Thursday, 14 February 2013


Youngsters from Petteril Bank Youth Club enjoyed some half term fishing fun thanks to the Co-op on Tuesday. The project called Carlisle Fishing for Knowledge was organised and run by Borderlines and as well as teaching young people how to fish, the projects aim was to reconnect young people with their freshwater environment. With three rivers running through the City practically every child in Carlisle lives close to a watercourse of some sort but very few children nowadays explore this environment. Thanks to funding from the Co-op and assistance from Carlisle Youth Zone, the Carlisle Angling Association, Petteril Bank Youth Club and Nick Mariner at Warwick Hall, 45 children from different wards within the City have been given the opportunity to do just that by Borderlines.

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The sessions started at the Carlisle Youth Zone in September and continued into November. Sessions at Petteril Bank Youth Club started in November and continued into December. Those taking part in the sessions have learned about the water cycle, rivers and been given an insight into what fish feed upon in their natural environment.

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They have also taken a closer look at the fish themselves, how they live, breathe and function and how the angler can use this knowledge to his advantage. They have looked at fishing history, how angling as we know it came into being, how tackle has developed over the years and how it contributes to the local economy. They have learned how to tie on a hook and use other fishing tackle before practising bait casting and learning how to cast a fly they have also been introduced to some of the rules and regulations involved and licences needed before going fishing. Participants also tried their hands at fly tying and took part in fly and bait casting competitions and were given the chance to put all their newly acquired skills together during a final fishing session on the River Eden.

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The Petteril Bank youngsters should have taken part in their final fishing trip on the 27th December however with the river Eden threatening to burst its banks that day because of the excessive rainfall the session had to be postponed for safety reasons and a date was rearranged for the February Half Term holidays. So with the river running nice and clear on Tuesday Nathan Doyle aged 16 got the Petteril Bank fishing session off to a flying start by catching the first fish of the day; a 1lb grayling, just minutes after casting in. Shortly afterwards Nathan hooked into a second slightly bigger grayling and while he was playing that fish Scott Clarkson aged 16 fishing slightly upstream hooked his first of the day and so the day went on.

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Conditions were cold but everyone taking part caught fish, mainly grayling but one or two out of season brown trout were also caught and quickly returned.Many of the youngsters caught their first ever fish; Courtney Paterson aged 13 landed the best fish of the day a splendid grayling approaching 2lb.

The Co-op is to be congratulated for making this all possible.