Mike Ladle


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Tackle and Tactics.

THINK LIKE A FISH Part 45 Fly Fishing in the Sea.

I'm no great fly caster. In fact most of the fly fishermen I see can cast further straighter and with greater delicacy than I can myself. However, I catch lots of fish on my fly gear and I really enjoy playing and landing fish on fly tackle. The point I am trying to make is that, even if you've never tried it before, there is no need to be scared of attempting to fly fish. It's probably worth having a few chucks in the local field just to get the hang of extending a line but there is certainly no need to spend a fortune on specialist rods, reels and lines just to give it a go.

The basic reason for using fly tackle is simply to cast a small, virtually weightless, lure. Any other sort of gear would need added weight in the form of a sinker or float just to get your artificial to the fish but in the case of fly tackle all the weight is in the line. In fact, from the point of view of casting, the lighter the fly the better. In many ways the heavy fly rods and 'reservoir style' equipment used for casting heavily weighted lures (flies) is best left in the shop. In situations where this sort of tackle would be effective you are probably better to use spinning tackle and plugs or spoons. .

Recently I have done quite a bit of fly fishing. I simply used my fly tackle for amusement even though I knew that I would catch many more (and probably larger) fish on plugs or spoons. Very few of the fish that I caught needed even a moderate cast and most of them were only a few metres beyond the rod tip. In fact I did very little conventional casting - simply twitching out a few yards of line in a sort of pitiful roll cast and retrieving by raising the rod and letting the weight of the fly line drag my lure through the water.

As mentioned recently in the "catch fish" section my favourite lure is a tiny redgill and as an experiment on two occasions I tried two flies - a natural (silvery-white) redgill on the point and a black Delta (the same size) about 30cm up the cast. the idea was not to catch two fish at once but to see whether the colour of the fly made any difference. On the first session I had fish on both flies but after the third mackerel a garfish took the black fly and (unknown to me) damaged the nylon so badly that the next bite took the black fly off. I was too lazy to replace it so the experiment ended. On the next session the first six mackerel were all on the white lure, the seventh and eighth were one on each (at the same time) and the ninth (presumably another gar) nicked the black fly clean off, with hardly a tug, again. I shall try again with the black one on as the point fly next time - it adds a bit of interest to the fishing.

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 - docladle@hotmail.com


Think like a fish.

Fly Fishing in the Sea.

Richard with a mackerel.

This fish took a Yozuri Crystal Minnow plug.

A big scad.

Rich caught this one by float fishing a strip of mackerel.

A fly caught mackerel.

Seven of my first eight mackerel were on the white lure.

A garfish.

This fish took the black lure and damaged the trace so much that the lure was lost next time a fish took.

Richard also had a bass on the plug.

Plugs were definitely selective for the bass.

A rougher day at the same spot.

Even under these conditions I caught lots of fish on the fly.