Set in an idyllic rural Welsh location near the village of Redbrook, outside Monmouth, Bigwell Fly Fishery can be found in the picturesque Wye Valley, near the border of England and Wales.
There are two spring fed lakes at Bigwell, both of which enjoy spectacularly clear and cold water, with a further two lakes created from the overflow of the spring and local stream. Although found in the Wye Valley, and fed by the River Wye, the water source at Bigwell is actually not directly linked from the Wye.
The clear water is ideal for growing wild brown trout, which are possibly the most popular fish to catch at Bigwell. The independent fly fishery enjoys tranquil surroundings, with a diverse mix of animals and plants in the locale, in addition to the fish, regular visitors include ducks, geese, kingfishers, pheasants, wagtails and hawks
Bigwell is open six days a week with the exception of Bank Holidays. Their day off is Monday, meaning that anglers of various abilities can test and improve their skills over weekends.
As well as the lakes, the stream at Bigwell Fly Fishery provides people with the best opportunity for catching the trout, which must be released back into circulation again due to limited numbers in the wild. There are rainbow and blue trout at Bigwell, and they have also recently introduced some Tiger trout to their pools. While there are many hundreds of fish, particularly larger specimens of between 5lb – 12lb, there is a policy that any fish over 5lb are to be released.
The Fly Fishery takes its name from the natural underground reservoir and well onsite which are owned and operated by Severn Trent Water. Bigwell is fed from the surrounding areas and filtered through the red sandstone geology of the valley and emerges deep underground in an underground cavern.
The stream is variously known as Valley Brook and Red Brook. Over the years, the area around Monmouth has been used been used for industry with iron smelting, copper works, paper mills and tinworks at the Bigwell site over the years. All these industries have gone now and have been replaced by a leisure service industry. This makes the area ideal for fly fishing, especially for Rainbow Trout, while surrounded by a beautiful scenic vista.
While Bigwell as a trout fishing venue has existed for many years, by 2012 the venue was in dire need of an overhaul. The pools had been neglected, covered with weeds, and with overgrown banks. There was little to no stocking activity, while at the same time poaching was happening as fish that were killed and taken were not being declared.
Regular client, and local to the area Gary Gray, took over Bigwell in 2013 and made the decision to try to take over and make sure that his beloved local fly fishing farm realised its full potential. Over the following years, several tonnes of pond and river weed have been removed from the pools, the overgrown vegetation has been cut back and approaches improved. Years of silting that had built up in the middle and lower pools has been largely cleared by Gary himself in his trusted work boat. As a result, much of these two pools has been opened up to quality fishing once again.
Bigwell also serves the additional needs of fisherman by offering a range of hot and cold food to anglers that visit the site, as well as complimentary hot beverages for clients. The staff maintain a friendly atmosphere with a well-equipped lodge that offers refreshments and all important fishing tackle. There is wheelchair access and disabled facilities, making Bigwell a great day out to anglers of all abilities and skill levels.