The Usk describes its lower fishing as below Usk town to its tidal reaches, a mile or so below Newbribge-on-Usk. The middle section lies between Usk and Crickhowell and the upper reaches above Crickhowell, Brecon and beyond. Given sufficient water salmon can populate the river all the way to Crickhowell within two days or so.
The nature of the river below Crickhowell remains much the same with deep pools, long riffles and big meanders the norm. Above Crickhowell the river is faster and straighter. None of the tributaries offer any significant fishing but play an important part in fishing where they join the main river and can have impact with summer storms to liven up particular stretches.
Salmon fishing on most fisheries allow fly, spinning and worm. Some fisheries restrict worm and spinning under certain conditions. The lower stretches always have fish even during low water where they run off the exceptional high tides that the Usk is famous for.
It takes a good spate to rapidly populate the river from April onwards. In recent years some large springers have begun to appear again. The middle reaches come into their own with small summer floods pushing fish in to the holding pools that abound he upper river fishes best in the autumn.
The grilse run starts at the end of July and can provide excellent sport throughout August before the main salmon run which given water will start in September through to the end of the season in mid October where sighting salmon running the numerous small streams is a joy in itself.
The River Usk's reputation for wild Brown Trout was unrivalled for many years in Britain. During the past 40 odd years it had taken a decline but the trout fishing has improved dramatically in the past decade following excellent work by local conservation bodies. Stealth for daytime fishing and perseverance for late-evening and night-time can bring the best rewards. 1½lb fish are not uncommon and fish of 3½lb plus exist in nearly all stretches though not easily extracted.
The valley has seen a culture of catch and release emerge for these specimen fish which bodes well for the future. Although not a mayfly river some do appear in early June but rarely tempt significant rises. Trout start to show in March
to March Browns, followed rapidly by huge swarms of Grannom, then large Olives and May Duns until July. From then on Caddis/Sedge and Olives play an important role. Summer success often comes with size - 18/20 gnats or kinkhammers late into the evening - before things normalise as the September autumnal rains arrive.
Bryn Pool oon the middle Usk.
The Usk is not a renowned sea trout river along the reputation of the Towy, Cothi and Tiefi. That said, some fish do run from June onwards, though rarely seriously fished for, trout fishermen are busy casting size 18 flies at dimpling trout.