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The three reservoirs listed above are all situated within a few miles of each other along the main A470 road between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil. For that reason I have dealt with all of them together on one page. However, they differ considerably in what they offer. Read on...

Beacons Reservoir

The highest of the series of three reservoirs in the Taff valley is situated some 1400 feet high directly below the central part of the Brecon Beacons, just North of the junction of the A470 Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil road and the smaller A4059 leading across the hills to Penderyn (see Map 10). This small water of 52 acres is managed as a wilderness fishery and contains only wild brown trout and some rainbow trout that have survived from the time when some stocking was carried out. Because of this, only fly fishing is permitted and small imitative patterns are recommended. No boats are allowed and the banks are easily accessible. The season runs from 20th March to 17th October and fishing is usually permitted from 07.00 to 18.30-21.00, depending on the time of year. The limit is six fish. Tickets (£11.00 per day in 2012) can be obtained from the automatic dispenser at the Garwnant Forest Centre just to the North of Llwyn On Reservoir - bring plenty of 1 coins. Alternatively - and much more easily - you can buy one online using the Wye & Usk Foundation service. This is a most attractive little fishery in a magnificent setting. It is quite exposed though and strong winds could make life a little difficult.

Cantref Reservoir

The second in the series of three reservoirs in the Taff valley, Cantref holds a population of wild brown trout and is also regularly stocked with rainbow trout. This 42 acre water is a little more sheltered than its higher neighbour and is surrounded by coniferous woodland. This can make casting a little difficult, particularly at the Southern end. Fishing is by fly only and no boats are permitted. Fishing from the dam is not allowed. A maximum of six fish can be taken in one day and the local custom is to use somewhat larger lures than at the Beacons Reservoir, although nymph fishing can be equally effective in the right conditions. You will need to wade in places where casting space is restricted by trees. The main season and fishing times are as for the Beacons Reservoir above, although you may also fish here for rainbows only from the 1st March until the 31st October. The same ticket arrangements apply as for the Beacons Reservoir, although tickets for Cantref are slightly more expensive (£17.00 in 2012) to take account of the extra stocking involved. However, it is also possible to purchase evening tickets at a reduced price after 16.00, although only four fish can then be taken. There is plenty of off-road parking and toilet facilities are also provided.

Llwyn On Reservoir

At 800 feet high and 150 acres in size, Llwyn On is the lowest and largest of the three reservoirs in the Taff valley. It is also the most popular, probably because spinning and worming are also permitted, although no fishing at all is permitted from the dam face, overflow or the feeder streams. No boats are allowed. Lead weights of between 0.06g and 28.4g are prohibited. The reservoir is regularly restocked and generally holds larger fish than the other two waters. The bag limit is six fish per day, with a limit of four fish only for evening tickets, available after 16.00. Seasons and times are basically as for Cantref Reservoir, with fishing permitted from the 27th February to the 17th October. Tickets for Llwyn On can be obtained as above from the Wye & Usk Foundation site or from the automatic dispenser situated at the Garwnant Forest Centre just to the North of the reservoir and cost £16.50 per day in 2012. There is plenty of parking, although the tracks around the reservoir are mostly reserved for walkers and cyclists. Refreshment and toilet facilities are available. This is a most attractive water in a mixed woodland setting. Some wading may be required. There is a good path around the whole perimeter and the road also extends for most of the way around this reservoir. This is also a popular cycling area, so please take care if you drive.

Other Attractions

All three reservoirs are situated amongst the highest mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park, with the summit of the highest, Pen y Fan, towering some 1700 feet above Beacons Reservoir. This is all prime walking country and this is perhaps the best thing to do if you want a change from fishing. However, whilst they are magnificent in fine conditions, the Brecon Beacons can be confusing and dangerous in bad weather. To save yourself a soaking or worse, be sure to arm yourself with a large scale Ordnance Survey map before you set out and always carry enough protective clothing if the forecast is uncertain. For a quick and easy weather check try Yahoo. Alternatively, go to the Meteorological Office site for more comprehensive information.

Gentle, sheltered walking is available to the North of Llwyn On Reservoir at the Garwnant Forest Centre. This is an extensive area of mostly coniferous forest controlled by the Forestry Commission and is bisected by numerous marked trails. There is a good interpretative centre here, as well as an excellent small restaurant and shop.

For relative beginners, the quickest and easiest way to reach the summit of Pen y Fan is from the "Storey Arms" (not a pub!) car park at the highest point of the A470 road, about one mile to the North of the Beacons Reservoir. From here it will take you about 60-90 minutes to reach the top, where you can enjoy fantastic views.

If you can't fish and don't want to walk, perhaps you should consider visiting the Welsh Valleys, meaning the former coalmining areas, just to the South of the National Park, to the East and West of Merthyr Tydfil. They can't pretend to be as attractive as the hills in the Park, but they are full of atmosphere and will no doubt evoke different emotions in the visitor. I shall look at these in some more detail on my Country page.

Alternatively, the capital city of Cardiff is only about thirty minutes' easy drive by fast road to the South of Llwyn On Reservoir. There is so much to do there that I could not do it justice on this site, which is only about Kite Country after all. However, there is plenty of information on the Web and I have included some good places to start on my Links page.

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Click pictures to enlarge. Those with a red caption may take a long time to download.
Beacons Reservoir
Beacons Reservoir
Cantref Reservoir
Cantref Reservoir
Llwyn On Reservoir
Llwyn On Reservoir
The author on Pen y Fan summit
On Pen y Fan Summit