Although he’s not due to take up the reins until after Christmas, newly appointed Angling Trust Chief Executive Jamie Cook has been out and about meeting key figures in the world of angling to get a handle on some of the challenges he will face in his new role.
Last month he travelled to Wiltshire for a meet and fish with fly fishing legend Charles Jardine. They were guests of Angling Trust chairman and keen flyfisher George Stephenson and accompanied by the Trust’s Policy Chief Martin Salter.
Unfortunately, the first heavy rains of the autumn had put the river into flood and there was more talking than fishing. Amongst the subjects covered, at what Jamie intends to be one of many such meetings with the game angling sector, were:
• The need to encourage water companies to open up more of their reservoirs to trout fishing
• How to better promote fly fishing and to attract more youngsters into the sport
• Improving talent pathways to help anglers develop their skills
• Better and more productive relationships with the tackle trade
• Breaking down the barriers between game and coarse disciplines to encourage more all round anglers and greater cooperation
Angling Trust Ambassador Charles Jardine said: “ I was absolutely delighted to welcome Jamie to his new post. I found him to be a fine and passionate fisher with vision and a freshness to his approach, which is precisely what the doctor ordered. Personally, I cant wait to get cracking and offer what support I can to this hugely important appointment for everyone who fishes in the UK – irrespective of their chosen discipline.
“I’ve always been a great supporter of the Angling Trust and feel all anglers should join us in working for fish and fishing. With Jamie’s appointment they have yet another reason to do so.”
Jamie Cook added: “There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the Angling Trust’s ambassador network and in fishing as a whole so it is important that I take the opportunity to listen, learn and absorb everything I can. The work Charles is doing to introduce newcomers to angling through his Fishing for Schools programme is fantastic and as a father of a very talented angler I was interested by the link between teacher and pupil and how passing on that gift can deliver a lifetime of enjoyment.
“Charles highlighted to me some important issues and I was struck by how varied the game fishing community is in its own right. This is something that is both a strength as well as one of the challenges which hinders us from all uniting more effectively. I look forward to working with Charles and other stakeholders in the game fishing community to shape and develop the future of our sport and to introduce a wider cross section of the community to the pastime we all love.”