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 so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).

16 January 2010.

Wrong again Mike!

Last time I mentioned the possibility that my failure to catch dace and roach might have been due to snow melt or road salt. Well, with things warming up I thought I might try and test out the idea. The day after my blank session I went back to the same spot reasoning that by then the 'run off' should have more or less gone and the water temperature would be rising and the salt concentration declining. Sure enough the level was down an inch or two and the water was a bit clearer than the day before. Excellent!

I arrived at the river at about three in the afternoon. Again I fished with maggots and within seconds of my first cast I had a knock. I was chuffed - my hypothesis seemed to be spot on. Fish after fish hung itself on and by the time I packed in at four o'clock I'd landed a couple of dozen nice dace and one roach. It's good when a plan comes together!

I was so pleased with myself that I decided to give it another go the following day, just to dot the I's and cross the Ts.. At about mid-day I arrived at the spot where I'd caught all the fish. Conditions still looked perfect - just as warm and nice level and colour. I began to fish - two hours later I was still waiting for my first bite. I'd tried a couple of places a bit further downstream thinking that the fish might simply have dropped back a bit but - nothing! As I drove home I was trying to work out what was wrong. The fish were just as uncooperative as they had been on the day of the salty floodwater but why?

As I was eating my late lunch my wife asked the usual question about how I'd got on. I mumbled something about a blank and said that the only reason I could think of for my failure was the time of day. She said "Why don''t you give it a go later this afternoon and find out?" At quarter to four I was back at the river, flicking in a few maggots and casting my line, slightly apprehensive after the total lack of action earlier in the day. I need not have worried. Within minutes I was landing one fish after another - amazing stuff!

So, it doesn't look as though the salty floodwater was to blame for the poor catch on the first session. Of course it might have had some effect but the time of day seems to have been the critical thing. Now, I know that dace do daily migrations in the summer months so it's possible that something like that was going on with the fish simply turning up before it got dark (about 17.00hr). On the other hand the fact that I had no bites further downstream suggests that they may have been there all the time and simply not feeding at all until the light was to their liking. Whatever the reason it's just another example of how critical the time of day can be for catching fish.

Couple of dace.

The smaller dace was unusual, most of my catch consisted of 100-250g fish.


A cracking fish in mint condition.

Close up.

Dace are amazing little fish.

- and a roach.

This was the only roach I caught.