For our inaugural year of operation, Fishing for Schools (Yorkshire and Peaks) was delighted to partner with All Saints Catholic High School in Sheffield, Asterdale Primary School in Borrowash, Appleton Academy in Bradford and Craven Pupil Referral Service (PRS) in Skipton.
Instructors Ben Fox and Steve Newsome were first in action at Craven PRS, in April, where they focused on fly fishing and fly tying. Then in May, after having completed a couple of classroom-based sessions, the pupils visited Kilnsey Park Fly Fishery – a finalist in the 2018 Countryside Alliance Awards.
The students, who were in their last year at the school, were a pleasure to work with, applying themselves well to the various tasks. They are a top bunch and we wish them all the best in the future.
Meanwhile we had an absolutely first-class opening session at All Saints Catholic High School, Sheffield on 23 April.
Richard Jamieson and Ben Fox engaged with 10 young people and had them all talking fishing within minutes. Wonders followed as fish 'parts' were identified, species matched and fishing tackle explained in some detail.
A massive thank you to our contact and coordinator at the school Cat Sables who joined in the fun with relish and to our additional young helper Jack, who seemed to know absolutely everything about the subject!
The second school-based session (7 May) featured various forms of fishing tackle being demonstrated by Fishing for Schools and were tried out on the school field by the pupils. This proved immensely popular.
For the All Saints practical offsite coaching sessions, Dave Woodhead, Richard Jamieson, Ben Fox and Lee Hunt met the pupils and teachers at the lovely Aston Park Fisheries.
They set up 4 metre whips, light rigs with maggots as bait and it didn't take long (about 10 seconds!) for the first student to catch a small Ide.
The excitement was palpable, and the others quickly made their way to their allocated pegs eager to get into the action. A few struggled to get bites, but did it dampen their spirits? Not one bit. Star student was young Ryan who showed fantastic resilience and patience and really took on board what he was told. Despite a fruitless hour and a half, he never lost his concentration and went on to catch five or six nice little Ide before the end.
Dave Woodhead and Richard Jamieson also went to Asterdale Primary School in Borrowash (May-July) to present two classroom-based lessons followed by two sessions at Aston Park Fisheries. We’ve had great support from this fishery and utilized Lanta lake on the second occasion, where some rather large carp were caught by the pupils.
It was a pleasure to return to the school to present their CAST awards before the end of term. The group has had a wonderful time learning about fish and three members of staff are also keen to keep it up!
Finally, Ben Fox, Geoff Smith and Lee Hunt delivered class-based lessons and trips to Fairview Fishery for Appleton Academy in Bradford (May and June).
This particular course showed the flexibility of our team as several dates had to be rearranged at fairly short notice, and this was done with the minimum of fuss.