GUIDE TO THE RIVER LERI

(Llyn Craig to Dyfi Estuary)

NAME OF RIVER: Afon E'leri , River Leri. Wales, North

WHERE IS IT?: It starts in Llyn Craig Y Pistyll below Pumlimon and flows down into the Dyfi estuary. On the way it passes through Tal y Bont.
Talybont is approx 10 mins north of Aberystwyth on the main road to Machynlleth.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There are two main put ins.
For the upper section down to Tal y Bont you can follow the small B road on the right of the pubs in the village. Follow the signs for Bontgoch, follow the road up a steep hill then drop down into the valley for approx 1.5 miles. Opposite a farm on the left is a track/footpath that leads down to a bridge over the river. Find a layby a couple of hundred m's down the road. Make sure your not blocking any gates or access.

Get out for the upper section is by the main road bridge in Talybont. Eddy out on the upstream side of the bridge by some old weir concrete standings. If you knock on the door of the cream house on river right they will let you use there garden ( these are my parents so be polite:)).

Dont leave yet walk into the woods using the roads on the left opposite the pubs. As you enter the woods through the gate walk for approx 400m down the track on the left then find your way down to the river. You should put in just below a large white house with a bridge crossing the river.
Take out in Doly Bont (tricky access) or by the animalarium in Borth.

APPROX LENGTH: Top section 3-4km hard to say. Lower 6-7km approx

TIME NEEDED: Depends on the trees. 1-2 hours for the top section and 2+ for the lower.

ACCESS SITUATION: No probs so far. I grew up on this river and it has some good fishing but generally evryones friendly. Try and avoid it during spawning season. Its not really worth paddling unless in medium spate so the impact on fishing is'nt a problem.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The upper needs a lot of water to make the boulder section worth doing. If water is nearly covering the the concrete structure by the main road bridge in Talybont the top section will be worth doing and the lower section should be full.
The lower section can be run if the water is just laping over the old sluice gate (concrete strucutre) by the main road bridge. This will be a fun trip but a bit bumpy in places.
The river comes up quickly and generally holds water for a day after heavy rain.

GRADING: Both section are grade 2+ maybe a touch harder in high water. The lower gorge is reasonably continuous with small eddies. It is not a big river and is very bumpy in low water.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:Wiers and trees. The upper section has one weir about 1 km up from talybont. It is easily seen due to the big pool above and the horizon line. It can be shot down a slide on river left but the main fall looks nasty. It is seriuosly undercut at least a boat length under the weir.

If you carry on past the main road bridge there is a large pipe over the river where the Ceulan enters. The next km has three nasty wier\'s I would\'nt recommend these at all. The last big fall has a deep pool with some hideous metal work in the bottom.

One more weir on the lower as you pass a  caravan site on river left a boxed in weir appears. Can be shot but i wouldnt bother. Can sneak up on you.
Trees everywhere. I ran the lower gorge last night July 4th 07 and there were seven trees down in the first 2km of the lower gorge. Two nasty strainers. I will try and get down with my chainsaw if I can.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:The upper section is a lovely open valley with a gorgy section. After the put in the the valley opens up and the river flows through a boulder garden section. Watch out for low branches and trees down. The river is fast down this section and a swim would be bouncy and in high water probably rather long. As you reach the bottom of the open land the river dog legs sharply then flow under a foot bridge. This can be tricky in high flows and may need portaging. 20m below the foot bridge is a 1/2 m drop which can have a fun stopper at the bottom.
Follow the river down fun rapids until you enter a small gorge. The water will slow. Time to get out and check the weir.

After the weir follow the river down avoiding the low branches until gardens appear on the river right. As soon as the bridge appears try and eddy out on the right before going under the bridge.

The lower section.
Put on below the house with the green bridge. The river winds its way down a stunning gorge with lovely woods and plenty of little play waves. This can be continuous at the grade with bedrock steps.
This bit of the river is totally cut off. If you need to escape scale the north side of the gorge/valley to find a forestry track that leads back to Talybont(this is not fun with boats). Insepect carefully as many trees block the river and some are nasty(at least 2 strainers across the whole river).
This is a great bit of river and fast when high.
As you leave the wooded gorge keep your eyes peeled for the caravan site on the left and the presence of the weir.If portage is needed use river right or ask the caravan site owner (not that friendly last time I was down there) and continue down to the get out.

The river is full of life with dippers, otters and plenty of fish.

OTHER NOTES: You can do some of the higher tribs in flood. I havent done them but know some of the stretches of river. I would recommend this river as it is a lot of fun. BUT the tree problem is serious on the lower section and takes a lot of the enjoyment out of it. When you have to portage seven times in 1-2km people start to get tired and emotional.

Other river's in the area worth doing:
At this grade lower Rheidol, Lower Ystwyth and the Aeron.

CONTRIBUTED BY:Ben Fothergill .

 

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