Beacons Reservoir is nestled in the Brecon Beacons Mountains just alongside the A470 north of Merthyr Tydfil. Even though this lake is very easy to get to, it is rare to find more than a handful of anglers casting a fly here, and I must confess I do not know why.
Having passed Beacons countless times on my journey north to visit friends and family, it was not until last year when a session to fish the river Usk was washed out did I fish this beautiful lake. Although it’s within a stone’s throw from the main North South road it couldn’t be more peaceful to fish if it were hidden miles from the traffic.
The lake is lightly stocked with Rainbow Trout during the season but it is to the wild brown trout that this lake belongs. My last visit in early May a sure sign of this. An early start meant I was fishing by 7 am, and within 3 casts, a savage take broke the serenity of the misty morning and a fat brownie of about three-quarter of a pound came splashing to the net. It had fallen to a woolly bugger, which was fished below the surface as the point fly to a team of three. Another few casts fanned out from my first fishing spot saw another large boil and a cracking pull on the line. This was a better fish, and it took a while to tame it on my 4/5-weight rod, twice leaping clear of the water, a daddy longlegs fished on the middle dropper was the culprit this time. What a day this would be, I had no priest to dispatch the fish so a well-shaped stone had to do. However a slip saw me catch my knuckle with the stone, ouch, another good reason to catch and release!
A visit to the car for a coffee and some elastoplast put and end to my good fortune and I didn’t manage another fish until I packed and turned for home at lunchtime.
Other visits has seen Rainbow and Brown trout up to 3lb on a variety of flies, a woolly bugger usually does well, as does a daddy longlegs. Cat’s whiskers will catch the rainbows. Other flies that do well at different times are Coch y Bonddu, Bibo, Hawthorn Fly, and Olive nymphs. Late in the season the sedges will hatch and a deer hair sedge skated on the surface will produce some savage takes.
Beacons reservoir is controlled by Welsh Water and permits can be purchased at the Forestry Commission centre nearby, at the time of writing the cost of tickets are only £6 for a day’s fishing. More information can be found on Dwr Cymru welsh Water’s website at www.dwrcymru.com.