Young lad with large smile at first fish This is a very special area of our training courses as we are aware that we are dealing with the future of our sport. Great care is taken to develop an atmosphere of trust with both potential pupils and their parent(s) or guardian. To this end we always arrange for a coach to meet young people in the home in the presence of their parents prior to the course, so that the adults can satisfy themselves as to our fitness to look after their children. We also take this opportunity to get to know the pupils. There is no charge for this first meeting. We will explain the services we provide and answer any questions.

Even if the pupil already has some tackle we would prefer to supply the tackle, at least initially. This way we know that the student is using tackle that will do the job we require of it, safely and efficiently. Secondly, it is easier to teach a group of people who all have the same types of rod and reel.

FAQs (for parents, guardians and key workers)

Question: Is it safe?

Taylor Clark and pikeWe have chosen the fishery at which we hold the training courses with great care. It is fenced all the way round and the only people who have access are anglers. The courses are organised with one instructor to four pupils so that each pupil can be properly supervised. All the hooks we use are barbless and cause no more than a pin prick should they pierce the skin and of course we are all first aid trained and equipped with a first aid kit.

Question: Is tackle expensive?

It need not be, but great care must be taken when making a purchase as some 'children's rods' offered for sale are designed for the American market and are totally useless for the type of angling we practice in the UK. We provide all pupils on our courses with tackle free of charge and will then advise on future purchases. Why not let your child try the sport first before buying the tackle?

Question: How old must they be to start fishing?

It depends on the child, but as a general rule we would suggest nine or ten years old is about right. If your child is younger then some parents have chosen to come on the courses on their own and then teach their children themselves. We have found this to be a very practical solution, as parents will be reluctant to allow a young child to fish on their own even when they are competent and this enables them to share the child's interest. Two of our most enthusiastic (and successful!) pupils are mothers who have done just this.

Question: Is it cruel?

Pretty little girl with perch from Twynersh There is no scientific evidence to suggest that fish, being cold blooded creatures, feel pain the way we do. I have caught the same fish twice or three times in a morning and this proves they do not suffer undue stress. Most anglers are conservationists and if we believed that we were causing unnecessary suffering we would not fish. It is a perfect opportunity for young people to experience nature at first hand and learn about the environment.

FAQs (for children)

Question: Is it boring?

No, you won't be bored - you will be learning to explore a world about which science knows less than they know about the moon. You will be catching creatures that have been on this earth since before the dinosaurs, learning about how they live and why they survived when the dinosaurs became extinct.

Question: Do you eat the fish?

Fish hooked No, we return them carefully to the water so that they can grow bigger and breed to provide the future of our sport. It is not necessary to kill our prey in these modern times when fish is freely available in the shops (besides they don't taste very nice!)

Question: Why do I need coaching?

Angling requires knowledge of how the fish live, what they feed on and how to trick them into taking the bait. It is important also that you are able to handle the fish you catch so as not to harm them. To get the most out of this wonderful sport you must be a successful angler and you will need both knowledge of your prey and the techniques needed to catch them to achieve this. We can teach you all of this in a way that is both fun and safe.

Question: Isn't it all a matter of luck?

Yes, of course there is an element of luck in the sport, but if you watch a good angler he will consistently catch more and better fish than others. He will understand why things are happening and what he needs to do to improve his chances of catching the fish he is after. He will tell you that the more he learns the luckier he gets!

Question: None of the other kids in my class go fishing, so why should I enjoy it?

Tackle box filled with brightly coloured luresMan as a species has always been a hunter and even though we no longer need to hunt our own food, the need to hunt is still with us. In some people this need is satisfied by things as obscure as stamp collecting, train spotting or even proficiency at a team game such as football. Anglers choose to hunt in pleasant surroundings causing nothing but good to the environment and no harm to their prey.