Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Wales -

THE WYE, or Gwy, forms part of the bor­der be­tween Eng­land and Wales. In­deed, most of its lower reaches flow through Eng­land – though it is “born” in Wales, on Plyn­limon moun­tain. It is also the fifth-long­est river in the UK, flow­ing into the Sev­ern Es­tu­ary. The Wye also has a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant trib­u­taries that are great fish­eries in their own right, such as the Ir­fon, Ithon, Mon­now, Lugg and Ar­row.


The Wye is a rare thing in salmon fish­ing in that it re­tains a good run of large spring salmon. Fish of 20lb are reg­u­larly caught in the early months of the sea­son, fish of 30lb oc­ca­sion­ally show up in the catch re­turns, and in re­cent times ru­mours of 40lb fish have been heard. The Wye is a se­ri­ous early-sea­son prospect and well worth fish­ing from sea­son’s open­ing in March through April to the end of May. At this time, pro­vided there has been a de­cent amount of win­ter rain, river lev­els re­main high enough to en­cour­age a steady stream of salmon into the river. As we reach the sum­mer months and lev­els de­cline so, too, do the chances of catch­ing. In late sum­mer and au­tumn the fish­ing picks up again, pro­vided there has been suf­fi­cient rain to move fish from pool to pool. While spring fish­ing is usu­ally best on the mid­dle to lower reaches, au­tumn salmon can be caught through­out the sys­tem.

Brown trout

Cu­ri­ously, the Wye doesn’t have a run of sea-trout to speak of, but the brown trout fish­ing more than makes up for this with good num­bers to spec­i­men size. The best of the fish­ing is gen­er­ally found above the town of Hay-on-wye. Prime time is usu­ally from April through to the end of June when the river’s hatches are at their peak.


The town of Hay-on-wye is a rough marker for the down­stream limit to where grayling can be caught. Above it, the trib­u­taries Ir­fon, Ithon, Lugg and Mon­now pro­vide many miles of pro­duc­tive wa­ter. Fish­ing is with fly only dur­ing the trout sea­son, but once this comes to an end in Oc­to­ber the trot­ting of mag­gots un­der a stick float is per­mit­ted on some beats un­til March. There’s al­ways a chance of a 2lb or 3lb fish.

The Wye is a beau­ti­ful, ac­ces­si­ble salmon river.

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