On Wednesday 6th March Bewcastle School took part in an introduction to angling session at Talkin Tarn with Borderlines. 24 pupils aged between 5 and 11 took part in the session, which started with safety talk, and a freshwater life session in the excellent new classroom facilities at the Tarn. After the opening session the party split into 4 groups each of which tried their hand at pond dipping, perch and pike fishing as well as fly casting on the day.
On Tuesday 3rd April as part of Carlisle City Council’s GO4IT program 21 young people took part in two 2½-hour Still water coarse angling taster sessions at the Carlisle and District Coarse Angling Club’s Crofton Lake fishery near Thursby, learning to fish with a 3 metre whips. All of the participants caught fish including gudgeon, perch and roach up to 5oz in weight, some catching up to 15 fish during the session.
On Wednesday 4th April 12 young people from Salterbeck took part in an introduction to sea fishing session funded by Impact Housing on the Solway near Port Carlisle. As with all of the sessions ran by Borderlines instructors, participants were not just taught how to catch fish they were introduced to estuarine ecology, learning about the respective food chains, the water cycle and how man can damage the environment through pollution and leaving litter.
10th and 11th April, The Environment Agency, Carlisle City Councils Culture and Community Services Department, Carlisle Angling Association and Borderlines the not for profit company providing angling experiences for all sections of the community, worked collaboratively to provide four 2 ½ hour river fishing taster sessions for 22 young people between the ages of 10 and 14 from deprived wards within the City this week. The morning and afternoon sessions on both Tuesday and Wednesday were jointly funded by the Environment Agency and were staged on the Carlisle Angling Associations stretch of the river Eden in Rickerby Park, Carlisle.
As well as allowing their water to be used for the sessions Carlisle AA also provided fishing permits for participants that can be used for the rest of the season. As well as gaining an introduction into safety whilst fishing, the freshwater environment, fly fishing and bait fishing techniques from Borderlines angling instructors Chris Bowman, Glyn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill participants also caught brown trout to over 1lb in weight as well as small grayling, trout and salmon parr as well as salmon smolts during the sessions. The best two trout both weighing 1¼lb were landed by Dan Miller aged 12 and Joe Wallace aged 14. Dan hooked his fish on the fly and Joe hooked his on a worm.
Sunday 13th May provided two hours coarse angling tuition for two youngsters from the Carlisle Youth Offenders Service’s ISSP programme at Carlton Hill Fishery.
Wednesday 23rd May 18 pupils from Fir Ends School, Smithfield visited Crofton Lake for an introduction to coarse angling session with Borderlines. Under the watchful eye of Borderlines instructor’s participants tried fishing with a whip, waggler fishing and legering, as well as being introduced to the freshwater environment its animal and plant life.
6th June. A group of gifted and talented students from North Cumbria Technology College were given the opportunity through the North Cumbria and Carlisle SSCO Partnership and the Physical Education Department to experience a new activity with Borderlines. On Wednesday the 13, year 8 pupils received expert tuition during an introduction to Still water coarse angling session with Borderlines instructors Chris Bowman and Glyn Freeman at Crofton Lake near Thursby.
The idea behind this was to celebrate their commitment in school and give them an introduction to an activity they could enjoy for the rest of their lives. If that’s not an experience in itself picture a hot summers day in the countryside with a group of excited 12 and 13 year olds crowding round first time fisherman Louie Holmes aged 12 landing a 9lb 2oz carp.
Wednesday 13th June, 25 children from Longtown Primary School gained an introduction to fishing and freshwater life during a day with Borderlines at Crofton Lake.
Tuesday 19th June, Ross Jefferson aged 11, Grant Lettice aged 10, Jonathon Tallentire aged 11 and Robbie Harrison aged 11 from Silloth Rugby Club who took part in an introduction to Still water coarse angling taster session with Borderlines at Crofton Lake on Tuesday evening. Despite having never caught a fish before taking part in the session Grant faired best on the evening landing one perch whilst fishing with a 3 metre whip, two perch using waggler tactics before topping the evening off with a 2¾lb bream caught on sweet corn and maggot fished in conjunction with a swim feeder.
Saturday 30th June, 60 youngsters from across Cumbria took part in the BASC ‘Young Shots Day’ on the Lowther Estate near Penrith, sponsored by John Norris. Those taking part tried different country sports including fly fishing.
On Tuesday 3rd July 13 pupils from Sanqhaur Academy and Wallace Hall Academy in Thornhill enjoyed an Introduction to Fly Fishing course at the Drum Loch, Dalswinton near Dumfries. On Wednesday 4th July it was the turn 16 of pupils from St Josephs School and Dumfries High School.
Both days were organized by the Nith Fishing’s Improvement Association and funded by Dumfries and Galloway Angling Association, Dumfries Burgh Fishing’s, Barjarg Fishing’s, Mid Nithsdale Angling Association and ATH Holdings with tuition once again provided by Borderlines assisted by Nith Fishery Board bailiffs and NFIA officials.
Saturday 7th July, 8 young people from Appleby and the surrounding area had the opportunity to take part in a fly fishing day with tuition from Borderlines instructors thanks to the Environment Agency who funded the session and Appleby Angling Association who allowed their beat of the river Eden at Holme Farm to be used for the event. After a safety talk, an introduction to freshwater life and casting tuition, participants took part in both distance and accuracy casting competitions before breaking for lunch. Following lunch everyone had the opportunity to put into practice what had been learned during the morning session whilst fishing on the river in the afternoon.
21st July, Borderlines once again had a presence at the Cumberland Show with Clive, Glyn and Chris giving demonstrations both in the main arena. They were assisted by Geoff Johnstone who was giving fly tying demonstrations. Visitors to the show were also able to see displays of Borderlines work.
24th and 25th July, 28 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 16 from the Dumfries area enjoyed a day’s fly fishing tuition at the Drum Fishery near Dalswinton on Tuesday and Wednesday this week during two of four days organised by the Nith Fishing’s Improvements Association this summer and funded by ATH Resources an open cast coal mining company working in the Nith catchment and Dumfries and Galloway Angling Association, Dumfries Burgh Fishing’s, Barjarg Fishing’s, Mid Nithsdale Angling Association.
Thanks to ATH Resources and the other sponsors 15 youngsters on Tuesday and 13 on Wednesday were introduced to the freshwater environment, learning about safety and the countryside code as well as how to cast safely and efficiently before trying fly-fishing for themselves, transport to the venue was also laid on. Assisted by NFIA official’s instruction was provided by Carlisle based Borderlines who also provided rods, reels and tackle for those with none of their own. Youngsters landed rainbow trout up to 2½lb from the 8 acre Drum Fishery, which proved to be an ideal venue for the sessions.
30th July The Eden Rivers Trust as part of the Discover Eden Heritage Lottery Funded project have enabled Borderlines with the aid of a grant to purchase a whole range of new equipment improving Borderlines services to schools, youth groups and other organisations within the community, giving more young people the opportunity to gain an introduction to angling and the environment.
So on Monday evening ERT Manager Maggie Robinson, Marketing and Events Officer Rachel Purdon, Scientific Officer Lucy Dugdale and Lizzie Fenton, Fisheries Officer joined Chris and other Borderlines instructors Glyn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill on the banks of the beautiful river Eden at Eden Lacy to learn and try for themselves a variety of river fishing techniques including fly fishing, float fishing and legering.
After been introduced to casting with the fly rod and both fixed spool and centre pin reels they split into two groups each group trying trout fishing and coarse fishing during the course of the evening and although no monsters were caught the group landed small trout salmon parr and two small chub. Lizzie Fenton caught the biggest fish of the night a chub of perhaps a pound in weight on a large piece of legered bread flake, but Lucy Dugdale came close after loosing a decent trout on the fly, Lucy caught a trout parr before hooking a chub only slightly smaller than Lizzie’s whilst trotting a float using a centre pin reel.
ERT Manager Maggie Robinson said ‘Take a Friend Fishing has been a lot of fun trying the different fishing techniques and a brilliant opportunity for us to get some expert fishing tuition from the Borderlines instructors.’
Scientific Officer Lucy said ‘We are already planning our next fishing trip’.
31st July, 28 youngsters between the ages of 4 and 16 along with 7 adults enjoying a fun filled family fishing session organised by Impact Housing Association on a lovely sunny afternoon at Mossbay Reservoir near Workington on Tuesday.
Participants caught roach, perch and gudgeon using 3 metre whips supplied by Borderlines who also provided tuition on the day.
The day also had its serious side, prior to fishing Borderlines instructors emphasized the importance of keeping safe whilst fishing and as well as introducing participants to freshwater life, explained to those taking part how pollution, leaving litter and fishing line on the banks can spoil the environment and harm wildlife. Budding roach expert Kristian Thomas aged 12 made the best catch of the day; a stunning roach of over 1lb in weight as well as catching other roach up to 8oz.
4th and 5th August, Borderlines had a presence at Lowther Show with Clive, Glyn and Chris giving demonstrations on the Fishing Island. Visitors to the show were also able to see displays of Borderlines work.
7th August, 11 youngsters took part in the Appleby Angling Association Junior Day funded by the Environment Agency. Those taking part caught small trout and salmon parr on the day, participants learned about safety before dipping for invertebrates, tying their own fly’s and learning how to cast during the morning session before fishing for themselves in the afternoon, followed by presentation of certificates and prizes at the end of the day.
1st September. Borderlines had a presence at the Eden Rivers Festival, Big Splash event organised by the Eden Rivers Trust in Rickerby Park Carlisle; a celebration of waterside and water based activities throughout the Eden catchment, there was something for everyone raft races, canoes, river rescue demonstrations as well as food, drink, music, entertainment and displays about local wildlife. As well as staging fly fishing and coarse fishing demonstrations on the day Borderlines instructors Clive Mitchelhill and Chris Bowman also provided adults and youngsters alike with the opportunity to gain some expert fly fishing and coarse angling tuition. Assisting Borderlines on the day was Eden fly fishing guide and expert fly tier Geoff Johnston who was giving fly tying demonstrations throughout the day.
In September Borderlines began a programme with Young Cumbria youth groups at Siddick and Northside, members of the gifted and talented after school club at Stainburn School and all of the children at Northside Primary School which was funded by a Local Network Fund grant used in the main for salaries of the three instructors delivering the sessions. Between September and January Borderlines worked with a total of 107 children.
As well as giving children the opportunity to take up angling as a hobby (an opportunity many of them would otherwise never have had), Borderlines introduced them to, made them more aware and understanding of Siddick Ponds its wildlife, its other users and their local environment in general.
To quote Mrs Helen Ford Head Teacher at Northside Primary school:
“It has widened the children’s understanding of the impact of their actions on the environment and made them realise how lucky we are to have Siddick ponds so near to us. They have become more knowledgeable about fish types and life cycles and how the environment is fragile at times and interdependent.”
Thursday 27th December provided 4 hours coarse angling tuition for two youngsters from the Carlisle Youth Offenders Service’s ISSP programme at Warwick Hall on the river Eden.