Starting with a family friendly fishery. Chirk Fishery is set on the Welsh English borders near to Llangollen, about 20 miles drive from Chester and 25 miles from Shrewsbury.
This picturesque little stillwater has two fly fishing lakes and a bait pool specially for children. These are all regularly stocked with rainbow, brown, brook, golden, blue and tiger trout from the fishery's own farm, so no two catches could be the same. There are also lots of hungry perch present and keen to take your fly.
The children's bait pool, for under 12s only, has been designed with safety in mind with barriers on the banks and wooden walkways. There are also some convenient picnic tables nearby. It's a very reasonable £8 per child for two hours of fishing, with bait and tackle included in the price. Any fish your child manages to land are charged at an extra £2.50 per lb.
For the adult fly fisher, or more experienced juniors, as well as the two stocked fly fishing lakes totalling two and a half acres, there is also river fishing available in season on a section of the River Ceiriog that runs through the fishery. This is home to brown trout and grayling and if you are visiting in July you might be lucky enough to catch a passing sea trout.
There are a good range of ticket options available, from eight hours down to two hours if you just have time for a quick fish. And if you have a junior fly fisher with you, there are concessionary options for the under 16s, giving a good reduction on the cost of an adult ticket.
The owner is very welcoming of anglers turning up with their kids and came over specially to offer Matt and George loads of tips and advice when they had a day out there last year. He even gave George a free twenty minute lesson to get him catching. Chirk fishery is a little gem, well worth a visit if you are holidaying in the area or live nearby. Read Matt's full review of their visit to Chirk Fishery if you want to know more.
River Dee at Ty Mawr Country Park
Only four miles on from Chirk, in the shadow of both the Cefn Viaduct and Thomas Telford's famous Pontcysyllte Viaduct, Ty Mawr Country Park is the ideal location for a family day out with some serious fishing on the side.
Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the banks of the river Dee, Ty Mawr is a great day out if you have younger kids. There's loads to keep the rest of the family busy, so they won't miss you if you slip away for a few hours to experience what the renowned River Dee has to offer.
To keep the kids happy there's a small animal area where you can feed the free range chickens, and around the park are donkeys, goats and even llamas grazing in the fields. There are a range of trails to help you explore the park, from a toddler friendly walk of about one mile on easy tarmac paths, to a more challenging walk along the banks of the Dee to the Pontcysyllte Viaduct.
The Visitor Centre has toilets and baby changing facilities and a small shop selling drinks, ice creams and snacks. There are also picnic tables situated all around the park and a play area and BMX track. It's a great day out even without the fishing, and entrance to the park is free, they only ask for donations to help look after the animals. Plus, dogs are welcome as long as they are kept under control.
The fishing on the Dee in the park is controlled by Llangollen Maelor Angling. Day tickets are available at the Park's Visitor Centre with a trout and grayling ticket costing a reasonable £15. More details about the fishing and the club rules can be found on their website.
Next up is a Fly and Lure family favourite, Llyn Brenig, up on the moors on the Conwy Denbighshire borders. Considered to be among the premier fly fishing locations in North Wales, it is also a really good family day out.
It's generally considered best fished by boat, however, with young kids we've always stuck to the bank and judging by the scrum for places up by the Dam Wall some days, many anglers do the same.
However, with 23 km of shoreline you are sure to find a peaceful spot away from the crowds. We tend to drive round the perimeter to the side opposite the Visitor Centre until we find a quiet bank. The benefit of this is that on busy days you are less likely to hook up to a passing dog enjoying a swim, and if you are fishing with a junior, they can practice their skills without you worrying that they are disturbing the fishing for the other anglers.
Just take care with junior anglers, the banks shelve away very steeply in places and you can be in deep water very quickly. Great for fishing, but not so great for safety. A life jacket is an essential bit of kit for your youngster when fishing here.
The fishing can be challenging. I don't think George (aged 8) has ever caught anything during our visits, but he's had great fun trying. It's really one for more experienced juniors who can wade safely, or fish from a boat.
Permits can be purchased in the fishing shop, next to the Visitor Centre, or from the machines in the angler's car park (these are coin only, so make sure you have enough change.)
A full day ticket (with a six fish limit) is £20.50 for the 2016 season, with the full day under 16 ticket costing £9.50 (three fish limit.) The fishing shop has a small range of tackle available and very friendly and knowledgeable staff who are always willing to give advice.
There's lots to do for those of you not fishing too. Cycling is very popular at Llyn Brenig and there are six main cycle trails to follow. If you haven't brought your own you can hire bikes, both adult and kids and child trailers and tag-alongs. They recommend you reserve these in advance and you'll need proof of ID. There are also numerous walking routes taking in both the shoreline and the surrounding moors.
The Visitor Centre, situated by the car park, has loads of information about the routes on offer. There are also toilets and a lovely cafe with spectacular views (the cakes are spectacular too!) There are numerous picnic tables dotted all around the water and a really good children's play area next door to the Visitor Centre. All-in-all the venue of a great family fishing day out, we'll be off there again this holiday.
Conveniently located just off the A525, in the shadow of Llandegla Forest, Llandegla Fishery, has a range of accommodation options, from B and B to camping, making it the ideal base for a fishing-mad family to explore the beautiful countryside of North Wales.
The fishery consists of five spring-fed lakes, with two of these dedicated to fly fishing. They are stocked with locally reared rainbow, brown, tiger and golden trout, up to 15lb.
There is also a family fishing area with free floating fishing for the under 12s. It's stocked with trout up to 1lb with any fish taken costing £2.50 each. So your kids can have the thrill of catching their own tea!
Coarse fishing is also available and there's a tackle shop with a range of both fly and coarse kit on offer, as well as bait. Plus, if you've not had room in the car for your own gear, they have tackle for hire at £5 per rod and £5 per net.
There's a wide range of ticket options available from full day tickets to two hours, perfect for a spot of fishing after a day out exploring the local area. Plus if you have a junior fly fisher with you they have concessionary discounts on the sporting tickets.Picture copyright © Paul Ainsworth. George with a lovely rainbow.
There's an on-site cafe where you can sample the fishery's own fresh trout, alongside an array of other tempting home-made and locally sourced goodies. And they do an excellent bacon sandwich! Plus, if you're on holiday and suffering an enforced digital detox there's free wifi! There are also lots of picnic benches around the site if you've brought your own food.
It's a very friendly little fishery, with welcoming staff and this welcome even extends to dogs (kept on leads). We had our spaniel with us when we visited and the owner didn't mind her sitting at the picnic bench with us. Plus, if you have a non fisher with you Llandegla Forest is just across the road and a haven for dogs!
It's a good location for a family day out if you are local, but if you are coming from further afield there are a number of accommodation options. Choose from B and B, or the holiday cottage sleeping four, or bring your caravan or tent and enjoy the pitches situated around the lakes. Camping facilities include toilets and a shower block and fire pits are available to hire. You could get straight out of your sleeping bag and straight into the fishing!
If you're going on holiday to the Llyn Peninsula or Snowdonia why not give Eisteddfa Fishery a visit? Situated in the beautiful countryside between Criccieth and Porthmadog, it looks like the perfect venue for a family fishing day trip if you're local or staying in the area.
The fishery consists of five lakes: three coarse and two trout (one bait and fly and the other fly only.)
The fly only lake is for the serious anglers among you. Containing fish into double figures, it is regularly stocked with rainbow, brown, golden and blue trout. There's a good range of ticket options available, both catch and kill and sporting and if you have a fly fishing junior with you there are combined adult and child tickets on both options.
As bait and fly fishing are allowed on the trout lake it's a good option for those with younger children wanting to fish alongside their parents. It's stocked with smaller rainbow trout from one to three pounds and is cheaper to fish than the fly only lake.
Another option for families is to try out the family lake. This is a coarse lake stocked with roach, rudd, bream, tench and carp, with seven large pegs so you can stay close to the kids. Under fives fish for free with a paying adult on this lake and it's located near the fishing cabin so the fishery staff are in easy reach should you need a hand! Tackle hire and bait are included in the ticket price for the family lake.
The fishing cabin has a small range of both fly and bait rods for hire and also stocks flies, bait and some tackle. There's also a cafe on-site serving, breakfasts, lunches and homemade cakes. They'll even deliver to your peg if the fishing is too engrossing to tear yourself away!
If you're looking for accommodation, the fishery also has a range of holiday cottages situated about 500 yards away down a private driveway, with free or discounted fishing included in the price!