“Young Vikings touring NZ seeking brides”?
Many times TRM (Tongariro River Motel) have posted various wacky concepts on the Daily Fishing Reports on how to encourage young people into trout fishing?. Everyone realises sales of trout licences in the Taupo region have sadly fallen in recent years but nobody (except SWMBO & Didymo Dave) knows how to encourage the younger folk into taking up the gentle art of fly fishing.
We know Didymo Dave – image on right – cheats and blatantly uses bribery and corruption – he has been seen offering ten free flies when they join the local Taupo Fishing Club. SWMBO is unfair and just uses charm. (SWMBO is She Who Must Be Obeyed who still manages to control everything here despite Her lack of mobility – recovering from Her broken ankle).
This falling participation is even more of a major problem with fly fishing when the commercial success of tourist accommodation suppliers rely on it. So it is serious.
It is so simple… Taupo trout fishing needs promotion!!!
This extraordinary TRM daily blog has done more to promote trout fishing in this region during the last 12 years than Taupo Council and DOC combined. That is how ridiculous it is.
Declining participation in trout fishing?
The 2013 Taupo Fishery Review (initiated by DOC) stated: “A study by APR Consultants, commissioned as part of this review process, has confirmed the importance of the Fishery to the economic and social well-being of the region, with an annual economic contribution of up to $29m per annum and close to 300 jobs dependent on it.” A key trigger point was the declining participation and falling licence sales.
Define and brand the full extent of the Taupō Sports Fishery;
Develop and implement a marketing and communications plan to raise the profile of the fishery nationally and internationally; and
Initiate the development of a collective vision and a strategic plan for the Tongariro River to address the competing demands on the river and surrounding land.
So what has been done since? Anglers are struggling to identify any changes… Could someone please update anglers..
Other sports and hobbies and recreational pursuits also suffer falling participation problems. The addictive delights of fly fishing are struggling to compete with iPads and iPhones and all that stuff as well as more funky fashions like skateboards and bungy jumping etc. Of course it takes basic skills practice to become proficient plus a small investment in gear and an understanding family to pay for accommodation etc. But most of all it requires patience which appears to be such a rare commodity in all youth cultures. But how does trout fishing attract younger participants?
So TRM were delighted to receive a booking from young “students” of the Norwegian Fishing Academy who were visiting NZ for a month on a “study tour” to learn about the greatest wild trout fishing river in the world. But SWMBO was anxious to discover how they tackle this problem to attract young people to take up the noble art…
This is how to encourage young people into fishing. it is so easy. It is so obvious. (Please take note JimTim from the English Department, Orewa College – part-time unlicensed fishing guide. That is JimTim trying to persuade the Orewa English & Trout Fishing Department staff as they tried to weigh him on right.)
You simply add it to the school curriculum. Fly fishing fits in naturally with algebra and environmental science and botany and geography and history as just another subject.
It is the perfect specialist subject for their “gap” year after leaving school and before more serious university studies commence. The pupils all concentrate more to do well, as the prize – when they pass all their fishy exams – is to stay at TRM and go fishing! Could someone please make a submission to the new Minister of Education. We cannot do it alone as they might imagine SWMBO is slightly biased.
As soon as Eskil Roekke made the booking we pulled in support from the ‘heavies’ to provide a more professional introduction and technical instruction. Before they even arrived at TRM they went directly to the Trout Centre where DOC (Department of Conservation are the Taupo Fishery Managers) were waiting to ambush them. Many thanks to Peter Shepherd and the Trout Centre team.
(Images on right of JimTim assisting at Trout Centre kids day)
The students were such keen anglers that they even missed lunch to get there on time. That reflects extraordinary, almost insane enthusiasm from a group of ever hungry teenagers and clearly confirms fly fishing should be included on every secondary school curriculum.
Taupo Licence Sales History:
YEAR TOTAL LICENCES ADULT SEASON LICENCES
1986 83,829 12635
1996 68285 11848
2006 55160 12429
2014 39513 8965
2017 ??? (still waiting for DOC to advise…)
2018 (Schools introduce trout fishing as a new subject)
2020 Sales of Taupo fishing licences soar to over 200,000…
Norwegian Fishing Academy
Meanwhile SWMBO investigated background facts from the Viking team leader – Eskil Røkke – who teaches at the Norwegian Fishing Academy and organised the course. He has visited NZ several times so is familiar with the fishy places he wanted them to visit and learn.
What an adventure they are having. Their first night was on a Marae at a Hamilton high school, the second day was a sea fishing trip out of Tauranga, etc. After the extraordinary Tongariro experience they were off to Napier to their famous aquarium, then Wellington to Te Papa, etc. Now that is what SWMBO calls “education”…
As indicated by all their packs etc. they are mainly camping out during the next month touring the South Island.
The ‘Academy’ is a boarding school designed to provide a course for the gap year after these students – aged about 18 – finish secondary school and are trying to decide on career options before University studies commence.
The education tuition is free – state funded – but they need a student loan (interest free until they get a job) of up to $20,000 which covers full boarding accommodation, all meals etc., inclusive of fishing trips such as a one month “educational” trip with all expenses paid to NZ. Wow! (I asked if I could qualify?)
SWMBO wants to add what a nice young team of aspiring anglers!. Everyone mentioned how pleasant they were, how considerate and tidy!. What great young ambassadors for Norway!
We particularly noticed their dedication to “CHECK, CLEAN, DRY” – they knew all about Didymo and were making sure they could not spread it.
Continued tomorrow – a warm fuzzy story, don’t miss it…