Grayling Fishing on River Irfon

Grayling Fishing at the Llanfechan House beat on the River Irfon

28th September 2020

The River Irfon, especially the Upper Irfon is renowned for its quality Grayling fishing, along with its stunning scenery. Lying just off the main A483 road is the Llanfechan House Estate which I have driven past 100s of times, never realising its location. It is approx. seven miles west of Buith Wells towards Garth, and then a very short ¾ of a mile drive to the parking area. Following a short walk through a spinney, down the edge of a paddock through a gate, down 20+ steps cut into the bank all done with access in mind, to the beat. The River Irfon which is situated in the Powys district of Wales, starts its 30 miles twisting journey from the Cambrian Mountains, through the Abergwesyn Valley winding its way towards the Irfon Nature Reserve and on to Llangammarch Wells and Builth Wells, where it flows into the Wye. I have fished many of the Irfon beats and this one on the Llanfechan House Estate is a new one for me. This beat is set in a very beautiful secluded valley, picturesque and peaceful surroundings of the Upper Wye catchment area. There is good access with a well walked path all the way along this beat, which is approx. 1 mile of single bank, fishing mainly for Grayling and Trout with the occasional autumn Salmon. There are 9 individual pools some very deep which may hide larger fish. The river bed is a mixture of bedrock, boulders and gravel like most of the Irfon.

I started my fishing at the Builth Wells end of the beat. The water was clear and very low, many boulders, rocks and a mass of bedrock were completely exposed of any water. This stretch has a long overgrown island, (named Long Stream) situated off the bank where I was fishing, and as there was very little water on this side of the island, I was able to walk across the river, climb onto the Island and fish in the main current on the far side. I fished with a 7ft 6in rod; 4lb furled leader and 3lb Tibet; my red and green spider size 14 on the dropper and on the point a green and brown goose biots nymph size 14. As an alternative, a 10ft rod may have been better to cast further if you could wade out into the middle of the river. I suppose it’s what you’re comfortable with, but the water here was black and to me that means deep, so I went on the side of caution and stayed where I was. This is a very pleasant beat to fish, with gates and a style so as to make it all accessible. There are some very wide river sections and very deep pools, and all down the opposite Bank is a deep gully, but I had no problem wading out to waist deep in some areas. You can enter the water in most places off the path which runs the full length of the beat, this path is not always on the water’s edge as it meanders higher in places which gives you an excellent view of the river. As you are high up you can see the gravel beds through the very clear water where the Salmon and Trout spawn, small paths then take you down to the water’s edge in various places.

I caught only one small Grayling for the day in the Mud pool

What I found most fascinating was the view of the surface of the river bed when it’s all exposed, what it looks like, and that Bedrock, with its cracks, holes, growing vegetation and channels, it’s no wonder some of us get a soaking sometimes. In fact it makes you think twice when you wade out in a current with a wading stick just what you are walking on when the river is full flow bank to bank.

On the wild life, there were several Kingfishers, Dippers, Wagtails and a Wren exploring moist bedrock.

I should think this is a fabulous beat to fish well into the late autumn on an early morning with a Hoare frost, bare leafless trees and the river full with a steady flow. I can’t wait!

This beat is controlled by the Wye & Usk Foundation under their Passport scheme, day tickets and fishing pool details are obtained from them on (01874 712074) or on line.

An ideal place for a club fishing day, when we return to more normal times.

Andrew Ayres

WFD, C&GFD and Grayling Society member.

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