I was sent this photograph this week by the DAA president Bryan Anderson, showing Bryan taking his five year old nephew for his first fishing lesson on the Devon
I dread to think what the age difference is, but I know that the wee fella will have had a master class from his uncle and hopefully this will sow the seed of a life long passion for angling, exploring lochs/rivers/burns and being out of doors!
Six years ago I took my own nephew for an afternoon down to the Devon to give his mum and new brother a bit of peace. We fished together and were lucky enough to catch a few wee trout
I know it wasn’t the most conventional fishing gear, but it is now the thing that Uncle and Nephew do ……….. we go fishing!
Analysing permits sales over the last years, one very clear trend appears consistently year on year …………. while permit sales remains relatively healthy, there are less and less youngsters fishing the river.
In the last five years I can only think of a handful of occasions that I have met anglers in their teens (and most of them are a young lad, a really skilled angler, who fishes the upper river)
In part I guess this is because children have a huge number of competing interests which are instantly more gratifying than learn the craft of fishing with a fly, casting a spinner below a bush or trotting a worm.
I like so many of my generation after school, at weekends and holidays spent my time out of doors. A neighbour, a very skilled pike angler, sowed the seed of interest in angling. By the time I was ten or eleven I would find myself with tens of other youths on the massive local municipal lake fishing for perch, tench. roach, the occasional trout and dreaming of pike armed with a basic cane rod and tackle (all from Woolworths angling section !) . A wee bit older, then my pals and I would get the bus to fish rivers and becks (the local river in those days was a horrible polluted mess).
There are no easy way to encourage youngsters to take up angling other than for them to experience the fun and excitement of fishing. The issue was passionately discussed at the AGM this year and it was agreed to reduce the cost of annual junior permits to £5.00.
Why not take your son/daughter, nephew/niece, grandchildren for a couple of hours to the river?