Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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Coarse Fishing 09 November 2002

Accidental grayling.

After another spell of grim weather the gods relented last week and it was dryish for several days on the trot. Having been deprived of any decent fishing for a while I decided to try and catch a few dace for use as pike baits. When I got to the river the problem was WATER! There was water everywhere and although it was very clear all the spots I fancied turned out to be swirling, turbulent torrents.

After walking for miles through flooded fields I decided to try in a small millstream. Even in the little watercourse there was a heck of a rush of water and the first two spots I tried with floatfished maggot did not produce a bite of any sort. For my third attempt I moved down to stand on a little island between two channels. There was a bit of a slack downstream of the island and the water, although it was pushing through, was only half-a-metre deep and the bottom was clean gravel.

I threw in a handfull of maggots and began to trot the float down. The first two bites (after about ten minutes fishing) took me completely by surprise and I missed them both. Next time I was prepared and the strike met with a heavy resistance - no dace this! I thought. I played the good sized grayling for a while in the strong flow and then tried to lead it into the slack behind the island for landing. It gave a couple of strong wriggles and the hook came adrift, twanging the float, shot and hook into the lower branches of an overhanging alder tree. Damn!

After five minutes of impromptu tree surgery and a further five minutes trying to untangle the gear I gave up and took the tackle off, replacing it with a simple paternoster weighted by a couple of shot. First cast I let the baited hook trundle across the flow. Suddenly there was a weight on the line and I was into my second fish. Another grayling smaller than the first. This one I landed and returned. Two casts later the excercise was repeated the fish being a little bit smaller than the previous one. After that no more bites so I packed in and went for my lunch - at least I'd caught something. That night it poured down and the river was high and very dirty next morning - so no pike fishing anyway. That seems to be the pattern at present, ah well!

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 -



November 09 2002

The Millstream.

I stood on the little island feeding in loose maggots and fishing a few metres downstream.

The second grayling.

After losing the first fish on float tackle this one took paternostered maggots

On the bank.

Grayling really are beautiful fish, if a bit smelly on the hands.

The third grayling.

beaten and ready to land

On the bank.

Not quite as big as the others.