The Afon Lwyd (Grey River) rises in the Black Mountains and flows through Pontypool and Cwmbran before entering the Usk at Caerleon. Once filled with the effluent from coal mines, steelworks and urban development, it has been cleaned, but it remains, essentially, an urban stream.

The ¾ mile beat at Llantarnam Abbey water is made available to the Wye Usk Foundation which how I found myself on it on September 19th last year (2015) on a bright and sunny Saturday morning.

The river here flows through deciduous woodland and is characterised variably by gravel beds, riffles and deep pools at its bends. On my day, the water level was low, and days of sunlight meant that wading the shallower parts was over algae covered rocks and stones…and slippery!

Fly life was sparse and I saw only one rise, but still persisted with dries! No fish, then but I saw enough to encourage a return visit, to try to net Torfaen, and I will, early in 2016.

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