Monnow Fishing Info


The River Monnow forms the border between England and Wales for much of its length and is the first major tributary of the River Wye, which then leads on to the River Severn.


Historically, the Monnow and her tributaries were an important destination for fishermen, as the Monnow was "one of the best trout streams in south Britain" (The Field, 1904). And as recently as the 1970s, anglers would enjoy high quality trout and grayling fishing, particularly during the prolific mayfly hatches in late May and early June, with some hotels in the Monmouth area getting their main income solely from visiting fishermen.


One of the most dramatic illustrations of the once productive Monnow lies in the detailed diaries of the Reverend E N Eagles, who over a period of twenty years recorded 18,000 trout from the upper tributaries to his own rod. It was Reverend Eagles who first attempted (c. 1876) the introduction of grayling to the river. Mr Atwood Mathews had more luck a few years later, when he introduced about 4000 grayling fry into the Dore in 1882.


All Year Round Fishing


The game fishing season runs from March 15th to September 30th, but the peak season for grayling is from June 16th to March 14th. Therefore, this allows the angler the opportunity to fish all year round. Another advantage of grayling fishing is that it gives the novice angler the opportunity to learn: Although not easy to catch, grayling are not as easily frightened as trout or sea trout and will not be put off by a couple of clumsy casts.


Trout Fishing


The size of river trout are much larger than those of stocked lakes. The average weight of wild trout is about 1/2lb with a good fish weighing in at 1lb. However, our catch returns indicate the Monnow holds fish in the much larger 2-4lb range!


Although it is not until May that trout really feed throughout the day and, early in the year, the trout only feed for short intervals in the day.


Wild Fish


Please note that some of the middle/lower Minnow owners supplement the river with wild fish, most of which are now marked with a blue dot. If you catch one, please report the length and/or weight plus location of the mark on the Catch Return Form.


Also, note that overhanging bank sides and vegetation are important habitat requirements to wild brown trout, so much of our stretch has been kept in a natural state, although pathways are readily available to these natural areas.


As of autumn 2008, the new fish pass in Osbaston means we have salmon coming up the river Monnow.