Small streams for wild browns

Perfection in miniature (River Lliw, near Swansea)

Visiting angler, Oliver Burch works his way upstream on the dry fly (River Lliw)

Recommended equipment:

  • 6–8ft, 2–3wt fly rod, balanced fly reel and floating fly line
  • Traditional river dry flies, wets and nymph patterns – 2–3lb leader
  • Waders (preferably chest).

Techniques covered:

  • Reading the water, river craft and basic entomology
  • Upstream dry fly, wet fly and nymphing
  • Casts, including roll, side and bow and arrow.


They say size isn’t everything, and it is certainly true when fishing small streams.

I love nothing more than wandering these miniature waterways, chasing pretty little wild brown trout with butter-coloured bellies and bright red spots. Most fish weigh-in under 8-ounces but punch well above their weight when using a wand-like 7–8ft fly rod. On occasions, you will winkle out a larger specimen from a deep hole, or that difficult to reach spot. Dry flies always catch fish but nymphs, or even streamer patterns work well too.

We will travel light, covering as much water as possible, wading amongst tree canopies and overgrown backside vegetation. Around every corner is a challenge and an opportunity to flick a fly to ever willing fish – they certainly keep you busy! This fishing will test the skills of the most experienced angler and I guarantee you will want more.

Note: with steep, slippery banks and awkward access, you will need a reasonable level of fitness as we could walk a few miles during a session.

Season: 3rd March to 30th September.
Rivers: Lliw, Llan, Gwilli and Morlais (all near Swansea).

Small stream guided day (ideally, a one-to-one service). All tackle can be supplied, including chest waders. Note: fishing day permits and Environment Agency rod Licences are not included.
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