Great Torrington Army Cadet’s Fly Fishing for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 2019

This year’s course started on 2nd April 2019 with a basic Introduction into Fly Fishing, over the past 7 months 4 cadets from Great Torrington Detachment have worked hard learning the different elements required to be proficient fly fishermen, these included types of Rods, Reels, Flies, Lines, Leaders & Casting.

On 16th April we had a visit from Paul Carter, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer to talk about his job and Licencing.

As well as Paul we had another visitor, Alan Crawley, River Warden for the Commons Conservators to talk about the work he’s been doing to improve access to the river by installing steps etc.

The Cadets found this evening really interesting.

15th June was our fly tying day where the cadets were instructed in the art of fly tying, this was also an opportunity for them to tie a selection of flies ready for the lake days to follow, all the cadets successfully managed to tie 6 reasonably flies by the end of the day.

13th July was our first Lake day, Simpsons Valley Trout & Course Fishery, near Holsworthy. This day proved to be challenging and despite everyone’s best efforts no fish were caught, but the cadets did get a lot of experience.

27th July should have been our second lake days, Bratton Water Fly Fishery, Barnstaple. Unfortunately due to so much other training happening that weekend which some of the group were involved in, we had to cancel.

30th November was our third lake day, Blakewell Trout Fishery, Barnstaple. This day started with a guided tour around the farm to see and learn about the fish, how water levels, oxygen level and temperatures affect the fish’s growth & wellbeing.

Fishing was challenging with fish following lures and turning away at the last moment, the cadet didn’t let this put them off but persevered in their quest to catch and land their first fish.

By the end of the day the cadets had all caught a fish to take home, best result ever, a perfect end to the course.

The Cadets and Instructors would like to thank the following people for their continued support,

Paul Carter                   Environment Agency Fisheries Officer

Alan Crawley                 River Warden for the Commons Conservators

Paul Cozens                  Simpsons Valley Trout & Course Fishery

Andrew Moores            Simpsons Valley Trout & Course Fishery

Mike Williams               Bratton Water Fly Fishery

Richard Nickell              Blakewell Fishery

John Nickell                  Blakewell Fishery

Fly fishing for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Great Torrington Army Cadets take on the trout

Fly fishing for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Captain Trevor Cook

ACF Instructor

Fly Fishing for D of E skills element ,,

20th February 2018 Saw the start of a new challenge for five young members of Great Torrington Army Cadet Force who decided to take on fly fishing for the skills element of their D of E Award scheme.

Prior to the course starting we arrange a Sunday morning visit to Monkokehampton Salmon Hatchery on the 4th February to learn about their work, kindly laid on by Charles Innis, who explained to the Cadets about the life cycle of the Salmon from egg to return, we looked at the setup and walked up river to see the weir, the Cadets found this visit very educational.

Over the past 5 months Cadets Sjt Daniel Lobb, L/Cpl Tyler Bolt, L/Cpl Jack Pledger L/Cpl Sam Newberry & Cdt Harvey Hodge have learnt and practiced all the skills needed to become proficient fly fishermen.

The course covered all elements such as types of rods, reels, lines leaders, knots, casting techniques and types of flies and how to fish them, which was then followed up by a day tying their own flies for them use on the two lake days.

The course also included two guest speakers, the first being Paul Carter, Environment Agency Water Bailiff who gave the Cadets an insight into his job role, Licensing and environment, the second was Allan Crawley Commons Conservators River Warden, Allan gave the Cadets an insight into his role and how they were working on better access for anglers along the commons riverbank. We also had a third speaker Keith Armishaw lined up from the fly fishing section of the Torrington Museum, unfortunately Keith was taken ill, the Cadets found Paul and Allan’s presentations really interesting. I’m sure Keith’s presentation would have been equally as good, we do hope Keith is on the road to recovery and wish him well for the future.

Months of hard work practising paid of on our two lake days, the first being at Simpson’s Valley Coarse & Trout Fishery nr Holsworthy on Saturday 26th May 2018

This was a good days fishing and despite it being hard work all five managed to catch a nice Rainbow Trout, the first fish of the day was caught by Col Ashley Fulford OBE, Chairman of the Army Cadet Force Association and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Advisory Panel who joined us for the day being a keen fly fisherman himself.

The heaviest fish of the day was caught by L/Cpl Tyler Bolt, a nice Rainbow weighing in at 3 ½ pounds. Everyone went home excited having caught their first ever Trout, thanks to Paul Cozens & Andrew Moores for making this possible for us, we really appreciate it.

Our second lake day was held at Bratton Water Trout Fishery, Loxhore Cross, nr Barnstaple, This proved to be another cracking days fishing where after a slow start all five caught their second ever trout. The first fish of the day was caught by L/Cpl Sam Newberry and the largest was caught by L/Cpl Pledger. Thanks to Mike Williams for all his help setting this up and accommodating us on the day , really appreciated.

This Course is the third one we have run but this year we have built a lot more into it and it has gone so well these five Cadets have started buying their own kit and asking for more lake days in the future.

Great Torrington Army Cadets would like to express their sincere thanks to the following people for their help and support this year it really has been appreciated, thank you.

Charles Innis : visit to Salmon Hatchery

Paul Carter : EA Bailiff

Allan Crawley : Commons Conservators River Warden.

Paul Cozens & Andrew Moores : Simpsons Valley Coarse & Trout Fishery

Mike Williams : Bratton Water Trout Fishery

Keith Armashaw : Great Torrington Museum

Again many Thanks

Capt Trevor Cook ACF Instructor.   Lt Matt Sanders OC Great Torrington Detachment

Great Torrington Army Cadets started fly fishing for D of E two years ago, buying six starter kits directly from Airflo at a special price thanks Glenda Evans (Airflo) and funded by a grant from Great Torrington Town Council.
We now have enquiries from Cadets about the next course.
From this years five Sjt Lobb has now used fly fishing for his Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards
L/Cpl Pledger for his Bronze & Silver
L/Cpl Bolt, L/Cpl Newberry & Cdt Hodge for Bronze.