•   Fishing

Fishing around Bala, Snowdonia, Wales

Anglers will be surprised and delighted by the variety and quality of fishing in the Bala and Penllyn area of North Wales. Most types of fishing are available - with fly fishing on fast flowing mountain streams, rivers and mountain lakes, coarse or trout fishing in lakes, stocked lakes with facilities and even the possibility to go sea fishing on the coast. Because of the variety of fishing available there is something to fish for, during every season of the year. Guiding and tuition in fly-fishing is also available through the Bala and District Angling Association (BDAA). For fishing operators in the Bala area go to Visit Bala fishing operators.

Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid), the largest natural lake in Wales, is set in stunning mountain scenery. The lake is over 3½ miles long, ¾ mile wide and over 140 feet deep in places. It has 14 species of fish, including a unique fish the Gwyniad (Coregonus lavaretus), a species of whitefish (fishing for the Gwyniad is not permitted). Bala Lake holds perch, roach, pike, trout, grayling, eels, along with salmon in the season and the legendary Gwyniad, this is a plankton feeder and seldom caught on rod and line, also present are minnows, loaches and bullheads.

Bala Lake is managed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) as a recreational resource. Fishing, boating and car parking tickets are available at the SNPA car-park ticket machine (blue) in the lake foreshore car park, Bala. There is a SNPA warden’s office at the car park (upper floor) or see Useful Information for contact details. For more detailed information about Bala Lake visit the SNPA Website.

Fly-fishing for salmon and trout is available on the river Dee and also some of the fast-flowing mountain streams and excellent grayling fishing is available on the River Dee. Day tickets are available from Bala & District Angling Association.  Trout fishing is available on the river Tryweryn.

Salmon,Trout and Grayling fishing on the River Dee is available from Dolgadfa. The Dolgadfa beat, privately owned, is exclusive to guests and is part of Crogen Estate.

The River Dee flows both in and out of Bala Lake. The River Tryweryn flows in and out of Llyn Celyn, a reservoir, before joining the Dee just after the outflow from Bala Lake. Water releases from Llyn Celyn are managed by the Environment Agency for water usage and recreational purposes with the river also used for Whitewater rafting and canoeing.

The Dee outflow: from the Dee bridge downstream to a point 60 yds above the confluence of the Tryweryn and Dee on both banks. This stretch holds mainly coarse fish, perch and roach in abundance and also pike. Grayling are also present and during the colder months offer very good fishing with float, ledger or fly.

The Dee at Bala: this stretch can be fished fly only for trout and grayling during the salmon season, mid-March to mid-October. Between mid-October and mid-March worm fishing is allowed. During the summer the grayling offer superb sport on dry fly and during certain hatches the river seems to be boiling with fish. A wonderful sight for any angler. Brown trout are also present in lesser numbers. For more details go to BDAA.

The Tryweryn is a brown trout river. Most are natural wild fish supplemented by fingerling stocking by BDAA.

There is fishing in the many smaller lakes in the area, including:

Llyn Cwmprysor (Llyn Tryweryn) the source of the river Tryweryn - there is fishing for brown trout.
Llyn y Gro, just north of Bala, has two lakes available for coarse fishing also available are: toilets, refreshments and disabled facilities.

  • Guided Fishing:  Local guided fishing can be organised through Barry Evans, Y Gwyniad, 33 High Street, Bala, LL23 7AF - 01678 521654
  • Y Gwyniad, 33 High Street, Bala, for fishing tackle & local flies, live bait and dead bait also Bala & District Angling Association permits.
  • Gro Lake Coarse Fishery Bala - 01678 530415
  • Bala & District Angling Association:  07779 343824 - www.balaangling.co.uk
  • SNPA Warden Centre, Llyn Tegid Foreshore, Pensarn Rd, Y Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7SR, Tel/Fax: 01678 520626

Travelling a little further, from Bala, provides more lakes stocked for fishing, including:

  • Alwen reservoir: forestry surrounds most of the 368 acres of Alwen Reservoir, creating an attractive, sheltered fishery, with hidden bays that ensure peaceful fishing. The reservoir is regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout – but even if they decide not to bite, there are plenty of perch to ensure a good day’s fishing.
  • Cregennen Lakes: Small lake, 13 acres, regularly stocked with blue & rainbow trout, plus a good head of wild brownies. Suitable for families to serious anglers.
  • Dragonfly Fisheries: This private trout fishery – fed by underground lakes - is set in 2.5 acres of landscaped grounds. The water is well stocked with Rainbow Trout, Blue Trout, Brown Trout and Tiger Trout – up to 20lbs
  • Llyn Brenig: the heather and spruce lined shores of Llyn Brenig (920 acre) have regularly staged the Home Fly-fishing Internationals and even the World Fly Fishing Championships. Preserved for fly-fishing, it has a well-established reputation and is extremely well stocked with 36,000 Rainbow Trout.
  • Llyn Aled: The peaty moorland water contains perch, roach and pike have been caught up to 22lbs.
  • Llandegla Trout Fishery consists of four pools, three fly only, for Brown and Rainbow Trout and one for coarse fish: Carp, Rudd, Roach. A café and fishing tackle sales are available on site.
  • Eisteddfa Fishery: has separate lakes for: Fly fishing, Carp, Trout, Family fishing for families, beginners and children (coarse fish), Pleasure Lake (coarse fish). Also available on site are: car park, disabled access, toilets and tackle hire.

Sea Fishing

For those looking for a day’s sea fishing, the harbours and shores of Barmouth or Fairbourne are around 40 minutes away and other places are within an hour of Bala. Cardigan Bay with its shelter and shallow water with reefs (sarn) is a good sea fishing area. Shore-fishing or boat charter for deep-water sea fishing are available. There is a huge choice of Charter boats available from the Welsh ports. You can launch your own boat with little or no charge at many beaches.

Beach casting: expect dabs, whiting, dogfish, wrass, school bass, codling, rockling, coalfish and flounders from the beach.
Black lug is great bait for codling, whiting, dabs and smaller bass. Bigger bass can be caught with peeler crab or lug tipped with squid or razorfish. Coalies take frozen crab or mussel. Dabs and whiting also take small fish strips. Frozen sand-eel can be bought at many shops by the beach and are ideal for the turbot, and mackerel.

Some sea fishing venues are:


  • Noted species: bass, flounder, dab, mackerel, whiting, gurnard, mullet
  • Tide tips: low to high
  • Bait: crab, ragworm, mackerel, sandeel
  • Tips: Popular holiday camp thus access fee payable. Spinners and plugs are also worth a try.


  • Noted species: flounder, turbot, plaice, whiting, dab, codling and bass
  • Tide tips: high
  • Bait: crab, lugworm, mackerel, squid
  • Tips: distance can be important, thus 5oz beach caster should be adequate.
  • Flounder can be caught close to the shore.


  • Noted species: bass, flounder, mackerel
  • Tide tips: high and low
  • Bait: ragworm, crab
  • Tips: standard 5-6oz beach caster.
  • Try a one hook rig with size 3/0.

This information was compiled by Mick at Cysgod y Coed Self Catering

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