Cwm Hedd fly fishing May 14th 2016

This year Cwm Hedd will close for the summer on  Sunday June 5th, so get your skates on if you are planning to visit!

There has been some superb fishing in the last few weeks, with most anglers finding success on a variety of flies: damsels, buzzers, montanas, black tadpoles and daddy long-legs being very popular.  With the topsy turvy weather including some ferocious storms, at least the water temperature is still quite cool at the moment, so the fish are very happy . There are plenty of fish moving and showing all over the lake  feeding well on this year’s  abundant insect life.

Some anglers blank of course, but that is the way of things,  bringing about much mulling over what went wrong .  Those who have found the right fly, line and tactics however have been well rewarded. Having caught a Troutmasters entry in the previous week, Mike James summed up this week’s visit in his facebook post: ‘Cwm Hedd yesterday, great day again, 6 to the net, should have been 66, I missed so many takes, done my head in, fish rising everywhere, I only fished buzzers, crunchers and emergers in amongst the continual raindrops, pull after pull and I missed them, I must be older than I thought, fish are so quick, actually, unbelievably quick.

This Cwm Hedd rainbow weighed in at 5lbs 3oz, a Troutmasters entry for Mike James.

Nigel Lane had a great day too  ‘Another warm welcome at Cwm Hedd today by far the best fly fishing this year caught three fish around the 3 pounds mark and yet again put many back .’

Nigel Lane preparing to do battle with the Cwm Hedd rainbows

It was great to see Matt and Callum Russell back having a break from reservoir comps, bringing twelve to the bank between them, Matt on a shipman’s buzzer, Callum on Crunchers.

Matt Russell
Callum Russell

Huw Davies has been on a roll, with nine fish last week using a black hopper and a hare’s ear, and eleven fish this week, using a shipman’s buzzer. Fishing on a fairly bright day today, with a cool breeze and a ripple on the water, in similar conditions Huw advises keeping things simple: one fly, a 12-14′ leader, and use the wind, casting upwind and letting the fly drift with just the occasional twitch. Huw’s friend Tom Hughes had four rainbows, using a grey duster and a floating line.


Tom Hughes

For interesting information and more good advice on how to fish Cwm Hedd, read the May edition of Total Flyfisher Magazine, which includes an  article about Cwm Hedd written by top Wales international Kieron Jenkins. Kieron also fished Cwm Hedd again this week, bringing ten to the bank using an olive shipman’s, as well as making a fishing fashion statement in his wellies and shorts!  Sums up the weather we’ve had this week – the platforms were under water after Wednesday’s torrential rain.


Check out the Cwm Hedd Youtube channel for the latest videos featuring: Huw Davies,  Matt Russell, Callum Russell, Kieron Jenkins and Nigel Lane.

Open 8am-4.30pm Wednesday through to Sunday. Last admission 2pm.  5 minutes from Junction 28 of the M4 Newport. Fishery rules, directions and further information on . Tel 07813 143 034 before 6pm; 01633 896854 (lodge during fly fishing opening hours).

And finally, the great crested grebes were happily sitting on a nest, but the coots have bullied them off it, so it’s back to square one for the hapless grebes.

Great crested grebe at Cwm Hedd






Cwm Hedd fly fishing 3rd January 2016

Good evening everyone

‘Il pleut’ as they say in France.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough of the wet stuff now.  Most of my days in the last few months seem to have involved much mud – either trudging through it, falling in it and getting plastered with it or simply looking at rivers of it and sighing deeply.  The one stream of mud that most took me by surprise was the one that breached the door step at the back of the lodge and temporarily flooded the toilet block during a storm as you can see  here captured on video.

Click here to see hubs come to the rescue.

Water at its highest

The water level is the highest it’s ever been as the sluice can’t keep pace with the volume of water that’s pouring out of the sky, down the stream and off the fields – and the boards are jammed tight in the sluice so we can’t shift them at the moment to let more water out. Although the lake is mostly spring fed, the stream that enters in the corner of the bay to the north west of the lodge has become a torrent and even breached the bank of the pond that traps silt, so has chucked silt into the main lake.


The lake is so high that the water has even breached the bank of the main island and is overflowing into its central hollow where there is (fortunately)  a pipe to take away excess water.



You don’t expect to be worrying about weed growth in the middle of winter, but the weed has been problematic in the last few weeks due to the weirdly high temperatures,  and was a frustration for a number of competitors in the loch style team fundraiser on Tuesday.  There are plenty of fishable platforms but as comp rules dictate which platforms to fish from some were inevitably stuck on very difficult areas. Yesterday we trialled a method of pulling out large amounts of weed: it was very successful, but we will be taking all the wooden rails out both sides of the path along the front of the lake to drag the weed out when it’s pulled to the edge. Thanks to my son Tom,  Matt and Callum Russell, Kieron Jenkins, Luke Thomas and Huw Davies for helping with  the trial.

Good news!

Fortunately fish are quite keen on plenty of rain, so as long as you have decent waterproofs and a sense of humour it’s worth coming out. Some have inevitably blanked or found it challenging, but a number have had considerable success such as Luke Thomas (10 and 7),  Matt Russell(10 and 7),  Callum Russell (7 and 4) Mark Miles(7). Luke ended 2015 on a high, returning a large brown trout weighing in at 7lbs 2 oz,  from the point of the main island, using a snake fly and a slow glass.  The loch style fundraiser saw David Matthews taking 1st place with ten fush, Lee James in second place with five fish and 3rd was Neil Anthony with three fish.  Congratulations to all in tough conditions.


Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

Matt started 2016 on an equal high by catching the same fish off the far bank on an intermediate and a fluff cat.

Matt Russell
Matt Russell


Garry Wharton also caught a cracking brown off the small island and another three rainbows on an orange blob and a floating line.

Garry Wharton
Garry Wharton

Tim Wellman and Huw Davies had a great day on Saturday with five fish each, Tim on a squirmy and a floating line, Huw on an apps bloodworm.  It was great to see a lady angler, Sally Clark amongst the newcomers, with friend Rich Gabb who took a fish on a little black lure and returned another on a cats whisker.

Tim Wellman
Tim Wellman
Andy Wattson

All of you who have met regular Andy Wattson will be sorry to hear that he is quite poorly at the moment.  We wish him the very best and hope he’ll be well enough to come fishing again soon.  Here’s Andy on his first visit to Cwm Hedd, being coached by Jason Williams, a day which Andy said was his ‘best ever’:

The 'best ever' day for Andy Wattson, coached by Jason Williams at Cwm Hedd

I wish all of you health and happiness for 2016


Tel 07813 143 034 before 6pm; 01633 896854 (lodge during fly fishing opening hours). Fishery rules and further information on

Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing Opening weekend October 17th 2015


Greeting everyone and a warm welcome to the new season at Cwm Hedd

Floating lines have been the most favoured over the weekend. Ken Bowring took the first fish of the season off the point of the main island, under the watchful eye of his faithful spaniel Gus. Ken released another four, all on a hothead damsel.

The new stock that arrived mid week hadn’t strayed too far from where  most were put in, beyond the bridge,  so anglers who happened upon them had a fine time in ‘Sally’s Bay’ to the north of the lodge, with Paul Elsworthy taking one and returning ten on a montana and a floating line,   Colin Poole (pictured below) taking one and returning seven, while Ian Humphries and Rad Novacowich took two and returned ten between them.


Kieron Jenkins and Matt Russell kicked off this season’s Troutmasters entries, each catching a 6lb 1 oz rainbow : Kieron using a floating line with  a blob under a bung and Matt a fast glass with a cats  whisker.  Kieron netted ten fish on Saturday from different areas of the lake and another five on Sunday,  using  ‘Rob’s wrapped Minkies’ and a fast intermediate.  Matt and son Callum took two and released ten and five respectively with Callum favouring a fast glass 40+ and a damsel fly.

Matt Russell's 6lb 1oz Cwm Hedd rainbow
Matt Russell’s 6lb 1oz Cwm Hedd rainbow

The majority of anglers took and released fish with Lee Ashcroft taking one and returning eight on a white and green damsel,  Garry Wharton  taking one and returning seven and  Gareth Neale taking five (must have been hungry!).  David Russell’s shipman’s and a a little green buzzer brought him five fish, while it was a bloodworm and a black and green fritz that brought three for Sally Ann Iles (thanks for the biscuits Sal!). Father and son Robert and Luke Taylor brought four fish to the bank on a white fritz and a sunburst blob, with a black and white and a damsel bringing four to another father and son team, Rob and Tom collier. Alan Powell netted two (I forgot to write down the fly sorry!).

There might be some rain about this week but hopefully not too much.  The wind is forecast to come back around to a more westerly direction, which should make for some  good fishing, plus there’s more Exmoor Fisheries  stock on the way.

A few reminders:

No changes to opening times, prices or rules, so if you want to refresh your memories check the  Cwm Hedd fly fishing page on the website. Remember to move off a platform if you have caught more than four fish and please don’t leave any equipment on a platform if you are coming up for a cuppa.


Remember that traffic may be a problem in Bassaleg due to the ongoing work renewing the gas main, so allow plenty of time for your journey – avoid the weekday  rush hour especially during school term time.  Bassaleg School finishes at 3.05pm, and the main road can get very congested from then on.

New entrance

The old entrance is permanently closed : the new entrance is about half way down the main farm drive where you can turn in right, behind the lodge.

Open Wednesday-Sunday 8am-5pm: last admission 2pm;  closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Tel 07813 143 034 before 6pm; 01633 896123 (lodge during fly fishing opening hours). Fishery rules and further information on


Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing June 14th 2015


Hi everyone

Well the weather seems to have settled down at last which has made for some very pleasant if challenging fishing.  With an abundance of natural food in the lake and the water beginning to warm up anglers have had to work hard for their fish.  Luke Thomas  took one and released five, including a pristine rainbow weighing 6lbs 5 ounces caught off the point of the main island, a Troutmasters entry for Luke.  On a floating line and a cdc Luke let the fly drift and the fish took it off the top.

Luke Thomas with his pristine Cwm Hedd rainbow weighing 6lbs 5oz
Luke Thomas with his pristine Cwm Hedd rainbow weighing 6lbs 5oz

Keith Cox caught his three rainbows on a  cats whisker and intermediate line, with Wayne Giles also taking his fish on the same combination. Ken Bowring favoured a damsel, while  Steve Wakeham,  Tim Downey and Jeremy Samuels caught their fish on a goldhead damsel.

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Anglers have clearly been rummaging through their fly boxes as the variety of flies that have tempted fish has been considerable this week. A white fritz, an olive cruncher and a hare’s ear  brought fish to Roger Michael, Stewart Thomas, and Ken Davies, while it was a diawl bach for Gareth West, a daddy long-legs for Peter Thomas, a black gnat for David Bull and  a black buzzer for novice Derwyn Jones.

Gareth West
Gareth West

Ken Pascoe opted to avoid the traffic problems with Sunday’s Velathon so had a few hours on Saturday bringing his fish to the bank using a white mini lure on a floating line.   One of the few who made it despite the road closures on Sunday was Gary Owens who took one and returned two on a traffic light buzzer and a blue flash damsel.  It was also great to see Callum Russell back in action after an injury.  Callum and dad Matt took one and release three, one on a cats whisker the rest on blobs.

Callum Russell
Callum Russell

Opening times: Mondays and Tuesdays: closed; Wednesday – Sunday 8am-5pm, last admission 2pm. Evening tickets for up to five hours are available to start between 4 and 5 pm  for pre-booked groups only  (minimum group of five required).

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

Here are a few images from Cwm Hedd for you to enjoy.  Have a good week!

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Cwm Hedd fly fishing report 8th May

Hi everyone

Last week was quiet in terms of anglers due to the adverse weather on a number of days, but there were some great highlights:  Huw Davies caught seven rainbow, including two of the fabulous bigger rainbows (returned), one at eight and a half pounds, a (Troutmasters entry for Huw) and another that was six and a half pounds, caught on a size 12 copper-beaded damsel, with a 7lb Airflo G3 leader.

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Gwyn Williams Memorial Competition Saturday 16th May

A reminder that Cwm Hedd will be closed for day ticket anglers on Saturday 16th May, for the Gwyn Williams Memorial Competition. If you haven’t entered yet there may be some places on the day, but ring to check first.  Non competitors are welcome at the lodge from 10am onwards, for refreshments and lodge-based competitions, with profit to be donated to Help for Heroes along with the sponsorship collected by those in the fly fishing competition.

Cwm Hedd has had a delivery of rainbows from Exmoor Fisheries in readiness for the competition on the 16th, so best of luck to all competitors.  The entry form and full information is available on the Cwm Hedd  website events page

Back to the latest fishing…

It’s been so chilly that the water temperature in the lake has dropped two degrees, which at least is good for the fish and for fishing conditions.

Aside from Huw Davies’s great fishing day, a green buzzer brought a fish for Steve Wakeham, while it was a black montana for Colin Cox and a black hopper for Howard Davies, with another fish taken by Chris Jones.  Andy Wattson took one on  a yellow shipman’s and a floating line.

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Sally Ann Iles coached young angler Damien, who had a great few hours fishing , bringing five to the bank on a hulk.  Ken Bowring also brought four to the net on a black hopper, damsel, and a cats whisker (floating line), the same flies that brought three  fish for  friend Roger Martyn,who used a mix of floating and intermediate lines.

Damien with  Sally-Ann Iles
Damien with Sally-Ann Iles

Steve Mogg and Rob Collier each took one and released one, both using bloodworms and floating lines, with Steve on an 8lb leader. Ken Pascoe and Rob Jones each took one and released four, Ken  on an olive nymph and sink-tip,  Rob  on a grey duster and an appetiser. Graham Davies brought four to the bank, preferring the damsel and intermediate line.

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Jeff Zarun’s seven fish were tempted by an emerger, while it was the buzzer and intermediate brought four for  Tom Williams.  Keith Cox  caught six on mini-cats , while Michael hart took two on a squirmy and released a further three on a shuttlecock.

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Accompanied by grandad Wayne, Conor O’Leary took one on an emerger. Gary Edwards  took one on a cats whisker and  three on a damsel, two on an intermediate and two on a sink-tip line, while Bobby Powell took one on a daddy long-legs.

Garry Edwards
Garry Edwards
Yet another tag fish gone!

Gerald  Williams  hit the jackpot by taking the tag fish, only a week after the last one was caught!  Gerald was delighted to take home £35 cash and a day ticket.  As they seem to come out with some regularity another two tag fish are on order for next week.

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The One that got away?

I took a photo of Ken Bowring and Roger Martyn when they were having a break on Thursday.  Not sure exactly what Ken was telling Roger, but I think we can guess!

The one that got away!
The one that got away!
And finally…

It’s a busy time of year for the wildlife, and my walks around the lake provide a daily opportunity to keep up with the trials and tribulations of the various species as they go about the tricky job of surviving. It’s a beautiful season, but alongside the beauty there are frequent reminders that nature is often ‘red in tooth and claw’ and it’s very much ‘survival of the fittest’. The grebe’s nest has failed, either due to the eggs being taken by predators or the wild weather putting paid to the nest. Hopefully they’ll try again, as happened last year when it took three attempts before they succeeded.  On Wednesday morning I found a dead goose in the tiny pond where the stream comes into the lake. Although excessive numbers of geese can be a nuisance it looked so forlorn that it made me feel quite sad. There was no obvious cause for the goose to have died as it looked relatively young and plump. By the next morning a fox must have sniffed out the dinner opportunity, as I could see a trail where the dead goose had been dragged up the bank and into some undergrowth.  All that remained was a pile of feathers.

Empty Grebe's nest
Empty Grebe’s nest

On a happier note it made me smile to see a pair of geese taking their new family for a swim, with mum and dad closely guarding their three goslings.

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Hope everyone has a good week

Linda 🙂

Open 8am Wednesday to Sunday.  Last admission is 4pm Wednesday – Saturday, with a closing time of sunset, but ring on the day as it may be possible to come later if other day anglers have tickets that take them into the evening.

Sunday:   last admission is 2pm, with closing time 5pm.

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


Cwm Hedd fly fishing report and news 26th April 2015

The foliage has greened up considerably over the last week and the various wildfowl around the lake such as the coots, mallards, great-crested grebes, moorhens and geese are busy nesting or rearing their young. The latter have had a chilly start to life in a mainly easterly wind this week, which has made for some pretty difficult fishing on some days, although on the plus side at least no one has had to get their waterproofs out  and the water temperature is lower than this time last year.  Dry flies are recommended.

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Opening/closing times

Please note the opening times that may vary from week to week at this time of year.  I’ve realised that I need to finish earlier on a Sunday or I’ll be keeling over with the length of my working week, so note the earlier closing time  and last admission time on Sunday!

Monday and Tuesday: closed (but open on bank holiday Monday 4th May)

Wednesday – Saturday:  8am-sunset, last admission 4pm

Sunday: 8am-5pm, last admission 2pm.

Open bank holiday Monday 4th May: 8am-5pm, last admission 2pm

Gates closed at last admission times (open to exit site only).


The lodge pond and main lake were topped up by Exmoor Fisheries on Thursday of  this week, and as the last tag fish came out so quickly I’ve put two more in. Continue reading Cwm Hedd fly fishing report and news 26th April 2015

Cwm Hedd fly fishing report and news 19th April 2015

Hello from breezy Bassaleg!

I usually write the blog from the shadowy depths of my cottage, but as I’m posting the blog today rather than Monday or Tuesday I am writing it in the lodge and looking out over the lake.  The sun has been shining all day,  but it’s been very ‘bracing’ to say the least .  Fortunately the forecast looks to be improving over the next week.


More rainbows 6lbs and over arrived with the general stock this week and several were brought to the bank, then returned very carefully. Continue reading Cwm Hedd fly fishing report and news 19th April 2015