This most interesting river rises...
Tawe Angling; in a remote moorland tarn called Llyn y Fan Fawr, situated under the crags of Fan Brycheiniog on the Black Mountain (not to be confused with the Black Mountains to the East of the Brecon Beacons National Park!)
From here it tumbles steeply to the valley and then runs close to the main A4067 road and through some very rocky gorges before it finally calms down into longer, shallower pools beyond Abercraf, through to Ystalyfera, Ynysmeadwy down to Pontardawe, where it leaves the National Park.
In its lower stretches the river runs through a number of former coal-mining areas before negotiating the city of Swansea. The River Tawe flows down from its source in the limestone hills overlooking Craig-y-Nos Castle and the Swansea Valley.
It is a beautiful clear stream which supports both wild and migratory trout (sewin) and Salmon. The River Tawe is a streamy river with deep lies under one or other bank and is excellent fly fishing water. It is also a good river for night fishing in summer and autumn when the sea trout (sewin) are running.
When the river is down to its normal summer level use a short 6ft to 8ft rod during the day and flick the line under the trees on the far bank to entice out the fish.
As it goes dusk fish down towards the bottom end of the pools where the fish position themselves to catch the evening fly hatch. When the river is up and colored use a worm or spinner, but it is not permitted to use a fixed spool reel or multiplying (bait casting) reel. You must use a centerpin or fly reel. This rule on the river is governed by the Tawe Angling Association to protect the survival of migratory species.
You need a rod license to fish anywhere in England and Wales and this can be purchased on line through the Environment Agency Website.
The site at Ystalyfera between the Tarenni to the Wier has an existing all ability fishing platform that is used each season to provide access and coaching for disabled anglers. The angling platform also provides an excellent venue to coach junior anglers in a safe and controlled environment.
It has easy access from the car park at one side with eating
facilities (outdoor cafe).
Fishing opportunities on the Tawe
This really is a cracking little river and a real challenge to the keen game fisherman, who will be very pleased to learn that the whole river is open to the visitor through permits issued by two angling clubs. The main river and tributaries in Kite Country, extending to some 25 miles of fishing in all, are in the hands of the Tawe and Tributaries Angling Association and day tickets are available from this website and this link. Salmon and sea trout may be caught from mid-March to mid-October.
Fly fishing and spinning are permitted, although anglers fishing the Tawe and Tributaries AA waters are only allowed to use centrepin reels for spinning. The fishing in the upper reaches can be really satisfying, although anglers should note that the rocky stretches can be dangerous, especially after heavy rain. Waders with felt soles are a must. Access to most parts of the river is good, with the road never too far away.
You can purchase your permits via this LINK