Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

Freshwater Fishing

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).

Friendly fishermen.

Most of my pals are 'all round' anglers. Of course, like me, they have their preferences and to some extent these are governed by where they live and what sort of fishing is available to them. Nevertheless they will all enjoy fishing for anything that swims. Two of them, Dave and Paul, sent me little snippets of information recently to tell me how they'd been getting on. First Dave -

Hi Mike

That last session you described at the coast must have been very enjoyable. I can almost feel the satisfaction you felt on your drive home for breakfast. A trip like that certainly puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Managed 1 more bass down in Dorset on a quick trip and a load of small pike and 3 decent Perch of about 2 1/2lb on my local lakes. The picture of the perch shows the 5in shad it took. The others took the smaller shad with the weird spinner attachment that I used unsuccessfully when we went to Chew.

Hadn't tried for the perch for a season or two, so got a ticket for some gravel pits to pass the time this winter. Must say it doesn't appeal as much as the sea and it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack sometimes on the big lakes where the fish are out of range in the middle (I presume they are, because I can't find them around the edges). Have mainly used spinners but only had small pike and perch before the weather got colder.

This week with the freezing weather I decided to go deeper with the shads and had the three decent perch and some inevitable pike. The perch all took the shad as it was getting close - about 10ft out. They probably followed it for quite a way. Will be back when the weather gets milder as my hands have only just warmed up.

Steveís bluefish, pictured on your web page, look sandy coloured like bass from the surf beaches. The ones Iíve caught in La Gomera were in deep water and were more the colour of the Cape Cod blues. Have been looking at Isla de Graciosa, north of Lanzagrotty. Apparently blues are taken from the beach there as well and the place looks nice and quiet.



Cracking perch eh? now Paul's emails -


Unexpectedly I managed to get out fly fishing for grayling this afternoon. I wasn't too worried about the low temperatures with their reputation for feeding in cold water.

I went to my local river but unfortunately I couldn't locate the large grayling I saw a few weeks ago. There was a tinge of colour in this section and it was enough to make locating them impossible.

Instead I moved on to fish a different channel, starting off in a hatch pool at the upstream end. As this was deeper water I decided to put on a strike inicdator and flicked the line into he water preparatory to casting. To my great surprise I had a take which proved to be a grayling - which came adrift.

Over the next few minutes I hooked a further 4 grayling and managed to land only one of them. Very frustrating as they were nice fish in the 10" to 12" range.

Not surprisingly, by this time the fish had 'had enough' and it went quiet so I moved on and fished downstream to the next hatch pool. I landed 3 or 4 small grayling as I went. A pleasant surprise was that a number of grayling were clearly rising. Sadly I'd left my floatant at home so couldn't try a dry fly.

The next hatch was a repeat of the first landing only one modest grayling. I did hook a very nice one which I had on for quite a while. Sadly size 16 hooks and decent fish twisting and turning in heavy water don't mix. It rolled on the surface as it was beaten - at that moment the hook came out. Just not my day.

Retracing my steps I had a few more grayling before packing up and collecting my son on the way back home.

A very pleasant though slightly trying afternoon.



I wrote asking Paul asking about the fly he'd been using and if it was OK to put his picture on the web etc. I also mentioned that I was 'hors de fishing' with a twisted back. Again he replied -


By all means use the report.

Yes I am using a size 16 goldhead. It is a Hares Ear with no tail and a fine holgrphic tinsel rib. My intention is for it to be taken as a shrimp rather than a nymph of some kind.

I will be tying some size 14's to see if that makes a difference.

Unlucky with the back, hope it is sorted out soon.



I made a few comments about the size of flies and once more Paul replied -


I'm sure it is worth stepping up a hook size and it would certainly make tying them easier.

Grayling in this river used to be as common as anything. When I was 16 and first started fishing on the stretch where we have fished together, if I were to trot a maggot 40% would be dace and 40% would be grayling with gudgeon, roach, chub and perch making up the balance. I haven't seen a grayling there for I don't know how long. Where I used to get grayling I now can get bream and tench! Water abstraction I suspect.

On the upper river their numbers have collapsed. Over the last few years things have improved a little. I've seen quite a few fair sized shoals of what I take to be 2009 fish.

Do they shoal by year group? They certainly appear to.

I'd certainly like to come down and have a crack at the pike or grayling with you. Are there many grayling in the section you fish? Or roach?



- and again


Managed a few hours again this afternoon.

Couldn't locate the grayling in the first hatch pool. Fished it for a good while but not a sniff. Shame as I wanted to try my new size 14 bead heads.

I moved on downstream and located a shoal of small grayling rising steadily. Off came a nymph and on went a small dry, another hares ear type! I rarely using anything else for the body!

Quite a few takes and bumped grayling but none landed, sound familiar? Only fish I did land here was a 6" brown trout.

Moving on downstream I came to the next set of hatches. In fact there are two sets of hatches as the river divides in to two. In the smaller pool, about 15 feet across and 3 feet deep. At last on a deep fished nymph the first grayling turned up quickly followed by another. Both were in the 10" to 12" size range.

At this point I worked my way upstream but didn't contact anymore grayling, or trout for that matter.

Water levels were very low and the sun was also very low and bright which made spotting fish very difficult for me but easy for them. I suspect I put a few down silhouetting myself.

Enjoyable afternoon nonetheless.



All interesting stuff. I must say I look forward to Paul coming down my way and having a bash at the grayling.

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 -

Dave's bass.

Obviously plugged.

One of Dave's perch.

A nice fat fish taken on a decent sized lure.

One of Paul's grayling.

The goldhead is just visible in its lip.