Llyn Trawsfynydd is a huge man-made lake in Southern Snowdonia, with fantastic mountain views. The lake is one of the region’s most popular spots for fishing.
Llyn Trawsfynydd – Trawsfynydd Lake – is a large man-made reservoir set in stunning surroundings just off the A470 road between Dolgellau and Porthmadog in the southern part of Snowdonia. With a surface area of nearly 1200 acres, Llyn Trawsfynydd is a little bigger than Wales’ largest natural lake, Llyn Tegid in Bala.
The lake, which was originally built as a header reservoir for a hydro-electric power station, was later used by the Trawsfynydd nuclear power station, which is now well into the process of being decommissioned. Today, although the power station hasn’t generated electricity since 1991, the lake itself is still used to generate hydroelectricity.
Llyn Trawsfynydd is one of Snowdonia’s premier angling locations. Set in such beautiful rural surroundings, the lake is the perfect setting for a peaceful, relaxing day of fishing, walking or bird watching, with many amenities and attractions also on offer in the nearby village of Trawsfynydd and the towns of Porthmadog, Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The Prysor Angling Association was formed at the end of the 19th century by anglers fishing on the Afon Prysor, which fed the lake when it was first constructed. A sub-group of the Association – the Prysor Angling Lake Management Committee – now manages Llyn Trawsfynydd, with all members of both the Association and the Committee acting on a purely voluntary basis.
Llyn Trawsfynydd was the first venue to hold an international fly fishing competition, and over the years has earned itself an excellent reputation among anglers for its top of the water sport and its good quality hard fighting fish. The lake is populated by a healthy head of natural wild brown trout, which average 1lb in weight, although brown trout over 7lbs have been caught in the lake. Llyn Trawsfynydd is also stocked regularly with good quality rainbow trout, which have an excellent overwintered survival rate. The rainbow trout are stocked regularly throughout the season, on average weighing 1.10 to 1.12lbs, though there are a few larger fish introduced too. There’s also a quantity of coarse fish, including perch, rudd and some large pike.
Trawsfynydd Lake is ‘multi-method’, with areas for bank anglers to fish either bait or fly, and several areas of bank for fly fishing only. A fleet of 40 boats with outboard motors are available for fly fishing, with no prohibited areas. With an average depth of about 12ft, the advice is that generally, fast sinking lines are not needed. However, the Association advises that these should not be completely discounted.
The season at Llyn Trawsfynydd runs from 1 February to 31 December; rainbow trout are available throughout this season, although brown trout are only available from April until the end of September. A range of ticket options, from day and family tickets to season tickets, can be bought at the north lakeside cabin; please note you will also need an Environment Agency rod licence if you’re planning to fish at Llyn Trawsfynydd – you can buy this from any Post Office.
Although angling is of course an extremely popular activity at Llyn Trawsfynydd, there is plenty to do and see in the area for members of your group that aren’t so interested in the sport. Bird watchers will have plenty to keep them occupied; there’s an abundance of waterfowl living on the lake’s shores and islands, and patience may be rewarded with a glimpse of ospreys. The route around the lake is excellent for gentler walks, while the more adventurous will be attracted to the Rhinogydd hills and the Arenig and Moelwyn mountains. In the village of Trawsfynydd is the Llys Ednowain Visitor Centre, where you can learn more about the area’s history, culture and people. And a short journey away are Porthmadog, Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog, where there are shops, restaurants and visitor attractions where the whole family can enjoy great days out.