I paddled along noting a big shoal of small grayling for future reference. Must take the fly rod and give them a try next time. Mike Ladle's Fishing Diary

Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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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).

23 October 2009.

More fly fishing.

After my last effort catching small grayling I was fired with enthusiasm for waving the fly rod about. Now I do a fair bit of fly casting for mullet and bass in the sea but this time I wanted to see what the local river would produce. I thought that grayling were an unlikely catch so I decided to try for a perch or two. With this in mind I tied a little grey Delta eel on the point and a brownish wet fly on the dropper about 15cm above it. I had caught a fair few perch on soft plastic jigs recently so I was hoping that the little 'rubber eel' on the fly line would behave in a similar fashion.

No chance! Even on a slowish retrieve with the lure near the river bed I couldn't buy a bite. At one spot with shallow, clear water and a gravel bed, where I've often had a few perch on plugs, there was nothing doing but I did see a small shadow following the lure at one point. What was the problem? I decided to add a bit of weight to the eel by pinching on a shot in front of its nose. First cast the plastic eel sank to the bed and as it did so was nailed by a tiny perch, astonishing! Out went the 'fly' again and this time I purposely let it sink to the gravel. Sure enough as I tightened another perch was hanging on the end - you live and learn. Several more perch, all of them on the weighted eel, all of them on the bottom, were caught before I found myself into a dace on the dropper. This encouraged me to try something different so I took off my plastic eel and tied on a goldhead like the one I'd used for grayling and a small greenish nymph as a dropper. No more perch but the goldhead tempted several dace and eventually I hooked a salmon parr on the nymph. After that I packed in. As expected I hadn't broken any records or had any momentous struggles but it was entertaining and I was a bit wiser for the experience.


I couldn't get a sniff until I added weight and let the eel drop to the river bed.

Close up.

The grey plastic and the shot are clearly visible and the perch had obviously intended to eat them.


This one took the wet fly I was using as a dropper.

Another dace.

This one grabbed the goldhead point fly.


The hook was near the eye but came out easily and the fish was unharmed.


This little chap (or chapess) took the dropper and prompted me to pack in - I didn't want to catch any more of them.