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Mysterious Ways

Castaway at Theale, 24 April 2022


No one knows the subtle impact something has, until it is tried.


Following on from last year’s impressive Castaway inaugural event was always going to be a hard act to follow. Rather like a musician or artists’ “overnight success” the question mark always rests on the follow up….


Having had an initial astonishing response and suffered the usual slings of arrows of illness and various other current issues, numbers drifted down a little, but the sheer enthusiasm for the event drove us on…not least, by the support, kindness and quite honestly astonishing support of Sportfish-Farlows. The team within these organisations are sublime…


So we gathered in the Spring sunshine: as last year the team assembled – Fishing for Schools coaches, and some wonderful assistance from the Haywards Farm team – Tina, Alan and Peter take a monumental bow…. Along with Countryside Alliance Chief Executive -Tim Bonner and our Trustee and prime mover within Castaway, Charlotte Weston to welcome our guests …whom soon become our friends. It was that sort of day. No forced bone homme or smiles …everything was genuine, joyful and celebratory.


Angling is an amazing vehicle for jubilation, patience, inner excitement – occasional trepidation, but mostly it is about fun; celebrating the countryside and the rejuvenation it brings.


Along with some impressive casting by our participants, and then on to some pretty amazing fly tying including lively candidates to draw inspiration from (the live Crayfish in the bucket proved to be an active part of the demonstration). We added fish cookery to this year’s list of activities ….


The whole thing topped off by an afternoon’s fishing amidst Haywards Farm’s crystal depths. Not as many fish as last year, but just as many smiles, new friendships formed, and a new sport discovered…and ways to catch and cook their fish…. Oh! And know how a damsel nymph wiggles through the water….


Our deepest thanks to Karen Bennett for taking some scintillating pictures of the day, to Cobbs at Englefield the wonderful caterers who put our lunches together…. the Fishing for Schools coaching team, Farlows Sportfish for making it happen and the Englefield Charitable Trust for their support…but primarily the participants for bringing joy to our lives….

Oh! and the sun for making an appearance …..





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