England’s longest river, the Severn rises in the Cambrian Mountains near Plynlimon not far from the source of the Wye and flows nearly 200 miles to the Bristol Channel, picking up tributaries big and small en route. It is one of the most important and, forsome, one of the most exciting fisheries in the country.

In its upper reaches, it flows through magnificent Welsh mountain scenery. Here it offers mainly trout with the occasional salmon. By the time it reaches Caersws, where the river begins to broaden and deepen, coarse fish, mostly chub, dace, and grayling, start to be encountered along with the game fish. Below Crew Green, the river follows the border of England and Wales before striking into England at Melverley with roach now figuring in coarse fish catches. This pattern is maintained until the middle reaches of the river begin at Shrewsbury. Extending down to Bewdley in Worcestershire, it is on this middle section of the Severn that the most dramatic recent development on this river has taken place – the stocking of the river with barbel, one of the most coveted fish for coarse fishermen.

Though it still seems only a comparatively short time since the decision to introduce barbel into the Severn, these fish have thrived and bred there so well they are now one of the main attractions for any Severn visitor. Though barbel of a size found in the Hampshire Avon have yet to be caught here – the biggest Severn fish taken in July 1975 weighed 12 lb 4 oz – bags of barbel from this river have been some of the biggest ever seen and there is now no doubt that the angler who wants to catch a lot of these fish could find no better place to do so than the Severn. One of the most prolific areas for barbel on these middle reaches isthefamous section between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade. It was here that the record aggregate for the first ten in a Severn match was set up in August 1975 – a return of 443 lb. Since most of these fish were barbel it is easy to see what a tremendous impact these fish have had on the river. It should not be forgotten, however, that chub to 6 lb and huge shoals of other coarse fish species like roach and dace also thrive here. Salmon and trout are much rarer in these sections though the spring run, which peaks between January and May, often produces good catches around Worcester. At 20 lb, a Severn salmon is big.

Below Worcester, the Severn gets ever deeper and slower as it approaches its tidal reaches with chub fishing improving rapidly. Here barbel become less apparent with bream, some of them in huge shoals, beginning to be encountered. The tidal reaches below Tewkesbury are often difficult to fish so heavy are some of the tides. It is here that allis and twaite shad often provide excellent sport during the coarse fish close season.

For a river of its size, the Severn offers less ticket fishing than might be expected, certainly far less than rivers of similar stature like the Trent and Thames. It isequally true to say that more ticket opportunities exist in the higher reaches than lower down, a reverse of the situation on most rivers. But this situation need not seriously concern the visiting angler for while the Severn in its middle and lower reaches is largely controlled by angling associations, the majority of them operate open memberships. Easily the biggest is Birmingham AA, which with 70,000 members is believed to be the biggest angling association in the world. This association has a positive wealth of Severn fishing and the subscription the angler must pay to gain access to it is so reasonable that it must be rated one of the greatest bargains in the sport. It should be added that membership of this association opens up a multitude of fishing opportunities in addition to the excellent facilities offered on the Severn and its tributaries. Details of the major Severn associations appear at the foot of the Fishing Guide entries for ticket fishing on the river.

The Severn is a popular river with match anglers and this means that, particularly in the middle reaches, free spaces are often hard to find at weekends. Rod Licence: STWA (Severn River Division)

Abermule, PowysM1 mile from Glanyrafon to junction with MuleRB DT:(L24)ATS(H. L. Bebb, Newtown or Bond’s, Welshpool) a Abermule, PowysCTS: mile from B4386 bridge downstreamLB DT: BorAAA(Northern AA) Atcham, SalopM2 mile (LB) and 1 mile (RB) immediately above

Atcham Bridge and 3} miles (RB) from Atcham old bridge down to the end of the old Roman road

Free to holders of STWA rod licences

Bridgnorth, SalopMimilefrom bridgeLB

DT: ATS (Bridgnorth)

Caerhowell, PowysM400yards from riverbridgeRB

DT: AH (Lion Hotel, Caerhowell)

Caersws, PowysCTS3J miles from Maesmawr Hall Hotel to


DT: (L 12)AH (Maesmawr Hall

Hotel, Caersws)

Gloucester, GlosCJ mile near


DT: AP (Red Lion Inn, Wainlode

Hill, Norton, Glos)

Grimley, Here & WorcCSFishing from British Waterways Board land atBevereLock


Hampton Loade, Salop MI yards at Hampton LoadeRB


Hampton Loade)

Holt Fleet, Here & WorcM yards near hotelLB

DT: AH (Wharf Hotel, Holt Fleet)

Holt Heath, Here & Wore MJ mile atHoltHeathRB

DT: B or AH (Holt Fleet Hotel)

Holt Heath, Here & WorclC’S’, Section below weir from island at Holt Lock DT: K (Lock keeper at Holt Lock)

Iron Bridge, SalopM3 mile from above Dabley Lane, Coalportto

Jubilee LanefootbridgeLB

Free to holders of STWA rod licences

Kempsey, Here &WorcsM3 mile above and below Upper Ham,


Free to holders of STWA rod licencesf

Kidderminster, Here & Wore

Ctwo meadows from Arley

Bridge downstreamLB

DT: (L30)BorAP(Harbourlnn,


Leighton, PowysM3 mile (BB) below Cilcewydd Bridge, Leighton, continuing (Rbonly)forafurtherJ mile downstream

Free to holders of STWA rod licences

Llanidloes, PowysCTS4} miles between Llanidloes and Caersws (known as the Dinam Estate Fishery)BB

DT: AK (E. Jones, 2, Broneiron Cottages, Llandinam)Feb2-Sept 14(S);Apr1-Sept30(T);Jun16-Mar 14(C) le

Melverley (near Nessclrffe), Salop

CSOne field below STWA water


DT: AAA (Whitmore Reans C.A.A.)

Melverley, SalopM700yards from a mile below mouth of River


Free to holders of STWA rod licences

Montford Bridge, SalopCSAt


DT: AAA (Whitmore Reans CAA)

Montford Bridge, SalopCTS yardsfrom bridge to woodsRB


Montford Bridge)

Newtown, PowysCTS2 miles from Trehafren to Newtown

Laundry buildingRB

DT: ATS (H. L. Bebb, Newtown)

Newtown, PowysCTS3 mile fronting Newtown Sewage

Disposal Works (known as the


DT: Free to holders of STWA rod licencese

Newtown, PowysM3 mile from behind Newtown Recreation


DT: ATS (H. L. Bebb, Newtown)

Penstrowed, PowysCTS3 mile from behind church to behind garageRB

DT: ATS (H. L. Bebb, Newtown)

Pentre, SalopCS200 yards near innLB

DT:(L3)AP(Royal Hill Inn,

Edgerley, Kinnerley)

PoolQuay,PowysM1 mileinarea extending towards Newtown

DT:AAA (Northern AA)

Ripple, Here & WorcCTwo meadows (known as Severn

Meadow and Cow Croft) below

Ripple FerryLB

Free to holders of STWA rod licences