“Fishing here is truly outstanding, with the free-rising wild brown trout rivalling any to be had elsewhere within these islands.” This is the description of fishing on Llyn Cwellyn according to the Seiont and Gwyrfai Society’s website, so, a day on the lake seemed to be an irresistible proposition. A few phone calls to my brother and Edwyn and a day’s fishing was arranged, the anticipation was immense although slightly tempered with the thought that the description could be advertising speak, if you know what I mean.
Llyn Cwellyn is a relatively large lake of around 220 acres and is designated a Special Area of Conservation. Because of its depth the lake supports one of the few populations of Artic charr; it also has a run, although not large, of salmon and sea-trout. A little know fact is that Environment Agency electrofishing data indicates the presence of healthy juvenile salmon population in the River Gwyrfai, downstream of Llyn Cwellyn, and research shows that the river contains a largely unexploited salmon population with a characteristically late run.
The flora of Cwellyn both submerged and floating is one of the reasons for the conservation area and although the water has acidified, quality remains high and the water is clear. In fact the more I read about the lake the more inclined I was to believe the Society’s statement, the ecology of the lake seemed to produce abundance.
Permits, electric engines and keys to gain access to the moorings can be obtained from the Cwellyn Arms, which is where we all met for coffee prior to fishing; the Inn does an interesting range of real ales and food, which we all thought would be perfect to end the day with.
The mooring is located on the south-eastern end of the lake, where the Society keeps its three boats, with only these boats generally available on the lake and electric engines, overcrowding will never be a problem. One word of warning, Cwellyn lies in an area of heavy rainfall, so be prepared to empty the boats of what could be a considerable amount of water, before commencing fishing.
Dominating the south side of the lake is Mynydd Mawr, it towers above the lake, and on this outcrop legend has it was the original Castell Cidwm or wolfs’ castle, who occupied the castle is open to conjecture, suffice to say it is between either ancient chieftains or robber barons, the area is so steeped in myths and legends that there is one for every eventuality, suffice to say that if the faeries appeared dancing on the water you would not be at all surprised.. The water shelves steeply on this side whilst the north shore of the lake is more gradual and fringed with trees and reeds.