Fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Wye & Usk

Playing a salmon on the upper Wye near Erwood.A Wye Salmon

The Wye is traditionally known for its large spring fish of 20lbs+ and March, April and May are good months for them. Early season water levels are usually high enough to bring fish in from the estuary and for them to disperse throughout the river, which can give sport to beats even above Builth Wells. Late May, June and July have a strong run of fish in the 8-14lb class, followed by a very variable run of grilse.

During July and August, low summer flows often restrict fishing to the beats downstream of Monmouth. However, any significant rainfall during the summer months will distribute the run of summer salmon and grilse to all parts of the river, giving the fly fisher perhaps the best opportunities of the season. June, May, July and October are the most productive months. Autumn can bring fish on the take in most sections of the Wye. Ideally, a good flood is needed to flush the river out. Thereafter rainfall will dictate where fish will most likely be found: the wetter it is, the further up river fish will travel. The Wye does not have many new fish in October but those present are good fly takers. Salmon stocks are recovering after 30 years of decline.

In recent years the Usk has been the most productive salmon river in Wales. In 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2012 the catch exceeded 1,000 fish. The Usk is a good deal more dependent on rainfall than the Wye. The season starts with a modest spring run from early April that builds into very productive summer fishing during late May and June. Rainfall and flow are critical in determining how far fish will travel with high water suiting the Brecon to Abergavenny reach while lower flows confine consistent sport to the river below Abergavenny. The Usk has a much later run than the Wye and the chance of a fresh grilse fish or summer fish is good right up to the end of the season. September and October are the most productive months and often account for 50% of the annual catch. The Usk has some classic fly water although spinner and bait are allowed at certain times. In wet years, large numbers of fish can be present in the Brecon area before the end of the season but in most years the best of the salmon fishing is to be found from Crickhowell downstream. The best months are October, September, June and July.

Salmon Season: 3rd March to 17th October for both Wye and Usk

WYE (All dates inclusive)

3rd March to 17th October - Mandatory catch and release.
3rd March to 31st August - Spinner and fly fishing.
1st September to 17th October - Fly fishing only.
NB the season extends to 25th October on Irfon, Ithon and main Wye above Llanwrthwl Bridge.

USK (All dates inclusive)

3rd March to 15th June - Mandatory catch and release.
3rd March to 31st May - Fly Fishing only.
1st June to 15th June - Fly fishing & spinning only.
16th June to 15th September - Spinner, fly fishing and permitted baits.
16th September to 17th October - Fly fishing and spinning only.

3 for 2 Salmon Fishing Deal

The following conditions apply:

Wash Offs

Unlike many areas of the UK many of the beats operate a 'wash-off' policy allowing you to reschedule your booking should you find the river unfishable due to flood. For terms and conditions of this policy, please see Wash-Off Terms and Conditions.