The concept of the PAA was conceived by Peter Clapperton to boost the waning interest in angling as a whole and to provide a professional body of instructors nation-wide to pass on knowledge and help others develop skills required to improve as anglers. With the help of Roy Marlow and Alan Pearce the initial idea became a reality, with the structure of the PAA being based upon that of the hugely successful PGA supporting Golf. The PAA has now been up and running for around two years and has approximately ninety instructors around the country at the time of writing. Having mentioned that the lack of such an organisation had puzzled me, when the PAA became reality, I decided that putting something back into the sport that has given me so much enjoyment over the last twenty years, whilst helping others was something I very much wanted to do. Having made enquiries via Alan I found myself attending the instructor’s course at Brooksby College during late May this year.

Brooksby, I have to say, is an excellent venue for the course. Set in Leicestershire’s rolling countryside, the college is in superb surroundings. The facilities for learning are also excellent, and all fifteen on our course gained a great deal.

The instructors course itself is not based upon fishing in terms of practical skills, as this has been demonstrated prior to being accepted for one of the courses. Rather it is known that the course members are experienced anglers, and hence the focus is on providing skills to pass on such knowledge to others. Running for four days, the course covers; legal requirements in respect of the instructors responsibilities to both clients and themselves, basic first aid, risk assessment providing tools to help the instructor fulfil their legal duties, skills analysis and teaching techniques. This schedule makes for a rather full four days which also include three written assessments, an interview based assessment, and a written examination, to ensure that candidates meet standards required by the PAA.

Having explained the details of the course I would also mention that the people teaching us were extremely helpful and willing to help anyone having difficulty in any particular course aspects. All were extremely enthusiastic, and eager for everyone on the course to do well. As for me, I found the course very interesting and learned much, both from the course itself and from my fellow students, with anglers specialising in various disciplines attending.

It was interesting to note that other than coarse fishing, people looking to offer instruction in both sea and flyfishing were also in attendance, and hence the talk (obviously of fishing) was enriched with various view points from match fishing, carp fishing, specimen fishing, sea, and game fishing. All however had one thing in common, that being an obvious passion for the sport as a whole and it was great to meet so many like-minded people.

The obvious remaining question is I suppose "did I pass?" Well yes I did, and I hope everyone else who made the course as enjoyable as it was did too. For anyone either wishing to improve their angling or learn a new technique, or indeed anyone who fancies trying their hand as a PAA instructor, information on the PAA and details of instructors all around the country can be found on the web site www.paauk.com.

Alternatively, contact Alan Pearce via any of the following media: -
Alan Pearce, Professional Anglers Association, The Studio, Russets Cottage, North End, Little Yeldham, Essex. CO9 4LG.

TEL: 01787 238200
FAX: 01787 238163
E-mail: alan@paauk.com

As for me, here goes the plug! Anyone interested in either short basic skill lessons through to half or full days guided fishing for a variety of species within Staffordshire can contact me via the following details: -

Steve Yeomans Angling Services, 8 Rownall Road, Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST9 0JB.

TEL/FAX: 01782 302216
Mobile: 0403 568324
E-mail: steve.yeomans@genie.co.uk

Alternatively, more details are available on my web page: - http://my.genie.co.uk/steve.yeomans/syangling.html

Good fishing!