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The River Usk: a great location to fish and help your health

Most anglers get involved with fishing because of a slate of reasons: it’s a fun way to spend the day, you get to hang out with friends (and/or family), and — if you’re lucky — you get to tell your friends about what amazing fish you caught (and returned naturally).  Fewer anglers understand that fishing is more than just a good time — it is also great for your health.

In fact, fishing provides a diverse array of health benefits, and knowing this may encourage you to carve out a few hours for fishing every week when it’s legally allowed. Five of the most noteworthy benefits include:

1. Fishing can help give your lungs a break.

Breathing in the dirty, polluted air that surrounds most cities and urban areas is hard on your lungs. In fact, respiratory illnesses are becoming increasingly common ( in the modern world. However, you can give your lungs a break by heading out for a day of fishing on the Usk. Doing so will help you feel better and give your lungs a chance to heal.

2. Fishing keeps your mind sharp.

Going through the mental gymnastics involved in fishing – selecting a lure, technique and location, among other things – can help to keep your mind busy and active. This is somewhat like “exercising” your brain, which will help keep your mind sharp ( ) while you age.

3. Fishing can help reduce your blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a serious health problem, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and organ damage. And while most people with high blood pressure will require medications to help reduce the strain on their blood vessels, lifestyle changes – such as fishing on the banks of the River Usk – can also help reduce your pressure ( ). This is because fishing usually takes place in areas with beautiful views of natural scenery, which helps to reduce your blood pressure immediately, as well as for several hours after you return home.

Be sure that you follow all of the local fishing laws and regulations and avoid running foul of the law. That would not be good for your blood pressure if you broke them!

4. Fishing can help you heal faster.

Whether you are nursing a sprained ankle or a bad cut, looking at a natural landscape can help you heal more quickly. Scientists first learned this back in the 1980s, when they noticed hospital patients with views of the natural world recovered sooner than those who were not provided with such views, but the same principle works for anglers. Just be sure to find a place to fish (legally of course) with a beautiful view to get the most benefit from this strategy.

There are innumerable spots along the River Usk to fish while enjoying some of the best scenery around. You may join a fishing club, like Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association (,or Gwent Angling Society ( or find a place to fish through Wye and Usk Foundation’s Fishing Passport (

5. Fish is a nutritious, lean protein.

Most fish are very healthy proteins ( ), and some species are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support brain health, among other things.   It is true for the Atlantic salmon and, to a lesser extent, brown trout (both of which are routinely caught in the River Usk) – however, we encourage you to buy your fish through legitimate sources and return the ones you catch so that they continue to generate the future fish in the river Usk.


The benefits described above can certainly give you more reasons to get out and enjoy a day of fishing, and they only represent the tip of the iceberg – there are a variety of other health benefits you can enjoy by getting out on the water. If you’d like to learn about some of these additional benefits, have a look at Outdoor Empire ( ) and check out their more detailed review of the subject. There, you’ll not only learn more benefits fishing provides, but a few strategies for maximizing their value too.

Usk Fishing Association

The Chairman
The Estate Office
Glanusk Park

Tel. 01873 810414

Join the UFA and help to safeguard the future of the River Usk.