Fishing for Schools coach Rob Doyle explains all:
We arrived at Meon Springs in plenty of time to prepare the equipment for the day's fishing. Anticipating a good day and a mix of pupils, should have been four girls and four boys but unfortunately one girl could not make the day. The pupils arrived so excited to be out in the countryside and ready for the day.
We started with entomology; Lee extracting some bugs from the lake and the pupils separated them and used the ID cards to name some of them.
We then moved on to fly casting; we taught the children roll casting as it was quite a large group and safer. Then stopping for Lee to explain playing a fish. The pupils were beginning to get thirsty. This seemed like a good time to take a break; as we did, we were treated to the wonderful sight of a water vole swimming across the lake towards us. The children stayed quiet until the vole reached its destination, excellent.
After the break we returned to fishing, Richard and Lee setting up the rods. We gradually put the pupils in position on the bank; just as all were in position, the first pupil shouted "got a fish", immediately followed by a second and then a third.
We now had three fish swimming in an area about 15-18m along the lake, twice nearly getting entangled. We managed to keep them apart until there were three pupils with three fish on the bank. With half hour to go we had seven fish on the bank between six pupils and the seventh pupil still trying, just as we were changing tactics to get the last fish the pupil concerned hooked a fish, his third of the day, but this final fish was landed.
We'd managed every pupil catching at least one fish and all on their own casts. An amazing day, with a wonderful group of children, who were an absolute credit to themselves and of course the school.
Thank you to Gregg and the fishery, as always for their support but also thank you to coaches Lee and Richard for helping enrich the lives of the group.