The majority of beats the club has access to are located across 9 miles of beautiful scenery and ecology on the famous River Usk.

The Usk

The River

The River Usk (Afon Wysg) rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du) in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons. Initially forming the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys, it flows north into Usk Reservoir, then east via Sennybridge to Brecon before turning southeast to flow through Talybont-on-Usk, Crickhowell, Abergavenny and Usk until it reaches Uskmouth at Newport and enters the Bristol Channel, a total distance of 63.4 miles.  The tidal limit of the river is just below the bridge at Newbridge-on-Usk, five miles north of Newport.

Read about the river and all interesting wildlife and fauna in our Tales From the River Bank Blog.

The Beats

CDAS has four main beats spread over a 9 mile length of the Usk

Click on the map to explore and read about each beat in detail below

A River Alive

The water quality of the river is designated ‘good’ both chemically and biologically, and the Usk has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, containing estuaries, mudflats, salt marshes, salt pastures, salt steppes, lagoons, bogs and marshes, water fringed vegetation, grasslands, heaths, scrubs and woodland habitats along its course as well as inland water bodies of standing and running water.

The flora and fauna of the Usk are diverse and include kingfishers, herons, dippers and red kites, as well as other wildfowl and bird life. In recent years it has become an important site for otters in Wales.

The flora and fauna of the Usk are diverse and include kingfishers, herons, dippers and red kites, as well as other wildfowl and bird life. In recent years it has become an important site for otters in Wales.

The name of the river derives from a Brittonic word meaning “abounding in fish” and to this day the Usk is an important river for atlantic salmon and wild brown trout as well as less common species such as sea trout, the allis and twait shad, brook and sea lampreys, common eels and white clawed crayfish.  Also encountered may be perch, brown trout, chub, bullheads, dace and roach.

The Usk has long been a noted salmon and trout fishing river and salmon over 30 pounds may still be caught. It is famous for the quality of its wild brown trout and has been rated as the best fly fishing water in Wales for salmon, and inside the UK Top Ten.

The Usk is a spate river

As a spate river, the Usk is far more variable in character than chalk streams as the quality of its water is a direct product of the ground on which they rise and over which they run.