Where is Llandegla Fishery?
Llandegla Fishery is situated alongside Llandegla Forest (Coed Llandegla) in rural Wrexham, North Wales, not far from the border with Denbighshire. Coed Llandegla is a popular area with mountain bikers and walkers and the fishery's cafe is a popular destination with people passing through.
How many lakes are there?
There are four lakes. The bottom one is coarse only, the middle two are fly only and the top one at the back is a bait fishing pool for trout fishing. All of the lakes are fairly small and have plenty of room for backcasting, however, you have to watch your backcast here as sometimes people walk rather close to the anglers.
How challenging is the fishing?
Llandegla's lakes are well stocked and we generally find the fishing fairly easy, compared to other small stillwaters, like Ellerdine Lakes.
Llandegla is the chosen destination for our fly fishing club's junior days. Corwen and District Angling Club meet here every few weeks from spring to autumn and juniors get free coaching as part of their club membership, which is brilliant.
In perhaps a couple of dozen trips over the past couple of years we've only blanked once, so your chances of catching are very high and it's a good choice for novices or children. All of our kids love fly fishing here, especially because there's a cafe on site!
What's the cafe like?
The cafe and fishery are family run and the staff are all very friendly. They serve a variety of home cooked food from sausage and bacon sandwiches and all day breakfasts to full roast dinners, plus dozens of different types of home baked cakes and excellent coffee.
We often have a breakfast here before we start fishing, and the food is great. The fishery's cafe has a good reputation locally, so it can get busy (especially when a van of mountain bikers stops by) which means it might take a little while to get your order, but it's worth waiting for.
What fish are stocked?
Both of the fly only lakes are stock with a mixture of rainbow trout and blue trout. There are actually quite a lot of blues in here (which fight spectacularly), as well as the odd brown or tiger trout, and a good head of rudd in the upper lake.
The quality of the fish is pretty good. They generally have good fins and are in excellent condition, so they fight very well. As Llandegla is fairly high up, the weather is often quite cool so the water temperature stays down most of the time and the lakes are fishable for most of the year.
During very hot spells, like most stillwater trout fisheries, the fishing can be tough and the trout can become lethargic due to the higher temperature and lower oxygen level.
How big are the trout?
The average size of the trout here is pretty good. Most of the rainbows are around the two pound mark, but there are also some bigger fish too. My best fish from Llandegla went to just over eight pounds and it pulled like hell.
There are often double figure fish caught, and there have been several browns and rainbows over the 20lb mark caught in the last six months or so. It's fairly uncommon to catch anything much below two pounds, so you will need to fish with appropriate leader and tippet - five or six pound ought to be the minimum really.
What gear will I need to fish here?
When it's not too windy, a four or five weight rod is good fun, especially if the fish are feeding on dries. When it's windy (and it often is up here) you'll be better off with a six or seven weight rod.
A floating line will generally suffice on either lake all year round. However, there are times when an intermediate line is worth using, especially on the upper lake when the fish are a few feet down and you're pulling lures.
What techniques work well at Llandegla?
Lures with long marabou tails will work pretty much all the time, but probably the most consistent method, and the easiest for beginners and children is fishing something beneath an indicator.
How do the two lakes differ?
The lower lake, known as House Pool, has an inlet at one end where water flows in from the upper lake. This brings food and oxygenated water and the trout often hang around in this area, so it's a good place to start. There are generally also lots of trout around the weed bed along the closest bank to the car park.
The far end of House Pool, nearest the coarse lake, also has quite big weed beds so isn't really suitable for fishing anything deep. It's a good area to fish natural patterns and dry flies during the spring and summer, though.
The upper lake tends to be the tougher of the two, with most of the fish showing from the end of the lake closest to the cafe. The prevailing wind tends to blow food into this corner, and the windy bank can be very good if you can handle fishing into the head wind.
The top end of the upper lake is shallower and is a good place to catch the plentiful rudd on dry flies, if you fancy a change from the trout. We've had some lovely specimens out of here which are around the half pound mark - they fight rather well on a bendy little four weight fly rod.
Can I get a catch and release ticket?
Yes, a range of fishing tickets are offered, including catch and kill and catch and release. Prices are reasonable, given your likelihood to catch plenty of fish.
A four fish ticket for a full day priced at £33, and a full day of catch and release priced at £24 for adults and £21 for under 14s. Short two hour tickets are also offered, making it a handy venue for quick sessions.
Is it hard to find?
No, it's very easy. Llandegla Fishery is located on the main A525, not far from the entrance to Coed Llandegla and you'll see it as you drive round the corner. It's about 35 minutes away from Chester and 20 minutes from Wrexham.