My interest in fly fishing started in the North West of England when an ex miner took advantage regeneration scheme money offered by Government and local trusts to dig out a trout lake in the shadow of coal slag heaps in one of the most deprived parts of the town, it was a bit like that film Field Of Dreams where Kevin Costner builds a baseball pitch on his farm because a voice tells him ” if you build it they will come “.
I thought that’s for me and went to the local tackle shop armed with my Youth Training Scheme wages and purchased my first set of fly gear. I went every weekend armed with new tackle and no knowledge of fly fishing as I had always coarse fished in the local ponds for Roach and Perch, but the stockies where there usual suicidal selves and attacked most things I managed to splash at them. The fight from from a 1lb Rainbow was a big difference from the coarse fish and so my love of fly fishing began.
The place was never busy and often the owner, who lived in a caravan on the site, would ask me to tell any new arrivals to go ahead and fish as he was off to the pub and would be back later ( much later ). Even my youthful lack of experience in running a business could see that this was never going to last and eventually it became a coarse fishing lake. Not before a large pub with views across the lake was built, only to go bust and be burnt down by the local arsonist. I did say it was not the the most desirable part of town to live in. It is now a spectacular part of an urban regeneration programme to make use of the coal slag heaps and surrounding areas and the lake looks like its always been there.
I do think that without it I would have never got a interest in fly fishing, so I thank the the man with the dream to build a trout lake, it is just a pity that the dream didn’t last very long.