Local fishermen, Chris Connolly and John Cook, have been passing on their knowledge to a new generation thanks to an initiative from the Scottish Anglers National Association (SANA). Chris and John are members of Perth and District Anglers’ Association and are qualified SANA Coaches. Like many other anglers they are both are keen to see their skills being taken up by groups of young people.
Working together with the Perth Catholic Young Project, a group of eight youngsters were given short courses in safety, water craft, knot tying and casting in preparation for a session of fly fishing at Perth’s Willowgate Fishery at Kinfauns.
Andrew Mitchell, a youth worker at St John’s RC Church in Perth, described the enthusiasm of both the children and their coaches. “The youngsters were eager to get the opportunity to try out the sport. The two experienced anglers came along with an infectious passion for fishing and quickly earned the respect of the group.”
“We were pleased to invite four boys from two of the new Syrian families who have just arrived in Perth. The plan is to repeat these introductory courses for new groups over the summer and to look at ways in which they might take their interest to a new level.”
At the Willowgate Trout Fishery, beneath Perth’s Friarton Bridge, rods were assembled, reels threaded and flies carefully knotted in anticipation of a big catch. On the bank of the fishery the young fishermen got the added support of one-to-one tuition from other members of Perth and District Anglers Association as they patiently cast and re-cast their lines.
Two fish escaped, but finally, to the group’s delight, Charlie Doogan (10), front centre, landed the catch of the day, a one and half pound rainbow trout.