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).

Fishy New Year

This is more of a Christmas page than a New Year page. In fact the tale starts a while back. In the Summer of 2011 I'd been fishing down at the coast and as always I'd walked some distance along the shore. I'd dumped my bag on a handy, dark-grey, boulder, well above the reach of the waves, and started fly fishing for mullet. Now my current bag is (as always) brightly coloured so it's hard to miss and I'm not likely to lose it (none of this camouflaged stuff for me). After a while I saw one or two bass taking maggots off the top so I thought I'd change the fly to a streamer in hopes of attracting one. I walked back the the bag and took my little (black) fly box out of the top pocket (the one in the flap) where it is always kept. The box contained almost my entire collection of flies for both fresh and salt water fishing (you'll gather that I'm not a great buyer or hoarder of flies). Like most anglers I know exactly where every item of tackle stays in my bag and usually, after using the pliers, scissors, spare nylon, etc. it goes straight back in the bag and is fastened in. For some reason (I can only put it down to excitement and/or old age) on this occasion I must have neglected my routine and set the box down on the rock before turning back to the sea.

It was not until my next trip that I realised that when I picked up my bag to pack in I must have left the box on the shore. At a stroke I'd lost virtually all my flies! Buns!!! or words to that effect. I hope that some lucky person found them but they probably got washed away. Of course it was easy for me to tie a few of my crude maggot imitations and I always have some spare, tiny Delta eels so I wasn't totally devoid of 'flies'. However, I'm a Yorkshireman and not inclined to spend a fortune on badly tied, shop bought flies on hooks that are, at best, of uncertain quality.

I mentioned my loss on the website shortly after it happened and then I had a stroke of luck. I NEVER win raffle prizes but at the next B.A.S.S. AGM my ticket came up trumps and I gained a box of beautiful streamer flies, some of which I'll use and others which I may pass on to friends. My pal Alan Bulmer, in New Zealand is a keen fly tier and is determined that I shall catch fish on some of his creations so he sent me a few Idotea and Coelopa imitations (I lost a huge mullet the first time I tried one)by post - things were looking up! Anyway, the whole business had gone from my mind when I had an email from an angler called David Barnes. David said he'd just taken up fly tying and that he would let me have a look at a few of his creations at some time. The weeks went by and again I'd entirely forgotten about David's eletter - until Christmas Eve. We'd had our dinner and settled down for a quiet night with our son Dan and his wife Deanne to wait for Santa Clause to arrive (they have a two year old son Joshua who's really into Christmas). To our surprise the doorbell rang and when I went to answer it there stood a chap with a broad smile and a cardboard box which he thrust into my hand wishing me a 'Merry Christmas!!!' I was so surprised I barely said thankyou before he was in his car and away. Cheers David!

On opening the box I found that it was stuffed with nicely tied flies of all shapes and sizes and suitable for everything from mullet and bass to tarpon and snook. What a Christmas present! So there it is. Thanks to good luck and good pals I now possess more flies than I've ever had in my life. I only hope that the weather and the fish give me the chance to use them in 2013.

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 -


Courtesy of Alan.


Again from Alan. These will catch mullet.

David 1.

Just a smal selection.

David 2.

- and more.

David 3.

- and more.

David 4.

- and yet more.  There are many others. Aren't I lucky?