Game and Coarse Fishing in Mid Wales at Kilsby Cottage

The Wye & Usk Foundation have worked tirelessly to open up and restore many local waters which are still very lightly fished and unspoilt. Specimen sized wild brown trout, grayling and chub are frequently caught and there is always the chance of a salmon given the right conditions. The rare Twaite and Allis Shad still run the Wye as far as the confluence with the Irfon at Builth Wells and for a few weeks of the year can give the unsuspecting trout angler a run for their money - they are not known as mini-tarpon for nothing, relishing an aerial display when hooked. However these fish are protected and must not be deliberately targeted but are a joy to behold if you come across one - it is essential that they are released with care when hooked accidentally.

Many of these local waters are available through the Wye & Usk Passport Scheme and can be fished by booking on-line or by contacting the Wye & Usk Foundation office directly. Local guides can also be arranged through the Foundation. The River Irfon visible from Kilsby Cottage forms one of the Wild River beats and is available direct from us at a reduced rate of £5 per day or £20 per week for Kilsby Cottage guests (fly-fishing only - mandatory catch & release).

There are excellent opportunities for wild brown trout, stocked rainbow trout, grayling, sea-trout (sewin), salmon and a variety of coarse fish species all within an hour's drive from Kilsby Cottage.

The Rhayader and Builth Wells (GPIAC) angling clubs offer very reasonable day tickets for the river Wye and local stillwaters such as Llyn Allarch (Coarse), Elan Valley Reservoirs (Brown Trout) and Llyngwyn (Rainbow & Brown Trout, Wild Carp & Tench). In addition the Llandovery Angling Association has easily accessible water on the River Towy for sea-trout fishing. For more information on fishing the River Wye at Builth Wells check out the GPIAC club website.

While it is true to say that the majority of waters in the vicinity are fly-fishing only for wild brown trout and grayling there are still plenty of accessible waters where bait fishing for coarse fish and winter trotting for grayling are readily available. Catch and release is mandatory on many running waters but encouraged on all to preserve the currently plentiful stock of wild fish.

At Mayfly time the tiny Llynfi Dulas stream has a prolific hatch and every likely rifle and pool holds fish eager to snatch a dry fly. These fish may be small but they are pristine, beautifully marked and fight like tigers in the gin-clear waters of this hidden little gem.

The main river Wye and particularly the upper Usk are renowned for larger wild brown trout. Specimens up to 5lbs in weight are caught every year and while they are the exception rather than the rule the average size is high and there is always the chance of a lunker. The local River Irfon is a renowned specimen grayling water and fish in excess of 3lbs are caught every season just a few miles downstream from Llanwrtyd Wells.

The Elan Valley Reservoirs offer excellent fly fishing for brown trout and are a welcome refuge when the rivers are flooded. Slightly further afield near Llanidloes Clywedog Reservoir offers superb bank and boat fishing for hard-fighting over-wintered rainbow trout and wild brownies of a high average size. Dry fly is particularly effective here in the warmer months of the year.

Big chub to 5lbs+ are the attraction at Builth Wells on the River Wye and dace are increasingly numerous as well as the ever-present grayling and brown trout. Salmon are increasing in numbers here thanks to the tireless efforts of the Wye & Usk Foundation and September holds a real chance of a catch.

The beautiful spring-fed natural lake Llyngwyn offers high quality stocked Rainbow and Brown Trout fly-fishing but also for a reduced-price ticket can be bait-fished for a large head of Wild Carp and Tench originally stocked by monks in medieval times.

Without a doubt one of the most prolific species in the area is the Grayling. The local River Irfon is a premier water for this beautiful sport fish and specimens in excess of 3lbs are there to be caught as well as in the main river Wye. Dry fly works exceptionally well in the clear waters with small sedge patterns and emergers being particularly effective. Winter trotting with maggots or sweetcorn is particularly effective for this species when the water is high on the stretches of the Irfon and Wye which allow this method during the colder months.

Very locally just the other side of Llanwrtyd Wells is an old hotel now run as an adventure holiday centre for young people. The old boating lake is stuffed with Chub and Rudd and a courteous approach to the reception area may well result in permission (for a small fee) to fish this picturesque stillwater with a bite a cast likely on all the usual baits fished shallow below a float.

There is always the chance of a salmon when fishing the local rivers so be prepared to be surprised. These fish are seen spawning in the Irfon below Kilsby every winter.