In west Wales, another pair of contrasting rivers can be found, this time for the nocturnal angler seeking sea trout.
The Teifi is a classic of what American’ fishers call ‘freestone’ rivers, with a stiff flow and small pools producing a consistent number of fish to between four and six pounds.
Half an hour away, the River Towy chugs more gently to the sea and if not as challenging as the Teifi it is peerless for big fish, throwing up a 22-pounder in 2008.
If you prefer daytime fishing, Wales’ River Usk is regarded as one of Britain’s best rivers for wild brown trout but it calls for careful navigation of deep holes, slippery rocks and tricky currents.
Best Western Pontypool Metro Hotel is great place to stay and handily placed for lugging your gear along to the banks of the Usk. Just on the outskirts of Pontypool, all the countryside and heritage you love about Wales is on your doorstep and, for those who enjoy eating fish as much as catching them, there are brilliant restaurants all down the coast.
Fly on the Tyne
You could choose to do something unthinkable 30 years ago and fish some of Britain’s former industrial rivers, once choked by pollution.
The rejuvenated Tyne, for example, is now regarded as England’s premier salmon river and the North Tyne offers varied water, from fast rocky pots (wade with extreme caution) to deep, slow sections. The River Tees also boasts grayling and brown trout aplenty, along with the occasional salmon but the wading can be difficult.
Anglers should head to Hartlepool to set up base at the Best Western Grand Hotel where you can step back in time and enjoy the feel of a traditional French Chateaux building with a modern interior. It feels like a true getaway for your next weekend by the river where you can concentrate on your choice of lure without the distractions of urban living.
Jeffrey Prest is Features Editor at Trout Fisherman, and blogs at Taunted by Waters.