The lower part of the river Wye is undoubtedly the best for salmon fishing, throughout the season, with Wyesham and Bigsweir having the highest catch returns for the whole of the river Wye. Lots of deep pools predominate this stretch of river and from Bigsweir downstream there is tidal influence from the Severn estuary which helps with the contiuous replenishment of fresh fish. Wyesham fishery begins below Monmouth Bridge where there is the famous “Dukes Water”, which belongs to the Duke of Beaufort whose family has always been great benefactors to Salmon fishing on the Wye.
Bridge pool at Wyesham
Wyesham extends for approximately 2 miles down to Redbrook with many well-known salmon catches such as Viaduct, Cottage Pool, Livox Run, Halfway House, Bull’s Back, The Washings and Coleman’s. The river Wye then passes through other famous beats such as Cadora and Upper Bigsweir until it reaches the top end of Bigsweir fishery at Wye Seal. Below this are Florence and Pilstone before coming to Bigsweir Bridge.
Below the bridge there are many other well-known beats with names such as Station, Rocks, Llandogo and Netting Station before eventually coming to the village of Llandogo. After this the catching of salmon is not quite so productive because the river Wye is now getting near to the sea, with deeper and slower running water and a greater tidal influence.
Tintern viewed from the devil’s pulpit
All the way down the Wye valley is very scenic countryside but perhaps none as pretty as the area around Tintern with its ruined abbey. Eventually the river Wye winds around Chepstow castle until it reaches the Severn Estuary with its magnificent suspension bridge which carries the M4 motorway from South Wales to London.
The salmon hold in the Estuary waiting until the time when the river condititions are favourable to make their way to the spawning grounds – the place of their birth.
The Severn Bridge