Get Fishing | Samantha Fishing xx5

Get Fishing for Wellbeing News

“I can go fishing again” helping Samantha get back into angling after a life changing accident

Our Regional Angling Development Officer Darren Birch told us how a fellow member of his Wheelchair Basketball group has rediscovered her love of angling after a fly fishing session afloat…

I first met Samantha –  Sam – through playing Wheelchair Basketball. Sam had asked about trying out the sport, and turned up for one of our training sessions. Sam told me that in an accident ten years ago she had a spinal cord injury that left her paralysed from the chest downwards, and a full time wheelchair user. This meant that Sam – always an active and outgoing person – now faced adjustments to her everyday life and challenges with outdoor activity.

As well as wanting to try Wheelchair Basketball, Sam told me that she had always been keen to get back into angling, but was unsure if it it would be possible now with her disability. One of the concerns was about being able to find accessible venues to go fishing, but I knew just the person to help and soon contacted Troy Chadwick, a Licenced Level 2 Angling Coach and Accessibility Coordinator at Ladybower Fisheries.

Get Fishing | Samantha Fishing

Going fishing again!

The mantra at Ladybower Fisheries is “fishing is for everybody” with the simple aim to provide access to the water to all. This means that anyone with physical, medical, learning, sensory and mental health disabilities can get to go fishing. The facilities include a dedicated disability access fishing pontoon as well as wheelchair accessible Wheelyboats that I knew are ideal for wheelchair users like Sam to be taken out for access to the reservoir afloat.  Soon me, Sam and Troy had arranged a date to get out on a Wheelyboat and I’m pleased to say that Sam thoroughly enjoyed the experience and even caught her first trout!

Get Fishing | Samantha Fishing with Troy Chadwick

Here’s Samantha out on the Wheelyboat with Troy

Sam told me: “I’m so grateful that you and the Angling Trust were able to organise the fishing trip at Ladybower Reservoir with Troy and his colleagues. I’m so happy to have discovered that I can indeed go fishing again. After my accident I didn’t think it would be possible to ever catch a fish – but this experience has really opened things up for me by knowing that places like Ladybower Fishery and the Get Fishing Team are here to support me. I’m now looking forward to getting back to enjoying fishing and regularly being out in the outdoors again.

Get Fishing | Samantha Fishing 2

Samantha into a fish at Ladybower Fisheries

Following the fishing session Sam was interested in finding out more about other kinds of fishing and brushing up skills. I recommended taking part in the Angling Trust Get Fishing Award where as well as learning about the right tackle to use to catch different types of fish, she could find out practical things like what are the best fishing knots to use, and where to start fishing. After the three progressive sessions Sam successfully achieved the Gold Award.

But there’s more good news too! Sam has now bought a fishing licence and some basic fishing equipment this means she now has the skills and equipment to go fishing on her own.

Sam said: “I will soon be venturing out fishing independently and have been planning trips to my local canal and fisheries in the coming months now that I’ve got my fishing licence and tackle, and loads of local info from you – thanks Darren!”

I can’t wait to get another update and more pics from Sam of her latest achievements!


Darren Birch
North West Regional Development Officer, Angling Trust
07791 164921 – [email protected]

More info:

Ladybower Fisheries – Ashopton Road,  Bamford, Derbyshire S33 0AZ
Fly Fishing is a different, exciting experience for all, regardless of age, gender or fitness. We provide the equipment and fully qualified experienced coaches, while all you need to bring is your enthusiasm!

Providing disabled people with freedom and independence on the water.

The Get Fishing campaign to get more people fishing more often is funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Angling Trust, and Sport England. Children under 13 do not need a licence, and licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free but you still need to register and receive a licence in order to go fishing. You can get a licence for the full year, for 8 days (ideal for holidays!) or just a day’s fishing.

NOTE: Although young children who are under 13 year old do not need a licence to fish, the person supervising them needs the proper fishing licence to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.



The Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign is proudly supported by
Shakespeare, Exclusive Tackle Partner and Angling Direct, Exclusive Retail Partner
as we all work towards getting more people fishing, more often.


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