Rain, snow, freezing conditions, floods… well I guess it's winter. We at Fishing for Schools are keeping snug and cosy with the enthusiasm of a new school intake. We now almost have all the pieces in place for what promises to be yet another fabulous year for the initiative.
I know when writing about anything that it is easy to lapse into superlatives and tread a path of almost unbelievable happiness where nothing ever goes wrong (and if it does, just don’t mention it) but we wouldn’t do that. Running this magnificent charity, one is faced with the cold hard realism of so many elements. Bullying, online insidious altering of vulnerable people’s lives, the reality that many must face, and the hardships that swathes of people endure.
We never shrink from any of this.
Now, I agree, fishing is never going to be a social saviour, how could it be? But it might give someone an opportunity to relax, unwind, learn, communicate and just be calm. Fishing is a rather wonderful thing and Fishing for Schools offers that opportunity aligned with a smidgeon of learning too.
Since the New Year, we now have two more truly wonderful ambassadors on board:
Kieren Nason and Daniel Tranter. Both join our esteemed ranks of folk that believe in what we do and are willing to both support and promote all aspects of Fishing for Schools and Castaway. I am thrilled to have these superb fly fishers in our ranks but more importantly, have their kindness and humanity assist us, too.
First up, Kieren Nason
I have fished with Kieren on a number of occasions, mostly when we have been raising funds through our joint association with the Facebook fly fishing powerhouse 'Fly Fishing UK Stillwaters and Rivers'. Of the many people I have met in our sport, I think it’s Kieren’s gentleness and humanity that shines through. Someone who knows the angst of others and wants to help. That is so rare, and we are very fortunate to have someone of that nature be part of what we do.
A little bit from Kieren...
"Spending time outdoors and fishing have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Time on the water allows me to find a sense of freedom and peace of mind in a complex and changing world.
Although I live in the city, I’ve been lucky enough to have opportunities to spend time in the countryside, and to meet many lovely people over the years who have shared their knowledge and experiences with me. It is a privilege to be able to support Fishing for Schools and its role in giving young people the chance to experience the joys of angling."
Next up, is a young man whom I have known since his early teens…Daniel Tranter joined the England Youth Team and soon, with his personality and stunning fishing prowess ascended the ranks to become vice captain, continuing to represent his country with distinction and phenomenal pride…. Now he has gone even further and rresented England at Senior level.
There are not enough words of admiration for Daniel. Meticulous in his approach, a staggering work ethic and more fun that you will ever know when fishing in a boat with him… Just get him on his native county Essex!
Here is a little bit about Daniel, in his own words:
“Fishing has been a massive part of my life from the age of 10. Not only have I been lucky enough to meet some amazing people who are now friends whilst fishing but I have also amassed some amazing memories which I will never forget.
Fishing has been amazing for my mental health - and if I was ever going through a tough time I would look forward and think about the next fishing trip I have planned.
When I started fishing, I had no idea of how far it could get me; and now I have two caps for the England youth fly fishing team and two caps for the England senior fishing team.
To anybody wanting to get into fishing I would say always give it a go because there is no better feeling than slipping the net under a fish and having the pride of seeing what you have caught.”
Visit us at the British Fly Fair International
Fishing for Schools and Castaway have kindly been offered a stand at this year's gathering of fly-fishing clans, The British Fly Fair International on the 11 - 12 February. Our thanks to Steve Cooper and his company Cookshill Fly Tying.
This is an exciting event for us as we get to meet with and chat to so many supporters, but importantly offer for donation a variety of magnificent fly-fishing items that we have been given over the year, to help us help young people.
Just prior to the event I shall be publishing a full list of some of the more desirable “lots”. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to place a reserve on an item.
Just remember, everything raised will help someone.
The BFFI is taking place on 11 - 12 February at Staffordshire Agricultural Showground (ST18 0BD).
See www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk for further details and directions.
We are in the Prestwood, Argyle and Sandyland Halls at the venue. The show is open to the public from 9:30am - 16:30pm on Saturday and 9.30am - 16.00pm on Sunday.