St David’s Day

Every year brings a different roll of the dice. Last year: a dry winter and ’18 included the “Beast from the East.” This winter we have had a series of floods that stretch back to the middle of last September. Even the low periods in between have held up and it is only this week that the next two weeks’ forecast isn’t for yet another significant rise.

Perhaps the only good thing is that the high flows started before the annual spawning giving what fish there were – and we don’t yet know how many - a chance to head well upstream to the relative safety of the tributaries and smaller sections.

The Erwood (upper Wye) hydrograph over the last three months

Looking at the graphs, one flood stands out above all others: Dennis setting new heights in the annals of flood levels on the Wye. The problem for many unfortunate residents in the Wye Valley was that it followed on too quickly from Ciara, which arrived after something of what we might call a relatively  settled period’. 

So the key question is when is there a reasonable chance to go fishing….and where? Usk gets back to fishing height first but hasn’t been a great supplier of March fish in recent….and not so recent years. The Severn has started its season already but its banks are not yet even visible. The Wye above Hereford has places that will come into fishing order but it will be slow to drop from today (1st March) as every crevice and ditch is still running with water. So without further rain forecasted (but not guaranteed), high water pools in these reaches of the Wye might be worth a trip; if it rains it’s back to work or staying at home.

Please keep in touch with weather forecasts along with our blog and gauges. We look forward to reporting the first fish on both rivers and to mark the occasion, Pol Roger has donated a bottle of their wonderful Champagne for the lucky anglers.

The very best of luck to anyone out on the riverbank this month.

Matt Cooper with a 13lb Wye springer he caught from Ross Angling water on opening day last year.

Please note that the views within this report are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Wye & Usk Foundation.