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 report 20th March 2016 -damsels, buzzers and bloodworms

There’s been some excellent fishing in the last few weeks, interspersed with a few challenging  days of course.  A stock top-up is on its way from Exmoor Fisheries this week, and with a south westerly wind forecast fishing conditions should be favourable.

Please remember that Cwm Hedd is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so we  won’t be open on Easter Monday

Ken Pascoe was the winner of the Cwm Hedd Troutmasters fish off, with 7 fish totalling 20lbs. Mike James and Keith Cox were 2nd and third respectively.

Cwm Hedd Troutmasters fish off winners. Left to right - Keith Cox (3rd), Ken Pascoe (1st), Mike James (2nd) - Copy
Left to right Keith Cox (3rd), Ken Pascoe (1st), Mike James (2nd) – congratulations all!

It’s been fairly quiet in terms of anglers over the last couple of weeks with the reservoirs back open, so day ticket anglers have enjoyed  plenty of platform choice.  Paul Elsworthy brought 10 fish to the net over two visits, while it’s was 11 for Keith Cox last week, nine for Stewart Gordon, eight for Steve Wakeham and Mark Whalley and seven for Lee Ashcroft and Huw Davies.  Rad Novacowich had a great morning bringing five to the net, while Gordon Smith, Ethan Clarke, Andy Whitnall, Bill Williams, Ian Humpreys, Peter Bayliss and youngest angler Etahn Clarke was over the moon with his four fish.

As always there has been a wide variety of flies used in the last few weeks, with the most consistent being damsels, bloodworms and buzzers.  More people on intermediate lines, but floating lines have also brought success.

Open 8am-4.30pm Wednesday through to Sunday.  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).

Happy Easter everyone!

Cwm Hedd fly fishing 31st January 2016

The continuous appalling weather has kept most anglers away, so I am very grateful indeed to those who have ventured out. At least the fish don’t mind the bad weather in the slightest, and with stock level high there are plenty of them in tip top condition to test anglers’ skills.

2016 TM LOGO

Alan Powell caught a cracking Troutmasters entry off the far bank on Saturday, a 9lb 8oz rainbow caught on Alan’s first cast off the platform, using a black emerger and a midge tip line. Not long after Paul Elsworthy caught a superb 4lb 3oz rainbow, to add to his other five caught,  using  a black emerger and montana with a floating line.

Paul Elsworty

Top anglers of the week were Craig Bowles (10), Matt Russell (10) and Brian Haynes (8), Craig using a damsel and cats whisker, Matt an apps bloodworm and Brian a rubber-legged daddy and his own version of an Ally McCoist. Young Callum Russell returned four and was unfortunate to lose several.

Brian Haynes

Weed clearing

We are making great progress with weed clearing, so plenty of platforms very fishable in the most popular areas. Thanks to Ken Pascoe, my husband Chris and son Tom for their sterling work.

A couple of images below, plus this video to give you an idea of the horrible weather conditions for the weed pulling marathon this week!

Chris Kilby taking a well deserved break from weed clearing at Cwm Hedd



Lines and flies

Most anglers have been on floating lines, with a variety of flies used, including the black emerger, olive damsel, brown hopper, rubber-legged daddy, cats whisker and  apps bloodworm.

February events

Iain Barr Bankmasters heat 21st February, Welsh bank Team trials, 2nd heat 28th February

The  heat for the Iain Barr Bankmasters will be held on February 21st at Cwm Hedd.  Visit for details on how to enter.  In addition to the competition entry fee the Cwm Hedd fishing ticket for the day will be £20.00, which includes a free bacon sandwich, tea/coffee on arrival.Bank Masters image

Welsh bank team trials – second heat 28th February 2016 at Cwm Hedd Bank

If you want to trial for a place in the 2016 Welsh bank team, put your name forward for the 2nd heat at Cwm Hedd on Sunday 28th February (you must enter in advance of the day). In addition to the heat entry fee the Cwm Hedd fishing ticket for the day will be £20.00, which includes a free bacon sandwich, tea/coffee on arrival.  For further information e-mail James Miller or message James on the  Garnffrwd Fly Fishing facebook page.

Fly box raffle winner

Congratulations to Lee Williams, the lucky winner of the fly box containing 160 flies tied by Matt Russell. Well done Lee!

Tag fish and charity box

The tag fish is still there for the taking and will net one lucky angler £100 cash.  Entry £1 per visit.  All cash collected over the £100 will be donated to charity, along with the £62 that was collected from the sale of donated miscellaneous fly tying materials etc

I’m very pleased to hear that Andy Wattson is making reasonable progress and we hope he continues to improve.  All the best Andy!  🙂

Cwm Hedd fly fishing 29th November 2015

Week ending 29th November

“The rain it raineth every day…’ or so it seems, and with with wind speed from 40 to over 50 mph on the weekend, anglers were not surprisingly thin on the ground, especially on Sunday. Luke Thomas  and Ken Pascoe were the only two mad enough to take on the torrential rain and high wind on such a day, with Luke taking one and returning five: three on a bloodworm under an indicator, and three with a white fluff cat and chartreuse an a slow glass line. it was two for Ken, with  another two that decided to engage in long distance self release.


Using a mini-cat and a floating line, Tom Collier took a smashing Troutmasters entry on   Saturday, weighing in at 6lbs 7 ounces. Continue reading Cwm Hedd fly fishing 29th November 2015

Cwm Hedd fly fishing: weeks ending 8th and 15th November – wild and wet!

Week ending 15th November
Good evening

It’s blowing a hoolie and has been for most of the day and there’s no sign of it letting up.  Given the conditions I was expecting to be Billy No Mates in the lodge today, but several enthusiastic anglers  turned out to battle with the weather. The fish were very cooperative with all anglers taking and returning fish.

Mobile phone gone astray

I’m sorry to say that I imbibed too much alcohol last night and lost my ‘phone, so if you need to contact me send a facebook  message or an e-mail

Troutmasters hat trick for Kieron Jenkins

Kieron Jenkins caught and returned yet another big fish today, making ten altogether.   It wasn’t weighed but looks to be over 7lbs. Out in the wild and wet weather yesterday, Kieron  caught his third Troutmasters entry of this season, a cracking 7lb 13oz rainbow, bringing another five to the net. Awesome angling!

Also entering  Troutmasters earlier this week was Ken Pascoe with a 5lb 12oz rainbow, so it’s good to be seeing the bigger fish coming to the net.  Traditionalist Ken was very pleased to catch his (along with another six) with  a diawl bach and buzzers on a floating line, returning today to catch another five again using a diawl bach.  Kieron’s fish were tempted by the blob under a bung, so use whichever flies you enjoy using (as long as they are de-barbed/barbless of course).

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First in  yesterday was Paul Elsworthy, netting four on a montana and a floating line. Kristian Davies was also on good form in the driving rain, taking one and returning eight,  with  Matt and Callum Russell taking two and returning sixteen between them, Kristian and Matt on the blob under a bung and a floating line, Callum on minkies and a fast glass. Matt and Callum were back today netting eight fish between them. Callum’s enthusiasm is a pleasure to behold: he can’t wait to get out fishing no matter what the conditions as can be seen by these images from last week and from yesterday!

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Bernie Davies took one and returned five, a couple on FAB, two on nymphs and the rest on lures, delighted to have tied all his own flies.  It was Bernie’s second visit of the week, previously taking one  and returning three. Sally Ann Iles had three on bloodworm,  a green buzzer  and a yellow/orange buzzer.

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The inimitable Sally Ann Iles!


First Cwm Hedd rainbow for Oliver Spear

As you can see below, Oliver Spear was over the moon when he took his first Cwm Hedd rainbow, a cracking specimen weighing just under 3lbs that was tempted by a gold and silver fry pattern on an intermediate line.

Oliver hits the jackpot!
Oliver hits the jackpot!

Jim Mckay, Colin Cox, Andrew Harvey, Chris Griffiths, Barry Powell, Gerald Williams, Gareth West, John Morgan, Steve Curtis, James Hawley, Paul Smith, Bob Mayers, Rhys Llywellyn, Stuart Thomas and Tony Hopkins  all took fish. Rhys took one and returned six: three on floating minkies, two on minky lures and two on a black uv snathcher. Stuart and Bob each brought four to the net.

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Ken Bowring was on great form as usual,  reaching his limit taking one and returning 10 tempting his fish with  a cats whisker, black lure and a muddler, while it was a hothead damsel for Lee Ashcroft, who took  one and returned 6.

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Point of island: time limit!

As the point of the main island has been quite a hotspot, I’ve had to impose a strict time limit to allow more anglers a chance to fish it. There’s now an hour and a half or a  four fish limit (whichever comes first), so if you want a chance of fishing it tell me when you arrive and I’ll book your place.

Tag fish

Three tag fish are still to be caught – the pot is currently £47 plus a day ticket for the first to be caught, so plenty of opportunity to bag a prize for the £1 entry.

Funky Fly Tying event Saturday 12th December

To brighten up the winter gloom Toby from Funky Fly Tying will be coming up to the lodge for a few hours from 10am on Saturday 12th December.  Toby will be bringing a selection of products available for purchase, as well as giving fly tying demonstrations, so if you’re coming fishing or just want to stock up on fly tying goodies or pick up some tips and have a chat, you’ll be welcome at the lodge.

Welsh Hearts raffle

Raffle tickets  will be on sale from Wednesday and the raffle will be drawn at the above event, with profit to the  Welsh Hearts  charity. Thanks to Kieron Jenkins who has donated an Airflo Super Stik rod (if you’re lucky enough to win it  maybe some of his talent will have rubbed off on it too!). Also thanks to Terry O’Shea for donating a veritable chocolate mountain  and to Jim McKay who has donated a quirky wine cover with an angling theme.  Further prizes for the raffle gratefully accepted of course.


Fishing Vouchers

This season’s fishing day ticket vouchers will be available from the lodge in the next few weeks, so drop a few hints to family and friend  if you’d like them to get you one for Christmas.

Bank Team Trials heat at Cwm Hedd

Cwm Hedd is very pleased to be hosting the second heat of the 2016 Bank Team trials on February 28th 2016. The information and contact details courtesy of Jamie at Garnffrwyd is below.

‘So here it is your chance to fish for your Country. If Fly Fishing is your hobby or maybe you are already a seasoned International fly fisher then why not put your name forward to trial for a place in the 2016 Bank Team.
The 2016 International competition will be hosted by Wales and will again return to one of the UK’s top still waters Garnffrwd Trout Fishery.
The trials for the team will consist of two heats and one final trial. The first heat will be held at Garnffrwd on the 13th of December 2015. The second heat will be fished at the excellent Cwm Hedd Trout Fishery in Newport Gwent, on the 28th of February 2016.
The top placed 50% from each heat will then go on to fish the final which will be on the 17th April at Garnffrwd.
Expect it to be a challenge, rewarding and an experienced you will cherish for a lifetime.’
For further information e-mail James Miller or message James on the Garnffrwd Fly Fishing  facebook page

And finally…

When the elements have thrown everything at your  ‘waterproof’ clothing, make a dash for the toastie warmth of the lodge, although the image of Ken Pascoe and Keith Higgins below was taken on a more clement day last week!

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Week ending Sunday 8th November

Wet, wet and wetter has been the order of the week, but the downpours have not dampened the spirits of those who have braved the elements.  As is often the case there has been some excellent fishing in the worst of the weather.  Paul Elsworthy (Images below) arrived for opening time on Saturday and was back in the lodge just after 10, a little damp but delighted to have taken one rainbow and released ten: pretty good going!  Using a floating line, Paul caught the first two with a white fritz then switched to a montana, the latter proving irresistible to the rainbows.

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Wednesday was the most difficult day, with most taking fish but not finding it easy to bring more  to the net, although Ken Bowring took one and released eight switching between floating and intermediate lines, with a cats whisker and a black and green damsel.  Jim McKay took two fish on a  tadpole and floating line, while Lee Ashcroft caught six once I had taken myself and my camera back to the lodge!  In general through the week there were some inevitable dry nets which gave rise to frustration and head scratching ,  but overall the fishing has been very good.


As the week progressed and the weather worsened there was an increase in the numbers of fish caught, with the best days being Friday and Saturday bringing a rod average of over 5, dropping to just under 4 on Sunday.

The three tag fish that were delivered with the fresh stock last week have so far evaded capture.  As a rule they tend to get caught quite quickly so I’m expecting to be paying out to lucky anglers this week!  If two are caught on the same day the first angler gets whatever’s in the pot plus a day ticket; the second angler gets a day ticket and the pot starts again etc.  Entry is £1.  maximum pot is £100, with any cash in excess going to charity.

The point of the main island and the far bank are fairly consistent ‘hotspots’, so it’s always good to see anglers trying out different areas.  Working their way around the lake and finishing up on the platforms along the front Christian Jones and Rhys Llewellyn had some very good sport towards the end of the day on Sunday in the gathering gloom.  both using minkies and floating lines, Rhys  brought five rainbows to the net while it was seven for Christian. Christian advice is to not be too worried casting over weedy areas as this is where many fish are to be found in abundance: just pull the line quickly over the top of the weed and most of the time the only thing to be caught will be fish.

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Huw Davies netted a lovely brown on his visit, working his way around the lake including the wading area as did Luke Thomas, who had taken his first four of eleven rainbows off the main island.

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Good to see a number of anglers making their first visit to Cwm Hedd or returning for the first time this season,  amongst them  Tony and Oliver Spear, James Williams,   Mark Rees, Martin Davies, Neil Thomas,   James Williams and  Adrian Moyse, the latter taking one and releasing  seven.  Martin took one and released five.

The majority have used floating lines this week, although a good many have used intermediate.  Also Using slow glass and fast glass lines, regulars Matt Russell and Callum Russell made two visits over the weekend catching thirty fish between them, while  Stuart Thomas’s seven fish on Friday were tempted by three different flies; Mark and John Gunter brought fifteen rainbows to the bank between them.

Looking through the range of successful flies this week  it seems that the recommendation could be ‘whatever you have confidence in’ as they are so many and varied: black and green damsel/montana/fritz/ tadpole/dancer;  cats whisker, blob, minky, white fluff cat, white fritz, pinky, olive fluff cat, shipman’s buzzer, orange thorax pheasant tail, coral egg fly, dawson’s olive…

The weather’s looking pretty grim for this week, with plenty of rain about, so if you do venture out there should be plenty of platform choice!

Have a good week and tight lines if you come fishing!

Open Wednesday-Sunday 8am-5pm: last admission 2pm;  closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Tel 07813 143 034 before 6pm; 01633 896854 (lodge during fly fishing opening hours). Fishery rules and further information on


Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing report 24th October 2015

It’s been a cracking week at Cwm Hedd overall with the near perfect conditions keeping the majority of anglers very happy indeed (please note that the opening weekend report is on a separate blog). Catches are too numerous to list everyone sorry, so these are the highlights:  Mike James, Roger Martyn, Wales international Sally Ann Iles and Bernie Davies each took one and returned seven earlier in the week, Continue reading Cwm Hedd Fly Fishing report 24th October 2015

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