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).

More rain - more fish.

We had yet another day of rain this week and, although I expected it to have little impact on the river, I was surprised to find that the level had risen a bit and there was a tinge of colour in the water. Presumably there had been more rain in the upstream part of the catchment than where I was fishing. Anyway, I was encouraged to have a go so out came the little Rapala and knottable wire trace.

Within minutes of making my first cast I was into a fish. As the plug wriggled its way across a shallow, fast flowing stretch it was taken. The trout was clearly no monster so I simply reeled it in, took its picture and slipped it back into the river. Good start. I worked my way on downstream covering all the water, deep and shallow, slow and fast flowing. My next bite felt a bit bigger than the trout but from the way it struggled I could tell that it wasn't the same species. In fact, it turned out to be a reasonable perch, certainly bigger than the usual tiddlers of this species, excellent!

Now I came to another shallow riffle. I held the rod up as the little plug swung quickly back across the flow. It was in mid-stream when it was taken, and the fish twisted, crashed and splashed on the surface but did not clear the water, as is usually the case with seatrout. I played it carefully and eventually as I slid it ashore to have its picture taken, it became apparent that it was a good sized brown trout. Back it went, and out went the plug again, ten metres or so further downstream. Again it was taken by a brown trout, this time a small, one exactly like the first one I'd caught. It was all action.

Now I was onto a deeper glide. Even in the smooth, steady flow, there was still enough water movement to keep the plug working even without retrieving it. I pressed on for perhaps sixty metres with no further action, then I reached a point where a willow bush overhung the near bank. In the past I'd seen decent fish roll just upstream of the bush, so, although I'd never caught anything there, I was quite hopeful. Keeping the rod tip just above the water surface I let the lure work its way back to my bank. I guessed that it was a couple of metres upstream of the bush when it suddenly stopped and the line tightened. Clearly it had been taken and the fish felt quite heavy, but it didn't show - could it be a pike? I kept a tight line and, still on a tight line, the fish began to swim upstream towards me, staying deep in the water - most un-pikelike. The way it was forging ahead, against the current, now convinced me that it was more likely to be a salmon. Sure enough, as it came abreast of where I stood, I could see the slim profile and silver-brown flank, so I'd guessed correctly. Typically, the salmon continued to battle, making several powerful downstream runs. Having seen what was on the end of the line, I'd eased the check a little to avoid pulling the hook, but there was no need to worry and after perhaps five minutes I was able to draw the fish into a slower flowing eddy and let it slide ,tail first, into my net. Of course the free hooks tangled in the net but it didn't take long to photograph, unhook and release the fish, which weight about 4kg.

It was nearly time for me to go now so I had half-a-dozen more casts, and landed one small perch before I gave up. Not a bad session - although I didn't manage to latch into any of the desired seatrout - perhaps next time?

The first small brown trout.


Better than the average perch.


The second fish was another, much bigger brownie.


Well hooked on the little plug..


...and another small brown.


Almost the last fish - a rather red salmon, typical for August in these rivers.


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 -