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).

Carpy Diem.

I do enjoy a good chuckle. My pal Geoff who, in my opinion, is one of the best saltwater fly fishermen in the world, has just sent me a very amusing email. To set the scene a bit Geoff is a lifelong angler and as a rule fishes in the seas and oceans of the world with fly tackle - because that's what he enjoys. He has no bias about people doing other things (or he wouldn't speak to a philistine like me) and he is really helpful and free with his information. Clearly Geoff gets a spot of 'cabin fever' when he's at home because he resorts to a session or two of freshwater piking to keep his hand in. Anyway, his recent email went as follows -

Hi Mike,

Just thought you might like my story of this afternoon!

At 3:00pm I had finished my work and decided to have an hours fishing in the lake across the road from my house. The lake is 58 acres and a former sand pit that has been stocked with large carp, double figure tench and bream in excess of 14lbs. It is usually frequented by carp/tench anglers that bivy up for days on end awaiting very infrequent bites. I quite regularly fish this water on evenings in summer after dinner when there is enough light for me to walk to it and get at least an hour's fly fishing for pike. I have never seen anyone else fishing for pike in this lake and I am continually told that it does not have pike in it, though I catch the occasional fish.

I intended to fish for about 1 hour and then get back home to make dinner for the family. I walked to the lake with my fly rod to find the near bank stages being refurbished by a working party so had to walk around the lake to the deeper water where the carp boys usually set up their equipment. On arriving I got the usual (but good natured) jibes from the carp boys who had never seen anyone fly fish this water before. It went something like - "You've got the wrong lake mate, there are no trout here!" or "Are you lost - Wales is that way!" Then follows the chuckles from them as they all find it rather funny as they gather around a communal primus stove making tea.

I walked over to them and had a chat to find most had been there for 2 days but no one had caught anything worthwhile. They were rather interested in what I could possibly be doing with a fly rod at this lake. I explain I am after pike. They must have thought it was my first time there and said that there were no pike in this water! I listened politely to what they said then found a suitable peg to fish between them.

After a few minutes fishing I hooked a good fish that fought extremely hard on the bottom. It took a fair bit of line several times and I guess it took me at least 5 minutes to get it up on top and near the side. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the carp boys congregating as they watched the spectacle. I eventually netted the pike, dragged it ashore, took 2 photos, weighed it off at exactly 18lb and then watched it swim away to the sound of silence from the congregated audience. At this point I felt it best to tidy my things up, hook the fly in the rod ring and return home without another cast. As I passed the carp boys I said "There are no pike in here!" and walked on home for a cup of tea.

What satisfaction that was! It couldn't have worked out better.

Picture attached. Looks to be a well fed girl!

Kind regards,


After the ribbing he'd had I think that Geoff deserved his little parting shot, I know how I'd have felt anyway. The last laugh is always the best one. I wrote and thanked him for his email and asked if I could put it on the website. This evoked a little more information which may be of interest. Geoff likes to fish for stripers in Cape Cod and gave me some advice when I went for the first time last June.

Hi Mike,

After BA buggered up my Spring trip to the Cape last year I managed to get out for the 'Fall migration' at end of September. Nothing spectacular caught - just good fishing standard. Did manage to catch a few flounder though using a floating fly on fast sinking line. Although relatively small, I have caught larger ones in Florida before, one even went to 15lb!

I got to Ireland (Kerry) in August for bass, pollack and wrasse and then to Dumfries & Galloway in September for family holiday celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and sampling some very interesting new water around the Solway Firth. Going back again this September!

I'm out to the Cape this June for 2 weeks, this being my 26th year and still not tired of the place. It is like home from home for me now and whilst I get plenty of fishing time in I do not kill myself by fishing every hour. You get a bit more selective with the benefit of previous experience, as I'm sure you well know.

Help yourself to the story if it is of any use to you.

Hope to 'throw some line' with you in the not too distant future.

Kindest regards.


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 -

Geoff's pike.

A nice catch for a water without any pike eh!

Nice 'flounder'.

Note the fly.  Geoff's fly gear is just a bit smarter than mine.

Good bass.

Ireland still produces some fine fish.