With over a hundred lakes, a huge network of rivers and nearly 200 miles of coastline, Snowdonia has long been a favourite destination for fishing enthusiasts. And with so much stunning scenery and such an impressive variety of fish – from bass and plaice around the coast to perch, roach and wild brown trout inland – it’s no wonder Gwilym Hughes, one of Snowdonia’s most celebrated anglers, describes Snowdonia Mountains and Coast as “a fishing heaven”.
The following is a very small selection of some of Snowdonia’s most popular game, coarse and sea fishing spots; to find out more, please download the Snowdonia Mountains and Coast Fishing Guide (PDF) which also contains essential information about where to buy relevant permits and rod licences locally.
There are several excellent places to fish in Barmouth, as recommended by Wales Log Cabins, Trawsfynydd. Bass, plaice, flounder and whiting may be caught at the Old Harbour, while at Barmouth Point catches include bass, dogfish, garfish, dabs, and the occasional sea trout. Boat fishing is also popular at Barmouth; there are daily fishing trips (weather permitting) lasting anything from two to twelve hours, with bait and tackle provided if required.
2. Betws y Coed
Game fishing is very popular on the River Conwy as well as the Lledr and Llugwy rivers. At Pont y Pair bridge, salmon can be seen trying to negotiate the falls during the floodwaters of September and October. There’s also an Anglers’ Club offering salmon and trout fishing on day tickets to visitors; check details and rates at betws-y-coed-anglers.org.
3. Cregennan Lakes
At 800ft above sea level on the northern slopes of the mighty Cader Idris, Cregennan Lakes are owned by the National Trust and are surrounded by truly outstanding scenery. Fish for wild brown trout (fly, spin or worm) or blue and rainbow trout (fly only). Find out more at cregennan.co.uk.
4. Trawsfynydd Lake
Trawsfynydd Lake has hosted numerous international fishing competitions and is regarded as one of the premier fishing reservoirs in Wales. Here you can enjoy quality fly fishing for wild brown trout and rainbow trout, and there’s also perch, rudd, pike and very large eels. Find out more at trawslake.com.
5. Eisteddfa Fisheries
Two miles from Criccieth, this venue is a popular choice for family fishing trips, since Eistedddfa Fisheries have a special ‘family lake’ set aside for beginners and children. There are several lakes at Eisteddfa Fisheries, set in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by great views. There are two trout lakes for game anglers, three coarse lakes, and a carp lake. Find out more at eisteddfa-fisheries.com.
6. Conwy Marina
Sea fishing off Conwy takes an unusual twist on the Lady Gwen II. Based in Conwy Marina, the Lady Gwen II charter will take you anywhere from Anglesey to Liverpool, with wreck fishing for pollack, ling, coalfish, conger, cod and pouting a speciality, depending on the time of year. Find out more: sea-fishing-trips.co.uk.
Lying a short distance from the A499 Caernarfon to Pwllheli road, Trefor is a popular spot for fishing. Surrounded by dramatic mountain views, quiet Morfa Beach, with its slipway, easy parking and peaceful atmosphere is a great spot that’s easy to get to but rarely crowded. Plaice, mackerel, pollack, wrasse, ray and bass may be caught here; find out more at worldseafishing.com.
8. Llyn Cwellyn
“Fishing here is truly outstanding”, says walescymru.com, “with the free-rising wild brown trout rivalling any to be had elsewhere within these islands.” A pretty good review by anyone’s standards, and a popular opinion of Llyn Cwellyn. Situated at the foot of Snowdon, this is one of Snowdonia’s top fishing spots and one of the few lakes in Wales to support a natural population of Arctic char.
9. Llyn Tegid
Llyn Tegid is Wales’ largest natural lake and you can fish here for perch, roach, pike, trout, grayling and eels (there are actually 14 species of fish in Llyn Tegid, in total, including the plankton-feeding gwyniad). You’ll be hard pushed to find more beautiful surroundings for your fishing trip. Find out more: balaangling.co.uk.
10. Tal-y-Llyn Lake
Afon Dysynni, with Tal-y-Llyn lake at its head, is famed for its particularly large sea trout. The lake is great for fishing brown trout, and fly fishing is available from both bank and boat. Fishing at Tal-y-Llyn Lake is controlled by Ty’n y Cornel Hotel at the lakeside – find out more at tynycornel.co.uk.