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Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Positive Impact of Fishing - Making a Difference!

When you go fishing, it's a great opportunity to get away from the daily routine, to experience some peace and quite and to connect with the outdoor environment. However through the fantastic work of the Get Hooked on Fishing Charity, fishing is more than just an escape! It can be a powerful framework for helping young people make positive life choices, and subsequently improving the quality of life.  

Below is a young person named Richard's reflection on how fishing, and his involvement with the Get Hooked on Fishing Charity, has enhanced his life on many levels:

The first time I was introduced to Karl and Get Hooked On Fishing, was when I was in year 7 at Thomas Adams School, Wem. The things I learned was how to cast with a fly rod which was for the first time, but also how to choose the right fly for the particular day.  I also learned to retrieve the fly line and hook, and play and land a trout. I also learned how to kill a trout which I was then able to take home to eat.  I also learned how to tie flies which was for the first time.

In year 8, I started to do coarse fishing and was taught how to tie successful rigs which I could use when I go coarse fishing and also the right bait that I could use for the day.
In year 9 I learned more about fly fishing to a more advanced level, as well as some more tactical coarse fishing. The things that I learned more about on fly fishing was how to shoot a fly line out a lot further and also how to tie better looking flies to use when I went fly fishing.

In year 10,  I was taught more about coarse and fly fishing. The things that I learned more about fly fishing was how to fish with two flies and to cast an even greater distance.  I also learned how to tie more flies.  In coarse fishing, I was taught how to match fish because I was chosen to fish a schools national competition for Thomas Adams School, Wem which I was lucky to be chosen as captain and we finished 15th out of 31.  I was also taught to tie my hooks and flies onto the line and was also taught how to play a Carp on a pole which was for the first time.

In year 11,  I was taught how to coach students to fish and I passed on the knowledge that Get Hooked On Fishing has taught me.  I also learned how to make more advanced flies.  I had the greatest honour of helping coach at the school nationals where I had fished before and I was able to then pass on the knowledge of how to fish the venue.

Get Hooked On Fishing has taught me to overcome my OCD because it doesn't bother me when I am out fishing. I have also coached at Fish O'Mania three times.  Get Hooked On Fishing has also taught me about the country code of practice.

From Get Hooked On Fishing I have gone on to Rodbaston College which at the moment I am doing a level 2 Diploma in Fish Husbandary. This is because I would like to become either a fishing coach or be able to run my own fishery in the near future. 

So as you can see from this very inspiring example, fishing can make a real difference in young people's lives!  It's a platform for learning new skills, improving self-confidence and self-esteem, helping others, increasing employability, and providing a lifetime of enjoyment and pleasure that fishing creates.   It's also a credit to the superb work of the Get Hooked on Fishing team and the need for continued support to give more young people these positive benefits.  However it also highlights that we, as anglers, have the power to make a similar contribution by offering advice, tips, tackle, or even time to young people, and creating similar value.  

Helping others through Angling
To learn more about the positive and life-enhancing work of the Get Hooked on Fishing Charity or to support them in helping young people, please visit their website www.ghof.org.uk.

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