Big Fish at Cwm Hedd!

I can’t say that fishing has been easy as Cwm Hedd has never been an easy lake, except on those occasional days when the fish hurl themselves onto hooks in droves whatever fly your using. I can say with certainty though that the lake is full of rainbows 2.25-3lbs with a decent number of bigger fish including the browns that have been putting in an appearance over the last few weeks as can be seen below. The range of flies and methods are as eclectic as the anglers at Cwm Hedd, which makes for very lively discussion and good natured debate in the lodge and on the bank, and part of the challenge and satisfaction is finding what works best for you.

After some shocking weather this week the weekend was a belter at Cwm Hedd Lakes – with three brilliant fish coming out in one day, all Troutmasters entries: Callum Russell with a 5lb rainbow, caught on his new Airflo Super Stik fly fishing rod which he had for his 12th birthday on Saturday.


Keith Higgins with a 6lb 10oz brown trout which put up an exceptional fight on just 6lb tippet, caught on a fast intermediate and a damsel pattern, a fly which has proved successful at Cwm Hedd for quite some time.


…And finally Kieron Jenkins with this great rainbow trout 1oz shy of 7lbs hooked at full range and taken on a hot head Sunburst blob fished 4 foot under an AirLock Strike Indicator on an Airflo Super Dri Lake Pro floating line. Kieron also took one and released five on Saturday as a warm up for Sunday.


Luke Thomas and Mark Southward took one and released three, Mark on a goldhead montana, Luke on a green blob with an apple green head, fishing three feet down around the back of the island.

David Davies took one and released one on a black and white buzzer and a floating line; also on a buzzer and a floating line. Over two visits, consistent angler Ken Pascoe took two and returned five. Aside from the beautiful brown taken by Keith Higgins on Sunday, Keith also took one and released three rainbows earlier in the week, on a damsel and intermediate.

Paul Elsworthy also took one and returned three on a small black nymph and ghost-tip, Mike Mckeown took two on a black and green fritz and an intermediate. Mike Collis, Matthew Russell, Barry Curtis, Graham Davies and Paul Collet all took fish, with Barrie taking a cracking 3lb 6 oz rainbow to the delight of his 6yr old son Cole who was on his first fishing trip with dad. John Belcher’s pink spider and floating line brought him a rainbow, while Terry Bromwell and Sion Lewis each took one, both on damsels and floating lines, Sion releasing another two and Terry another one.

Terry very patiently helped me to practice my casting and I have decided that I must put in far more effort and learn more instead of faffing about and moaning that I am cold, as I am wont to do. It will be thermal knickers for me from now on, as being a fair weather angler just won’t do. I have also turned over a new leaf in respect of doing more things for myself, such as setting up my rod and tying my own fly on for a change instead of pretending I’m helpless and asking someone else to do it – what a wimp! I have made a start by cleaning my line and getting it all back onto my rod – a minor triumph.

Ken Bowring is making a very good recovery and I hope to see him and Roger Martyn at the lodge this week for a cuppa. I hope Bob Mayers is also making good progress, as well as anyone else who is poorly or just feeling that January is getting them down. My best wishes to Gary from Big Well fishery who is recovering from a recent illness. Spring is around the corner, so there will be some good times to come it just doesn’t always seem like it when things get rough.

January – cheer-up ticket offer
On the subject of January blues, 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.

Leek and Potato Soup Saga
Sally Ann Iles challenged me to a leek and potato soup competition last weekend, then promptly forgot to bring hers. Sal is adamant that she is going to bring hers next weekend: too late Sal – I won! Gotta be in it to win it!

Bridge update
Hubs Chris and son Tom have decided that the old bridge suffered too much buffeting from its unexpected cruise across the lake last week and have been busy working on the construction of a new bridge. Their design is interesting to say the least – Brunel might have been impressed even though he would have recommended iron. The new bridge is being constructed on land and they have yet to work out how they are going to get it into the water. I will have my camera to hand and will be selling tickets for the event.

Events and competitions
Speaking of events, you can look forward to several events and competitions over the next year in addition to the British Legion Poppy fish and the Boxing Day comp. the line-up of events begins with the Welsh International Coaching Day, on Saturday 21st February. 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 haven’t had the opportunity to confirm the details yet, but I’m very pleased that one of the heats for the above event is provisionally going to be held at Cwm Hedd on 22nd March 2015. In the meantime, for general information, visit

WSTAA 2nd Bank trial
The 2015 draft calendar is available for the WSTAA bank trials and I am again very pleased that Cwm Hedd is part of this, with the second trial to be held at Cwm Hedd in January 2016 – date to be confirmed.

Gwyn Williams Memorial competition
In memory of my lovely brother, the competition will be held in April or May this year, and I will confirm the date in the next week or two. As it will be a fundraiser I want to keep the entry cost down, so will probably go with the same format as the Boxing Day comp ie release up to ten fish and take one: the four anglers with the heaviest fish winning a day ticket each. If anyone would like to sponsor a further prize/prizes then please let me know, but the aim is for this to be an informal comp with the emphasis on having a good day with friends. Entry will be £20 plus sponsorship and I think the sponsorship will be donated to Help For Heroes as this is a charity that Gwyn supported and thought very highly of. I’ll sort the entry forms, details and date in the next week or two. | email: |

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Fly Fishing Video at Cwm Hedd


Leaping Trout at Cwm Hedd Lakes

Wet, wild and windy
A wild and windy week kept many of you at home this week, so I hope you’ve cracked on with the DIY with a smile on your face instead of staring gloomily out of the window and biting everyone’s heads off. Just console yourself by thinking of all the fishing you’ll be able to catch up on when the weather settles down. Another stock of rainbows and a tag fish were delivered by Exmoor Fisheries last Friday so they are just waiting for you all to be able to get out and about again.

I love mad anglers
Although anglers have inevitably been very thin on the ground a big thank you to those of you who were mad enough to brave the atrocious conditions and deliver some fishing highlights along with your good humour. Ken Pascoe took one and returned five on a rubber-legged daddy and a floating fly line. Also on a floating line Craig Bowles took one and returned five on a bloodworm and cats whisker s, while Mike James took three and returned four over two visits, on Ken’s emerger (ie Ken Pascoe) and an egg fly. Matthew Russell took one and returned four on a blob under an indicator and a cats whisker, while Lee Ashcroft took one and returned three on a hothead damsel and an intermediate line. Arron Atkin, Richard Harris, Mike Mckeown, Dave Smith and Stewart Woodfield all took one on various flies: cats whisker, white dome head, montana and a new one to me: ‘Dennis the Menace’.

Captured on camera
Kieron Jenkins took one and released one on a tequila blob under a bung in less than an hour, capturing a fabulous image of one leaping out of the water ‘a must see’ image which is the new cover shot on our facebook page (and above). The image was taken via a camera built into glasses, manufactured by Pivothead and worn by Kieron who was trying them out for the first time on a setting that took one image every three seconds (I think). Sally Ann Iles also tried out the glasses and has a potential new career as Cwm Hedd’s ‘roving reporter’ as she raced to capture Luke Thomas on video as he brought in a fish using the aptly named ‘spermy worm’ under an indicator. Sal’s in very professional commentator mode and Luke is a star. He also released another five on a 40+ floating line.

Get well soon!
I’m sure you will be very sorry to hear that Ken Bowring has suffered burns from a chip pan fire. I have kept in touch with him and he is making a steady recovery. There is a get well card at the lodge, which will be there for this week if you would like to sign it and we all hope he will be back fishing soon.
There is also a card for you to sign for Bob Mayers, who is laid up with a broken femur, so a very speedy recovery is wished for you too Bob.

Now you see it
I had one of those ‘elephant in the room’ moments on Saturday, having been at the lodge for at least an hour and not noticed that the bridge to the main island had gone! Not gone from the lake (that would indeed have been an ingenious theft): the bolts attaching it to each bank had sheared in the high winds and it’ taken itself for a sabbatical in the wading area, accompanied by a canoe. I’m sure they will enjoy the change of scene. Amazingly it is still upright (it’s on polystyrene floats) and doesn’t seem to have suffered any damage, so when the weather sorts itself out we’ll tow it aback around and give it some TLC.

Welsh International Coaching Day, Saturday 21st February ‘Fly fish with the best Less than six weeks to go! Cwm Hedd is the venue for this fundraising event, which is being organised by Lisa Povey and Renee Carlsson, member of the Wales ladies fly fishing team. The event 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 will be available at the lodge from this week and will soon be available to download from our web site . Information is available at the lodge, on the event facebook page, or contact Lisa Povey via e-mail: email:
Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm) That’s all for now ‘hope to see you when the weather improves!

Cwm Hedd Lakes Fly Fishing Report – Opening Week

Cwm Hedd Opening Week 2014
Opening weekend fishing report 19th October 2014 (posted a few days late!)

In contrast to a wild and windy Sunday the near perfect conditions on Saturday brought a great turnout of keen anglers to Cwm Hedd for opening day. The season got off to a flying start as rain held off on a mild and mainly overcast day with the occasional glimpse of sunshine and a fairly gentle breeze.  The quality fish stocked in the last two weeks by Exmoor fisheries have been finding their way around the lake and provided good sport for anglers.

Although some rainbows opted for tentative takes followed by a hasty retreat, and some anglers were simply unlucky, over a hundred rainbows were brought to the bank over the weekend, with the hotspots being the tip of the main island and the far bank. Top rods reaching their ten fish limit on Saturday were Mike James and Carlo Bertorelli, with Mike taking two and releasing eight on an orange fritz, an apps bloodworm and a damsel (all on a midge tip fly lines), while Carlo opted for black and silver mini lures to take one and release nine.

As regulars know well, fishing Cwm Hedd can test the skills of the even the most experienced anglers, so it is always a pleasure to see young anglers prepared to take up the challenge and being rewarded for their perseverance. Thomas Morgan and Luke Jenkins both took fish, each using floating lines: Thomas on a montana and Luke on a white and yellow cats whisker. Well done!

Top rod on Sunday was regular John Belcher, one of the hardy few who braved the high winds to take two rainbows and release seven on his own green and white lure with an intermediate line. Taking a breather at the lodge to fortify himself with bread pudding and tea, John reported that an immediate retrieve with a fast figure of eight produced the most success.

With the temperature due to drop further in the next few weeks anglers can look forward to some great fishing at Cwm Hedd. Let’s hope that the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo doesn’t wreak too much havoc!

Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday-Sunday: 8am til sunset; last admission: 2 hours before sunset. Sunset this week is approximately 6pm (5pm on Sunday as the clocks are going back on the weekend)

Tel: 01633 896854 (lodge during opening hours); 07813 143 034 (any time/day before 6pm)

Poppy fish: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Only 15 places left!

Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms on or download at

Entry forms also available at Cwm Hedd lodge from this weekend.

Thanks to those who have kindly donated prizes for the raffle – all prizes gratefully received!

Croesheolydd Farm, Bassaleg, Newport, NP10 8RW. 5 mins J 28 M4 | email: | Cwm Hedd Facebook Page

Cwm Hedd Lakes – 2014 Opening

Cwm Hedd Opening

Hope you are all looking forward to Cwm Hedd re-opening this coming Saturday 18th October. Rain forecast for the weekend might dampen enthusiasm to some degree, but will at least be conducive to good fishing, so bring your waterproofs! I am pleased to report that I’ve taken the water temperature this morning and it’s now averaging a very respectable 12 degrees, having dropped over four degrees in the last fortnight. Exmoor Fisheries put in the first of the season’s stock last week and are bringing more of their tip top stock before this weekend.

In a few weeks once anglers have experienced the ups and downs of the new season I’ll be able to tell you what’s been working best in terms of tactics, fly lines and flies and all things fly fishing at Cwm Hedd. In the meantime I am very grateful to Wales International Kieron Jenkins for responding promptly this morning to my request for advice to anglers as a starting point this season: ˜As the water temperature continues to drop the fish will tend to become more active and aggressive when it comes to feeding. Anglers who use large, mobile lures such as cats whiskers, dog nobblers and zonkers will tend to have more action and in turn, catch more fish. A medium-fast sinking line such as the Sixth Sense Airflo Di 3 sinking line will be ideal for reaching the deeper coolest water and the sensitivity from the sixth sense lines will ensure you feel EVERY take. A mixed pace retrieve will put as much life into the fly as possible and grab the attention of nearby fish.”

Ticket prices
As I said in the previous info in case you missed it ticket prices haven’t changed for a few years, so I have had to bite the bullet and put them up this year to ensure that the standard of the fishery can continue to improve and so that it will be sustainable in the long term.

New ticket prices:
All tickets include the first fish, which must be killed to ensure regular stock turnover. 10 fish limit on catch and release. Barbless hooks, no boobies.
Standard ticket: catch and release, four hours: £17.50; day ticket £22.50.
Concessions: over 65s, under 18s, students (proof of age required, photo ID for students) £15.00 four hours, £20 day ticket.
Under 18s accompanied by an adult angler paying a standard or concession ticket: each child/young person: £7.50 for four hours, £10.00 for full day. First fish included

Catch and Kill
As above, £5.50 per extra fish

New opening times:
Monday and Tuesday – closed
Wednesday-Sunday: 8am til sunset
Last admission: 2 hours before sunset.

˜Poppy fish”: British Legion Competition 16th November 2014. £30 entry fee plus sponsorship. Over half the places have gone, so don’t miss out! Cash prizes totalling £215.00. Entry forms on or download at
I’ll also have entry forms at the lodge from this weekend

Address: Croesheolydd Farm, Bassaleg, Newport, NP10 8RW. 5 mins J 28 M4 | Cwm Hedd Website | Cwm Hedd Facebook

Mere Beck trout fishery

Our 8-acre Fly Fishing Water, set in 14 acres at Mere Beck, is within an ancient flood plain. We undertook a unique land diversification project by moving hundreds of thousands of tons of sand. We transformed our landscape into a large meandering re-circulating river system dedicated to fly fishing. As the system has been purpose built, we have been able to include the best features for fly fishing found in natural rivers. There are deep pools, shallower back water, faster moving water, even a section of surface walkway which allows you to fish free of bank side obstructions. Many aspects of fly fishing has been created, from small stream fly fishing to larger casting pools. Nature will make you disbelieve our story.

Facilities on offer at MereBeck

Disabled access: Yes

Tackle Hire: Yes

Toilets: Yes

Refreshments: Yes

Day passes: Yes

Phone: 0776 1120843


Mere Beck is unique moving water fishery combining many of the fly fishing challenges and conditions found in the wild such as stream, lakes, fast and slow moving pools, back waters, waterfalls and glides. Something new to try! A moving Lake!