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Get Fishing

Over my years as a professional angling coach, I was often asked by parents and grandparents to introduce a youngster.

“Please teach him to cast a fly”, they said, “then he can come with me, we’d both enjoy that”.

They were surprised when I refused if ‘little Johnny’ was under secondary school age. Eight and nine-year olds have still to develop the physical control they need to fly cast. In contrast, teenagers find it incredibly easy. I also pointed out that primary school children demanded action and success. Taking them fly-fishing and waiting hours for a rise could put them off fishing for life!

“Coarse fishing is the answer” I said.

“The kit is simple to use, success is guaranteed, and they learn all about how fish behave and how to handle them”.

The problem was many game anglers had never been coarse fishing. They did not know how.

In 2018 I met Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust who was responsible for their successful “Get Fishing” campaign. This gave a free introduction to fishing to more than 40,000 youngsters every year.

One of the great values of this scheme was its diversity, it aimed to introduce kids from all backgrounds including those with disabilities or who simply disliked chasing a ball across a muddy field. He told me what was really needed was a simple book aimed at these kids (and their parents!). It had to start with the assumption they had never been fishing nor handled any tackle.

“Get Fishing’ was born!

Unfortunately, Covid has put a damper on the formal ‘Get Fishing’ events. The upside is that ‘lockdowns’ and other restrictions have resulted in a huge upturn in ‘going fishing’ and rod licence sales.

I am proud of the help this book has provided for many newcomers to angling, the compliments I have received and the help it has provided.

Allan’s latest book entitled ‘Get Fishing’ published by Merlin Unwin Books was published on 28th March 2019.

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