Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

Information Page


For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over four years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).

27 September 2005

A spot of fly fishing.

I'd had a thin time on my last couple of trips so I decided to get up early and go fly fishing for pollack and mackerel. I know that dawn is getting later so I set my alarm for five thirty. Mistake! By the time I got to the cliff top it was already well light. It was extreme low water of a big spring tide and the sea was as flat as a pancake. I scrambled down the cliff and picked up the fly rod - already armed with a bit of silvery fluff on a hook (= a fly). After a couple of casts onto the oily surface there was a swirl behind the fly.

Encouraged by the movement I flicked out the fly again and saw a fish chase it in, snapping at the glittering attractor. Not hooked. By the time I'd missed about six similar attacks I decided to look at the fly - the hook was just a little blunt. In other words it failed to dig into my thumbnail when I dragged it across it. Out came the sharpening stone and I touched up the point. Next cast - I hooked a fish, then another and another. It is almost unbelievable what a difference the sharp hook made (after all these years I should know of course) but the original hook had felt fairly sharp to the touch. Obviously not sharp enough. As it happened there were plenty of fish about and missing a few didn't matter too much but if it had been a poor morning with only one or two bites it could have made the difference between a fish and a blank.

I had to get back early so I only had half-an-hour but anyway the mackerel seemed to have gone as it got brighter (I assume that they move offshore because I can usually catch them by casting a wedge or a Toby well out). I decided to have a last cast with the spinning rod. First cast something swirled under the J11 just as I was lifting it out. I dropped it back in and raised the rod to make it wiggle and a nice mackerel surged up and grabbed it. I packed in and went home for breakfast.

I'd enjoyed the fishing so much I went again the following day. I was on the rocks a bit earlier (I do learn from my experiences) and found that the wind had got up from the west and the sea was much rougher. I decided to try a 'Gummy Minnow' fly given to me last week by my pal Steve Pitts. It is a silicon rubber creation which looks very like a sprat - bright and silvery. It is a bit stiff and has not much action but it tends to turn and flash on the retrieve. I thought it was a certain winner.

Sadly the fish were less abundant than on the day before. I had one or two pulls from pollack and mackerel then I hooked and landed a small garfish. I think that the fly would have been more effective if it had had some action (a paddle tail, some strands of Mylar or a lip of some sort). I did have a bite or two by simply letting it sink so it must look pretty edible. Anyway, I need to try it against a tried and trusted Redgill or fry fly some time.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -

Colour to spare.

The hook was sharp now.  The pollack fell off the hook into a pool and I had the mackerel on the next cast - they both went back after the picture.

A mackerel on the fuzz fly.

This little sparkly 'fly' is a good allrounder.  Note the irridescence on this fish -amazing!

Close up.

Most mackerel are lightly hooked on the fly gear.  The fatty, streamlined,  'contact lens' eyeshield  is very obvious.

The garfish.

I find these difficult to hook properly and this one fell off as I landed it.

Gummy Minnow.

The only fish I caught in the session but mackerel and pollack also had a go at the 'fly'.