In its heyday, the Wye was one of the best salmon rivers in England and Wales, with fish running throughout the season and 40lb fish taken annually. In recent years, with one or two notable exceptions, the salmon runs in England and Wales have seen a marked decline, with the Wye suffering more than most. With the attention moved from salmon, many are now becoming aware of what was once known only to a comparative few. This is the fact that the Wye, especially in its upper reaches, is a good trout river and an exceptional grayling river. The potential of the river has been accentuated at Glaslyn by the sensible water management, with light stocking of trout in June together with a catch and release policy for all fish. Combine this with a limit in the number of rods fishing (only those staying at the estate can purchase tickets) and you have the recipe for quality fishing.
While the Wye and Elan do provide quality fishing it’s not just a case of turning up. You do have to work for your fish. Keeping on the move and exploring the runs, pools and glides provides the best returns. Don’t expect the fish to come to you.
While fishing for trout and grayling, those new to rivers may take 10-20 fish for their week, while more experienced river fishers can expect 30-50 fish, with exceptional returns to regular visitors in excess of 80 or 90 (with one or two instances of more than 100) fish in recent seasons.
Those looking for salmon should focus on the back end of the season. While only lightly fished for salmon, the river can be kind. 2008 saw a fine back end with 14 salmon in the last two weeks, including two people catching three in one day.
Both the Elan and Wye are spate rivers. The water runs clear on both during normal levels, though the Wye always carries a slight peat tinge. This gives the gravel of the riverbed an amber glow when the summer sun shines, whereas the Elan, being mainly compensation flow from the dams, doesn’t carry this colour. After rain, the Wye can become quite coloured, but clears quickly once the water stops rising. Even when the Wye is in spate, the regulation of the dams ensures the Elan is in good fishing condition.
You can check the height of the river a few miles below Glaslyn by webcam here.
Much of the fishing is accessible without needing to use a car, with the closest pool a 30 seconds walk from the accommodation. Some beats do require a 20 minute walk or short car drive to reach.
All fishing is fly only on Glaslyn waters.
An Environment Agency licence is required by all rods fishing the Rivers Wye and Elan.
Instruction and guidance with tackle can be arranged.
A recent article in the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine featured fishing at Glaslyn and can be read by clicking here.