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).

Salmon on the fly.

Paul, a friend of mine, has been fishing for salmon on my local River Frome for some years. Salmon, of course are thin on the ground these days and big, spring fish, which used to be common on the river are as rare as hen's teeth. Anyway, the other day I had an email and a couple of pictures from Paul saying that he had landed a forty-two inch fish on a small tube fly. I thought that it was noteworthy and might make an interesting web page so here's his story :-

Hi Mike,

I took the fish in the run below suspension bridge pool in the afternoon having fished the beat down from the hut pool. I thought Id seen a swirl on the previous cast so I covered the spot again and as the line started to swing felt a good solid tug and saw a big flash. I knew from the take and initial run it was not a pike. Luckily I halted the first run before it went too far downstream. Once the fish turned it started to slowly make its way upstream but keeping deep the whole time. As I was using an 8 weight 13 foot rod I couldnt make much of an impact on it. When the fish came to the surface and jumped it was more of a commotion than a splash thats when I realised its size and also when I started shaking! She decided to run upstream and under the foot bridge but I managed to turn her and get her back into the main pool. Throughout the fight she stayed deep and fought with determination but after about 20 minutes I started to see more of her and she started showing signs of tiring. By this point my friend had made his way down from the top of the beat to help me land her. After she saw the net for the first time she ran back up stream but I managed to get above her so she turned back down to the main pool again. After three very scary attempts no net her we finally managed to bring her to a shallow area where the bank had collapsed so I could un-hook her in the net and measure her. This is when I realised she was fin clipped so would be a tagged fish. I kept her in the water only lifting her clear briefly for a quick photo. After about 15 minutes I had stopped shaking and she had regained her strength and was ready be released. It was great to see her swim strongly back into the depths and hopefully complete her spawning journey to produce some more big early Frome springers one can always hope!

I took her on a 1 black Francis copper tube using a multi-tip Spey line with a medium sinking head I always use Ken Sawada hooks as they are very sharp and incredibly strong so I was very grateful to have the confidence in the hook when I realised this was a fish of a life time. Im planning on having a replica plaque made as I think it was such a notable catch.

Do you know when the last fish of this size was taken from the Frome? I have recorded it as 29lb in my diary so I still have a milestone to reach and if I claim a thirty it will have to be without a doubt. At least I still have that goal to aim for.



I don't know when the last big springer was caught from the Frome. However, I do recall some big fish in years gone by. Not long after I moved to Dorset a friend of mine had four fish in March with a total weight of 120lb. I've seen quite a few 30 pounders and a couple much larger - those were the days! It makes Paul's beautiful fish all the more impressive.

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 -

What a fish!

I had almost forgotten what a big salmon looked like.


Well worth a closer view.  Paul's fish has the violet stripe along its side typical of a fish that was recently in the sea.

Ready for release.

This gives a better idea of just how big the salmon was.