Inner City Youngsters Take To The Countryside For Fly Fishing

A group from the Naseby Youth Centre in Small Heath, Birmingham enjoyed a day’s fly fishing in the tranquil setting of the Lenches Lakes, Worcestershire on 13 August 2014.

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The group assemble for a photo shoot

The experience was organised by Andy Walker of midlands charity Angling Unlimited, and made possible thanks to a grant of £1,120 from the CLA Charitable Trust.

The day provided young people with a structured outdoor learning experience, playing a valuable role in reducing a reluctance of engaging with outdoor activities beyond the safety of their local familiar area.

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Julian Campbell demonstrates to onlookers

Before taking to the water,members of the Worcester Fly Dressers instructed the group in fly fishing gear, setting up, fly tying and casting, giving the youngsters the best possible start.

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Pete Webb giving some advice to a captured audience

Andy Walker said: “I’d like to thank the CLA Charitable Trust for the grant. Without this support we simply couldn’t deliver sessions like this.

“Living in the centre of Birmingham, opportunities for fly-fishing for youngsters are few and far between. Even if they were interested, most wouldn’t know where to go, or what to do and it can be expensive.

“For at least a few of those here today, this could prove to be the start of a rewarding, lifelong interest.

Lenches5Pete Webb and Julian Campbell lending a hand

CLA Charitable Trust spokesman Mike Ashton said: “This is not just about a day’s fishing. Judging by the enthusiasm shown so far today, some of these young people might just take this up as a hobby, and I’m sure many will be back to visit this area. They’re learning not just how to tie a fly, but also how catch and cook food, and how fishing can provide environmental benefits as well as sporting opportunities.

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A casting class given by John Symonds

Worcester Fly Dressers Guild Secretary Ken Nutting said: “It’s a delight to see a young person successfully tie their first fly, and then go out and fish with it. I hope one or two will go on to take up fly dressing and fishing.

 “Fly fishing should no longer be considered an exclusive sport. Anyone can fly fish, but they have to be given the opportunity to start.”

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