Cwm Hedd Lakes Fly Fishing Report 27th January

Big cwm hedd Brown trout

The water temperature is a chilly four degrees, so with optimum water temperature for catching being 6-12 degrees there’s no surprise that the fish are not very active. To Rob Collier’s delight an 8lb brown trout put in an appearance though, caught and returned by Rob on the far bank on a damsel and intermediate. Rob released another, while son Tom also took and released one. During the week, Keith Higgins also caught and released a brown that he thought was around 3-3 and a half pounds, which is great news as that must be another resident rather than a stock fish. Keith also took a rainbow and returned two on a damsel and an Airflo intermediate Fly Lines.

Paul Elsworthy, Graham Davies, Rob Mien, Ken Pascoe, Vernon Williams, Matthew Russell Barrie Powell all took fish this week, with Vernon on a little black buzzer and a floating line, Ken on a black daddy and sink tip, Rob on a Dawsons olive, floating line and Graham on a damsel and intermediate. Matthew Russell took one and returned six on a sunburst blob and a floating line.

I was very pleased to see Jason Williams and Max Williams at Cwm Hedd this week and their good humour brightened up a dull and damp day. Jason has a cumbersome cast on his leg, so we found a chair for him and despite his frustrations at having to sit down for most of the time, his impressive casting and angling skills were a joy to watch. Jason took one and released six on damsels and buzzers and a floating line, even though he had to put up with me taking photographs and yacking to him. As Earnest Hemingway apparently said in the days before electronic communication took over the world: Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl. Max took one and released two, on a diawl bach, damsel and buzzer, and a floating line.

Cheer Up Ticket

Take advantage of the Cheer up ticket at Cwm Hedd
Anglers have already taken advantage of the January ‘cheer-up ticket’, so find a friend who’s been thinking of coming along and you can bag a bargain. New to Cwm Hedd this week, Jo Thomas from Blackwood came back for a second visit this week with his two brothers Sean and Matthew, and had his own five hour ticket for £8.75, as did Tim Wellman from Bristol who brought friend Mark Miles, so happy days! A keen salmon angler Jo is very happy to have found us to take his mind off the interminable wait for the salmon season to begin. All took fish on a range of flies – humungous and olive cat the choice of Jo, Sean and Matthew, while it was snakes for Tim and Mark. To remind you of the offer in case you had a nana nap when you read the report last week: if you have fished at Cwm Hedd since October 2014, bring a new angler along and get your ticket on the day for half price (either a 5 hour or day ticket). The angler you bring to experience the delights of Cwm Hedd must not have fished here before and must be paying at least a £15 concession or £17.50 five hour ticket.

Cwm Hedd regular Luke Thomas took first place in the Welsh International Bank trials held at Garnffrwd on Sunday. Luke is through to the finals on the 15th February. We’re all very proud of you Luke – must be all that practice at Cwm Hedd!

More congratulations!
Brian Haynes from Pontypool was startled and ecstatic to find he had hooked the tag fish last Thursday. Although the pot was quite modest at £32, Brian was over the moon as he also won a day ticket voucher, saying that he never wins anything! Well done Brian.

Cwm Hedd Bridge

Bridge update
The new bridge is in place, but not quite ready for action, unless as hubs Chris put it you have “the leap of a gazelle”. It’s rather beautiful as well as being the means of transporting you to fishing heaven on the island. Thanks to Chris and son Tom for designing and constructing the bridge, with only a few tiffs on the way – the alpha male and the young buck resolved a few disagreements without descent into locking of horns. Martin Turner and David Burns helped to get the bridge onto the water and in situ.

Events and competitions –
Please help to promote the Welsh International Coaching Day at Cwm Hedd, on Saturday 21st February. As you know I only send out one e-mail a week, but his week I hope you will not mind me sending an extra e-mail about the forthcoming coaching event on 21st February, and that you will be kind enough to help promote the event by forwarding the event e-mail to as many friends and colleagues as possible as well as liking and sharing event posts and news on facebook and twitter. The event is a golden opportunity to learn from Wales’ top internationals so spread the word!

The fundraising event is being organised by Lisa Povey and Renee Carlsson, member of the Wales ladies fly fishing team and is for anglers of all abilities from complete beginners through to experienced anglers. Book a session with one of Wales’ international anglers: the cost will be £15 per hour for adults and £10 per hour for under 18s, with all proceeds going towards team funding.

There will also be fly tying in the lodge and instruction for beginners on how to set up a rod, tie a fly on, and advice on choosing rods and reels (no charge for activities in the lodge). Booking forms are available at the lodge and on the event facebook page, or contact Lisa Povey via e-mail:


Iain Barr Bank Masters – sponsored by Airflo
I am very pleased to confirm that a heat for the above will take place at Cwm Hedd on 22nd March 2015. Visit for details on how to enter this prestigious event. In addition to the competition entry fee the Cwm Hedd ticket for the day will be £22.50 payable in advance, with a minimum of fifteen paid entries and fishing tickets required by 15th March. I will of course be including a free bacon sandwich, bread pud/cakes/tea coffee etc and mopping your brow if required during the day. I am relaxing the rules on fish to be released for the day, so it will be take the first fish and release up to 15, with the format as regards moving platforms and scoring etc available soon . We’ll be putting all this on the Cwm Hedd website and facebook in the next day or so.

Gwyn Williams Memorial competition
The date for the memorial competition will be Saturday May 16th. Entry will be £20 plus sponsorship: release up to ten fish and take any one: the four anglers with the heaviest fish will win a day ticket each. If anyone would like to sponsor further prize/prizes then please let me know, but as those of you who saw last week’s e-mail will know, the aim is for this to be an informal comp with the emphasis on having a good day with friends. I have already had several anglers who want to put their names down, so will make a provisional list, but to be sure of a place get your entry and payment in when I’ve sorted the entry form and sponsor forms. Bacon sandwich etc included on the day: if the weather’s good there will also be a barbecue (will have to enlist hubs for this as I’m useless on this front).

I have today been catapulted further into the mad whirl of social media in the form of Twitter:, so feel free to tweet away folks using #cwmheddlakes.

Social Scene | | Visit us on Facebook | Tweet us!

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm) My best wishes to all of you, especially if you are not well or feeling sad. Look forward to seeing you all soon.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 29/06/14

Kieron Jenkins' Cwm Hedd Article

Kieron Jenkins’ Cwm Hedd Article

Check out Kieron Jenkins’ article on Cwm Hedd in the July edition of Total Fly fisher

TAPP Open day at Cwm Hedd– free fly fishing coaching

Torfaen Angling Participation Project are running an open day at Cwm Hedd on Saturday August 2nd, where free fly fishing coaching for anglers of all abilities will be available on an informal basis – All fly fishing tackle will be supplied and available for all participants to use. All ages and abilities are welcome. To register your interest please contact Bob Mayers on so that he can ensure that a sufficient number of coaches are available. Bob’s also entered the British Legion comp at Cwm Hedd in November, so that’s another place gone!

This week at Cwm Hedd
The hot days inevitably make for difficult fishing, and like many fly fisheries this has led to a recent reduction in numbers of anglers attending. Every cloud has a silver lining though: low attendance results in stock levels being very good indeed, as well as the rainbows getting plenty of rest.

For those anglers undeterred by the heat, around half are blanking, especially in the daytime, whilst the other half are striking windows of opportunity where the fish turn on, reporting that the fish are still fighting hard and not showing any signs of stress.

The fish are closely monitored and inspections of the fish taken show them to still be in excellent condition, so the usual summer shut down is on hold for the time being, although there may be an adjustment to opening times in the next few weeks.

There are many ups and downs to running a fishery, but one of the biggest pleasures at Cwm Hedd is the camaraderie that exists between anglers, who are always pleased to share tips and discuss tactics. It takes a number of visits to get to know a fishery and Cwm Hedd is no exception, with regular anglers more than happy to advise new customers.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings are generally recommended at the moment, although regular Keith Cox prefers to battle with the day time heat. It just shows that you never can tell for sure when is the best time to come as Keith is the top angler of the week, taking one on each of his two day time visits and returning five. Keith favours an intermediate line and took most on a black and green tadpole, but also had success with an orange blob. Another regular Paul Elsworthy took one and released four early on Saturday on a montana, a black and green daddy and a bloodworm, recommending a very slow retrieve.

Talented young anglers Jacob Mills and Ben Jackson are also regulars, each taking one on damsels and floating lines on Saturday evening, with Jacob returning another on a shipman’s buzzer. Clive Murray took one and released two on a black and green fritz; Ken Bowring took 2 on a small white lure and a sinking line, whilst Sally Ann Iles preferred the Airflo Di-3 sweep and a mini-cat. Just to emphasise that variety is the key, John Belcher opted for an orange shrimp and a floating line, while Michael Collins and Lee Davies each took one on buzzers, Michael on a black buzzer and Lee on a red buzzer with yellow cheeks. Roy Western enjoyed his Sunday evening at Cwm Hedd taking one and returning two on a bloodworm and a floating line from the platform at the tip of the main island.

Tagged fish

The tag fish has still not been caught, so the prize money of £200 is being equally split to fund prizes for the British Legion raffle and the Cwm Hedd Christmas raffle. The additional £251 collected from entries will be donated to Velindre Cancer Centre. Many thanks to all who have participated in the tag fish competition. When anyone catches the tag fish they will now win a refund on their day ticket.

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm (ring before 5.45 if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6). Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge: 01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours. Evening ticket £13.50 available from 5.45pm

Bassaleg Newport NP10 8RW; 5 minutes from J 28 M4

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 22/06/14

Cwm Hedd Fishing Report 22 June

Cwm Hedd fly fishing report week ending 22nd June – I caught my first rainbow!

As much as we are all generally enjoying the lazy hazy days of summer, day anglers have struggled to catch in the intense sun and heat. Most instead took advantage of the late evening opening on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Cwm Hedd, fishing til sunset and beyond.


I am delighted to report that on a glorious mid summer’s eve, as the sun dipped towards the horizon, a good dose of beginner’s luck saw me getting a passable cast out and hooking my first rainbow. The site of this surprising and unexpected feat (at 9.10pm) was a platform behind the main island, where a number of rainbows had been rising. I’d like to think I targeted the fish, as I had been attempting to do this with others (probably frightening several away in the process). The truth is that I was so excited by the whole event that my mind has gone completely blank, although I yelled loudly enough when I hooked it to bring John Belcher, Derek Mills and his grandson Jacob running to help with instructions as to how to bring it in without mucking it all up and losing it (many thanks). Derek was ready with the net and John filmed the event unfolding. Later it transpired that the lense cap was still on, so no photographic evidence of my fish-catching debut sorry! With the fish in the net and mission accomplished I asked John to release the fish for me as I was so grateful for its selfless act, the Airflo fly fishing tackle I recently purchased from Fishtec also performed brilliantly.

Thanks also to Sal, who a week or so ago had given me a red bloodworm with an assurance that it would catch me a fish, as indeed it has on its second outing, on a floating line Derek, Jacob, and John had already taken fish so we were a very happy band returning to the lodge. Mike James who had to leave just before the excitement had also taken a fish on an App’s bloodworm, a fly that had brought him 3 fish earlier in the week and others in previous weeks.

Ken Bowring was the top angler of the week, taking 2 and returning 3 on a fast intermediate fly line with a white lure. On his first visit to Cwm Hedd, Terry O’Connor took 2 and released 1 on a diawl bach and a floating line. John Belcher’s evening visits have each brought him fish, on a light brown buzzer, blue shrimp and a stonefly, floating line.

Tip top fish

The fish are still in excellent condition and fighting well; there is an abundance of blue and olive damsels emerging, with floating lines, damsels, buzzers and diawl bachs recommended in the evening; sinking lines and plenty of perseverance recommended in the day.

The Med comes to Cwm Hedd ( ice cream is now available in the lodge)

Weed is under control on the lake, following the introduction of the eco-friendly blue dye (‘Dyofix C Special’) which has turned the lake water a Mediterranean blue and is hard at work suppressing further growth. The platforms in front of the lodge running left around the bay and the main island around to the far bank have been cleared and are all fishable and we can now pull unwanted previous growth out in the shallower areas at a more leisurely place due to the dye. There is a crested grebe nesting off the small island so we’ve had to leave the weed there for the time being so as not to disturb the nest.

Tag fish
Taggy the tag fish is still there, so the £200 tag fish prize is still up for grabs. £1 entry. If no one catches the tag fish by the end of June half the prize money will be put towards raffle prizes for the British Legion comp in November and half towards the Christmas raffle prizes (sounds a bit weird to mention Christmas in June!)

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 6 am -9.45 pm: last admission 6pm ( but ring if you definitely want to come but can’t make it by 6).

Evening ticket £13.50 Fri/Sat/Sun available from 5.45pm

Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge: 01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours. I might be out on the lake, so ring my mobile if no reply in the lodge.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 08/06/14

The mix of rain and sun over the week has helped to keep the water temperature down, but the sunny days when they arrive inevitably make fishing conditions more challenging.  Cwm Hedd is fully stocked, and anglers report seeing plenty of fish moving.  Those out to catch fish rather than contemplate the view need to give careful thought to the best fishing time of day and the weather.

The late evening opening til 9.15pm  on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays paid off for John Belcher on Sunday, when John took 3 and returned 4 on a small pale brown buzzer and a floating line tweaked now and again.  John took two on two consecutive casts earlier in the evening taking another one and releasing four as the sun went down and the fish rose all over the lake. Steve Hemmings, on a fast glass intermediate, was one of the anglers who braved the mid- week rain  reporting plenty of offers, taking his two fish (4 and a half pound total weight) on a small olive damsel and a white cat’s whisker with an indigo flash.  New visitor to Cwm Hedd, Matthew Evans, also took his three fish on a white cat’s whisker  and an intermediate fly line, while a diawl bach delivered a smashing 3 and a half pound rainbow to regular Roger Martyn.

Throughout the week conditions have been more than testing with high, bright sunshine sending the fish into deeper water. Kieron Jenkins took advantage one evening to launch his float tube and fish into the deeper water at the centre of the lake, landing two resident rainbow trout – one caught on camera – which were feeding hard on caenis (yes, the fisherman’s curse!). Kieron’s float tube video and blog can be seen here:

Kieron’s tip when targeting caenis feeders is to try and attract the attention to your flies, there can literally be hundreds of caenis on the surface and without any temptation the fish will happily ignore your offerings and keep feeding hard! Kieron used a shuttle cock buzzers with a pearl butt which he gently tweaked in front of rising fish to cause an aggravated reaction.

Tag fish

The £200 tag fish prize is still up for grabs – £1 entry.  The rainbow has a distinctive blue dye mark on its underside, so angler need to remember to check before releasing any fish!

Fishery Information

Bassaleg Newport NP10 8RW

5 minutes from J 28 M4

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 7am -9.15 pm:  last admission 6pm.

Tel 07813 143 034 anytime, or lodge:  01633 896854 during fly fishing opening hours, although I may be out on the lake, so please ring my mobile if no reply at the lodge.

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Report 03/06/14

Cwm Hedd Lake

Weather conditions have been much better this week, the more overcast weather with scattered showers earlier in the week providing good fishing conditions. Cwm Hedd is brim-full of Exmoor Fisheries hard fighting rainbows that are enjoying the relatively cool summer so far.

Whatever floats your boat

Anglers are enjoying the late opening til 9.15pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Welsh international angler Kieron Jenkins, a regular at Cwm Hedd, took his float tube out on the seven acre lake on one such evening. Kieron noted that the fish are feeding very high in the water:  the slow head and tail rises indicate that the trout are cruising just below the surface steadily picking buzzers from the surface film. Kieron used a two-fly cast strung together with 6lb co-polymer nylon, with a shuttlecock buzzer on the point and shipman’s buzzer on the dropper. In just a few hours on the float tube Kieron caught seven rainbows, three to the red shipman’s on the dropper, but as the light faded, the shuttlecock took the rest.Kieron Jenkins Float Tubing

The Shipman.s buzzer has been favoured by many other anglers, such as the week’s top anglers Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn, who each took one and returned nine and seven on the Shipman’s and a floating fly line. Huw Davies chose a Griffith’s gnat and an olive emerger, taking one and returning 6, while Graham Davies favoured a hare’s ear to take one and return 3. Using different tactics Keith Cox took one and returned 3 on a black and green tadpole and an intermediate line.

Kieron’s top tips:

De-grease your leader regularly as the fish are line shy in flat calm conditions. When playing lively fish, try and keep the rod to the side to increase the tension on the line and keep everything tight. This works extremely well at Cwm Hedd as the hard fighting fish have a tendency to jump when hooked. When the fish jumps the tension on the line/hook will slacken, allowing the hook to be thrown.

Flies to use at Cwm Hedd

Biggest fish of the month

No one managed to top Kieron’s four and three quarter pounder in May, but on his first visit to Cwm Hedd William Edwards got June off to a good start taking a cracking 4 pound rainbow on a bloodworm, returning another 3 on bloodworm and an orange egg fly (photo on facebook).  Plenty of bigger rainbows have been seen and are there for the taking.

Net that £200 tag fish!

The tag fish is still evading capture, but Velindre Cancer Centre is benefiting from the tardiness of the elusive rainbow. So far nearly £170 has been collected for Velindre on top of the £200 that will be scooped by one lucky angler!

‘Poppy fish’: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms available at Cwm Hedd lodge or download at

Open Wed/Thurs 7am-5pm last admission 3pm; Fri/Sat/Sun 7am -9.15 pm:  last admission 6pm. Tel 07813 143 034 or (during fly fishing opening hours) lodge:  01633 896854 Directions on