I was all ready for a tranquil day by the lake and not even the weather was going to mess it up.
Most of August was a washout. Activity days were planned only to be cancelled at the last minute. Not all of them though. Fortunately, fish like it wet.
Last Saturday was Get Fishing, Ladies Day at Boggart Hole Clough and I was booked in. The Clough is blessed with a boating lake, alas no boats, and a fishing lake, with lots of fish. The lakes sit side by side separated by a promenade and a café, aka The Lakeside Café.
My coach for the session stepped forward with a smile and introduced herself as Emma. She went through the basics of preparing the rod, showing me how to attach the bait and keep the ‘float’ in the right place ready for a curious fish to be tempted. I settled in.
There were several other participants being shown what to do nearby. The rain kept coming but no-one seemed to mind. The cafe generously kept us supplied with hot drinks and food and we sat quietly, waiting and listening to the sounds around us, chatting now and then.
It wasn’t long before there was a stir of activity as someone felt a ‘tug’ on their line. “A fish! I’ve got one.” They shouted. Coaches were ready with a net and helped bring it in. Then a quick photo shoot of the lucky angler with their ‘catch’ before it was placed gently back in the water to carry on its day.
I loved the atmosphere. It was friendly, exciting and the setting was lovely.
In the afternoon, I got the chance to chat to coach, Duncan Mottershead. I’d met him before at another event called ‘Spring into Fishing’ and asked him why do one just for ladies.
“The Society has approximately 70 members but only 5 are women” he told me. “We want to show that angling is accessible to anyone; male, female, young and old alike.”
Apparently, Emma Jenks was from the Angling Trust and had come along to help out just for the day. She was a Ladies England International.
“We have several coaches who volunteer their time and expertise. They’re fully qualified and we ensure all permits, fishing regulations, including health and safety etc., are adhered to. On Saturdays there’s always someone around to help beginners.”
I’m an avid follower of the TV programme ‘Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing’. It ticks a lot of boxes. The relationship between the two comedians is delightful; it’s interesting, funny and informative. The filming is inspired and the settings are serenely beautiful.
Boggart Hole Clough fishing lake is ‘up there’ too. I’d taken for granted how pretty it was but Duncan explained it takes a lot of careful planning, hard work and maintenance. The water is carefully monitored and, of course, the fish have to be kept stocked up and healthy.
I was impressed. I’d had a lovely morning, tried something new and would encourage anyone, including any woman, to give it a go. The day was topped off with a goody bag, compliments of Lakeside Community CIC, full of brilliant stuff. The ladies did themselves proud.
I didn’t catch a fish, in case you were wondering. Never mind. I’ll get one next time!
To find out more about King William IV Angling Club and future events just click here. They have a juniors section on Facebook too.
The Lakeside Cafe are on Facebook. You can find out more about the Lakeside CIC by clicking here and keep up to date with what’s going on in Boggart Hole Clough.
Fishing can provide both mental and physical health benefits. The angling club supports initiatives such as Tackling Minds and Fishing for Life (for people with breast cancer) as well as many other organisations.