We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

News article created on 20 October 2016

Passing on an unforgettable childhood

I still remember when I used to go fishing as a kid, sometimes I would go with my brother or the other kids from my street.

River at sunset

But no matter who I went with it would almost always end up the same, fishing into the dark, barely being able to see the tip of the float peeking out of the glass like surface. We had no idea what was lurking in the underwater world beneath our feet, there probably wasn’t even anything big, but that didn’t stop us enjoying the last “magic hour” as the sun set over the buildings behind us. Patiently waiting, willing for that one last bite before we left.

This love of fishing has helped me get to where I am today, and is something I wanted to make sure future generations can experience too, so I completed my Level 1 Angling coach qualification so I could teach people how to fish.

Catching your first fish

I taught for the first time, at one of the Trust’s Go Fish events this summer. In all honesty, you would have thought it would be easy to teach something you know so well, but it’s a lot harder than I expected. It’s the little things that you don’t really think about when you are fishing. You can tell them the signs of a bite and when they should strike, but sometimes you just know, although you can only learn this over time.

The most rewarding part of coaching was helping people catch their first fish. That moment took me back to the first one I caught. I still remember the mix of pride and sheer amazement seeing the little perch laid in my hands, before gently releasing it back into the water, watching it return to its murky home. I could see the same feeling in most of the people I taught, the few moments the fish is in their hands, brings a wonder and admiration of nature that can last a lifetime.

I hope by teaching these children to fish they will get to enjoy a childhood similar to how I grew up. Those countless warm summer evenings by a tranquil river, listening to the chorus of the birds singing in the trees, the one last cast and the just one more after that and hopefully that magical feeling, when that one little movement of the float turns into a fish they remember for the rest of their lives.

About this blog

Jake Kitchen

Jake joined the Trust in July 2015 as part of the Marketing & Communications team. He first went fishing aged 11 and has been hooked ever since. Jake will be telling you some stories from the bank as well as some helpful hints to hopefully pass on some of what he has learned over the years.

See more blogs from Jake Kitchen