Catching a 4lb (2kg) pike on a maggot and a size 20 hook

Catching a 4lb (2kg) pike on a maggot and a size 20 hook

Just one of the many memorable events on the recent Young Teens ENABLE trip.

As the young people with learning difficulties were a bit younger than our normal groups, we ran a 4-day residential trip rather than our usual 7. Even in this short time, it was amazing to see the difference that was made to these young people, who came on the trip without their parents or carers. A great increase in their independence and self-confidence, with development of their social skills, and improvements in their self-esteem. All of them made significant improvements, as well as having a great time. 4 days on the canal, a swim at Berkhamsted pool, an organised fishing session laid on by Dick and Dave from Tring Anglers and a visit to Sunnyside Rural Trust (including feeding their chickens) added to the stoppages for playing fields made for a very enjoyable trip, as well as the chances for development.

The pike wasn’t the only fish caught. Once he was removed from the scene, fish came thick and fast. Everyone caught several, with one of the young people catching 14 in the 2 hours or so that we had. And they weren’t all small – as well as the pike, there was a decent size bream and some nice roach. In all, 7 species of fish were caught (and the almost inevitable red signal crayfish); perch, chub, bleak and gudgeon along with the pike, roach and bream. Many thanks, Dick and Dave. Getting fishing gear for so many people to us was no mean effort, and you thoroughly earned your fish and chip supper.

Thanks are also due to the fantastic team of volunteers from WEXP that looked after these young people – four of them new to ENABLE, but all rose to the occasion and did an amazing job. Good news for the young people, as it made their trip so worthwhile, and for me as the leader, as a team that pull together make the trip so much better.

The set of pictures that we took on the trip were looked at and discussed at the end, with the young people full of what they’d done and achieved. And it sounded as though the parents had had a good break as well – almost as important as the development of the young people.