Clywedog always has been a fantastic fishery and one of my favourites due to it’s scenic location and excellent stocks of fish. Clywedog fish are reared on the fishery in state of the art cages, so the quality and fighting ability of fresh stocked fish are second to none. These fish grow on rapidly and full tails are the norm in a short space of time. Below the cages huge double figure browns and rainbows are known to lurk, and occasionally come out to play! Native wild brown trout are also present in really decent numbers in the reservoir.
Earlier in the year I had found out that for the first time petrol engines were now available on their fleet of well maintained boats. This would open up a vast area of this huge sinuously shaped lake for anglers – previously their electric engine only policy meant you were really limited to where you could go; if you made the wrong move that was it for your day!
As luck would have it I had the perfect excuse to return to Clywedog when I had a text from my good friend Russ Owen, who invited me up for a day’s fishing to my old hunting ground over the recent August bank holiday weekend. This saw me frantically rummaging round trying to get all my reservoir trout fishing gear together in readiness for the trip.
The alarm was set for early bank holiday Monday, but unfortunately the weather didn’t want to play ball and the drive up from Brecon was quite wet and miserable but I was still excited as I pulled off the road down to the car park.
I met up with my pal and fishery manager Russell Owen at the boat jetty and was seriously impressed by all of the hard work that him, and full time rangers Gareth (aka ‘Gazza’) and Aled Dixon had been putting into the fishery. The boats and jetty were absolutely spotless and the facilities had been greatly improved since my last visit 10 years ago.
After a chat with Russ on what was working well we rigged up with floating lines and various dry flies. My fly line was the Airflo Super-dri Xceed – a lovely soft and supple fly line with a short compact head, which was absolutely perfect for presenting dries on the drift.
Insects such as the heather fly and flying ants had been coming off the surrounding land in the past few weeks, giving some incredible surface sport for both the stocked rainbows and the resident wild browns. Russ gave me a couple of his top patterns to try, his CDC shuttle cock and CDC red legs. Both are great fly patterns for Clywedog where the fish are always looking up to the surface for wind blown terrestrial insects. A world famous beetle hatch in late May and June, called the coch y bonduu in particular really triggers the fish into surface feeding, and they stay looking up for food pretty much until the end of the season. This makes Clywedog one of the best fisheries in the UK for consistent top of the water sport.
We started the day motoring up to braich y ffedw, which is an arm right at the very top of the lake. Previously with an electric motor this trip would have taken a very long time and seriously depleted a battery. We were there in no time at all, despite it being a few miles from the boat jetty. It was fantastic to finally have petrol engines on the boats and get around the lake so quickly! Watching ospreys swooping onto the lake whist drifting out of braich y fedw was quite an amazing sight.
We make our way down the lake picking off fish regularly despite the weather conditions not being great. The water level risen by a meter over the last week putting the fish off a bit but we still had some really decent sport casting blind whilst drifting down the lake.
The weather picked up and it started to warm up; on our last few drifts of the day fish started rising regularly and we caught and released another 10+ fish in a short space of time, giving us a total of 25+ fish between us to the day- not bad sport for an off day!
We ended up down the opposite end of the reservoir at the Bwlch Y Gle Dam, something that we simply couldn’t do in the old days when I fished there using electric engines.
I left the water a happy chap, with a future trip already in mind. This really is the premier reservoir trout fishery in Wales and a tribute to the team up there for all their hard work.
For more information on ticket prices and fishery details visit www.clywedogtroutfishing.co.uk