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Fishing

Why not enjoy the Welsh outdoors and go fishing? Find out all you need to know here, from where to fish to what tackle to use

Man fly-fishing in a river

Firstly, get your rod licence!

Don’t forget, if you are 12 years or older, you need a rod licence to fish legally in Wales.

Check the local and national byelaws

Fishing in Wales is subject to national and local byelaws in order to protect the future of our fisheries. They apply to all waters, whether they are owned by angling clubs, local authorities or private individuals. 

Before you go fishing, please check the national and local byelaws to ensure you do not break the law and that you have a hassle-free fishing trip.

Where can I fish?

If you want to find somewhere to go fishing, there are a number of useful websites, including:

What can I fish for?

Wales is well known for the quality of its wild brown trout, grayling and salmon fishing and has some of the best sea trout (or ‘sewin’) rivers to be found anywhere in Europe. We also have some great reservoir trout and pike fishing, and no shortage of still waters for targeting coarse fish such as carp, bream and roach.

Use the guides on the Go Fishing websites to find out more about all the different species, where they can be found and what tackle you will need to use to catch them. 

Checking for additional restrictions

Some clubs, rivers and private fisheries have their own rules and restrictions so always check with the fishery owner before you start to fish. 

How do I get into fishing?

If you are new to fishing, you can get instruction or a guide at a local angling club. This is a good way to get into fishing and with a lot of instructors providing their own equipment, it’s a less expensive way to try out fishing for the first time. 

Help record wildlife

 As an angler you’re in a unique position to help update wildlife records; not only the fish you catch, but all the other species you see when out fishing.

The iRecord App offers a simple field based way for you to get involved in wildlife recording and help contribute to nature conservation, planning, research and education.

You can get more information on biological recording at:
NBN Atlas Wales or the UK Biological Records Centre

Keep up to date online

If you use Twitter, you can keep up to date with fishing information, ask questions to experts and share information. Below are a few of the best people currently tweeting about fishing in Wales:

@NatResWales – Keep up to date with everything Natural Resources Wales.
@FishAround – A community for anglers, helping fishing fans find the best places to fish, share information and connect.

Responsible angling

Practice Catch and Release to help conserve stocks. 

Stocks of salmon and sea trout have generally been declining in recent years. As a result, anglers are voluntarily releasing an increasing number of fish they capture.

The rivers Taff, Ely and Wye are now 100% Catch and Release all season for both salmon and sea trout. In addition, any salmon caught in Wales before 16 June must be returned to the river. 

Helping fish to survive

Studies show that most fish will survive after they have been released and survival rates can be up to 100% if the following steps are followed:

  • Always use single or double barbless hooks
  • Minimise the time spent playing a fish
  • Do not remove the fish from the water at any time
  • Support the fish in the water until it is fully recovered

Check-Clean-Dry: stop the spread of damaging invasive species

Invasive non-native species can have a damaging impact on British plants, animals and ecosystems. They do this by spreading disease, competing for habitat and food as well as direct predation. Anglers may unknowingly be helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another in wet equipment, such as nets and waders.

Help stop this happening by following three simple steps: Check, Clean and Dry.

Related document downloads

Angling byelaws 2017 PDF [362.3 KB]

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