Not a One-Fish Pony
The River Towy's 70-mile-long banks are rather notorious for housing some of the best fishing locations in the whole of Wales. The species of fish and of course the quantity of each particular that you catch will depend on the time of year that you venture out with your rods, lines, and other fishing gear, but one thing is for certain: the Towy has a nice array of species for people to experience on daily basis when the season is right. This abundance of fish and presence of multiple species has prompted this article, which hopes to shed some light not only on the different species of fish that you can expect to encounter in the Towy, but also some more detail about each species as well as the time of year you are most likely to encounter them.
Main Species in the Towy
First and foremost, the Towy is widely renowned for the abundance of Sea Trout that one will find occupying its waters at virtually every step of the season. The sea trout is itself the seagoing version of the common Brown Trout. Sea Trout is undoubtedly the most common species to be found in the Towy, but their abundance isn't the only notable feature here: the Towy is also renowned for containing some of the largest Sea Trout in the whole of the UK. Many of the Sea Trout catches have crept comfortably into the double figures, and 15lb+ catches aren't unheard of either. The ideal time to catch the runs of the Sea Trout? Spring and early on in the Summer is your best bet; this is the time when the trout travel to the tributaries for breeding purposes.
The Towy also plays host to considerable run of Atlantic Salmon (you can read more about the species and its conservation at the Atlantic Salmon Trust). Fishermen can expect to encounter this run of Salmon in the Summer, and Salmon season is in full swing by the time Autumn arrives.
In addition to the above species, you can also expect to encounter brown trout in the Towy, as well as eels and pike. Several varieties of lamprey also swim the waters here, including brook, river, and sea lampreys.
One of the more exciting aspects of fishing along the Towy is the knowledge that you may encounter one of the rarer kinds of fish that are occasionally spotted there. If you are able to dedicate some time to making a trip to the river in May, you may be lucky enough to catch the annual run of twaite shad and allis shad. Both of these kinds of fish are rare and protected, with more information to be found at the British Sea Fishing Shad page. Remember: it is illegal to injure, kill, or shake shad from the water due to their protected nature.
Veterans of the Towy also need not be reminded that the most unusual catch was made back in 1932 in the form of a Sturgeon. This wasn't just any Sturgeon however: it weighed a staggering 388lb and measured 2.75m in length. This was of course a freak occurrence, and one that hasn't happened since, but it is fascinating to read about it in the Carmarthen Journal as well as hope for such an occurrence to happen again to a lucky (or unlucky) fisherman today.