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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

New fly line.

Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I'm 'careful' (some might say 'tight') when it comes to the purchase of new tackle. For a year or two now I've been telling myself that I ought to replace my fly line (yes I only have one). The old line is a weight forward, #8wt, floating, Cortland 444 which has been more than satisfactory over the years and has landed everything from trout to tarpon. The old line was pretty cracked and didn't seem to float as well as it used to. Anyway, I mentioned to my pal Alan in New Zealand that I was thinking of a 'major expenditure' on a new line. Now I regard Alan as my technical advisor on fishing tackle (he'd be the first to admit that he's a bit of a tackle techie) and he said that what I needed was an Airflo-Ridge-Clear floating flyline. One of the cheaper ones on the market. I ummed and I aahed to myself for a week or two and then I bit the bullet and ordered one over the internet.

A couple of days later the packet dropped through my letter box and within minutes I was winding it onto my old Okuma fly reel (notice that I haven't replaced that). Now it was just a matter of trying to Christen it. It was two or three days before I managed to get to the river. I left the spinning rod at home so that I wouldn't be tempted, tied a little goldhead onto the nylon cast and set about trying to catch a fish. The chub, perch, grayling etc. weren't having any that day but in the course of an hour or so, in the blazing sun and low clear water, I managed to hook (and lose) two trout. Neither of the trout was very big but in any case size wasn't an issue. I'd tried my new line and it cast and floated beautifully (at least as beautifully as my crude style would let it).

The next outing for the fly gear was more up my street - to the sea at first light. This time the business end of the cast was armed with a little Delta plastic eel. I was on the rocks well before it got light and, as expected, I had no bites for perhaps half-an-hour. Then, was that a pluck? I cast again - another pluck! A couple more casts and wallop! The little rod bowed over as a pollack grabbed my eel and dived for the shelter of the kelp fronds. The battle was short and once I'd bullied the fish out of the forest It came up fairly easily. I slid it onto the rocks at my feet and picked it up - a fine, fat, bronze coated pollack and the first catch on my new line - fantastic! In the next hour I caught lots more pollack plus a few mackerel. The line behaved as well as Alan had said it would. Thanks mate!

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 -

First fish.

It's still a bit gloomy but the pollack was a good start for my new bit of kit.

Second species.

A small but feisty mackerel caught later in the session.