Casting at the head of Poll na Creice
About the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association.
The Historical Background.
The Strathspey Angling Association, as it was originally called, is located in the Morayshire town of Grantown-on Spey, within the boundaries of the Cairngorm National Park.
The Association came into being after the death of the Countess Dowager of Seafield when the Trustees of her will elected to change the fishing arrangements that had existed ‘since time immemorial’.
The Countess had expressed her wish on many occasions that the rights of local residents to fish for trout should be maintained. This privilege had become a keystone of the local economy attracting summer visitors to Grantown on Spey which had gained a reputation as an inland health resort.
A deputation of local figures approached the Trustees of the Seafield Estate seeking to add to the fishing, the right to fish for salmon on a more extensive stretch of the river Spey on the grounds that:
“Given the inducement of salmon and trout fishing on a good stretch of the river, they (the deputation) felt sure this would mean not only a bigger influx of visitors, but would tend to induce a better class of visitors”
There you have it from 1912 that you, the angler, are a better class!
Negotiations extended into the latter half of 1914, even World War I did not distract the worthies from their task of forming an Angling Association and finalising the lease. So it was that the club came into being in 1915 leasing:
“ (1) during six days a week on the left bank of the river Spey from the Dulnain to Spey Bridge, Grantown, a distance of 3½ miles thereby, and (2) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays on both banks of the river Spey below Spey Bridge over a stretch of water including the Lurig Pool, the Long Pool and the upper and lower Slates Pool, the stretch terminating immediately below the lower Slates Pool.”
There was some dissatisfaction over this arrangement, the village of Cromdale had lost the right to fish water adjacent to the village.
The Rev. D.D. Smith pointed out that:
“while we appreciate this privilege we feel we require a great deal more – that we are not satisfied”
Mr Cargill replied:
“I think they know that. They asked us if we would be satisfied with the stretch to Garmouth (Laughter)” (Garmouth is 40 miles away at the estuary of the Spey).
Mr Smith quipped: “I just hope that Mr Cargill said yes”
Mr Cargill: “I said I did not know what would satisfy the fishers of Grantown (Laughter)"
So it was that the Angling Association we know today was formed and it has maintained a lease on more or less the same water these past 90 years – although the rent is a bit more than 5 shillings per annum.
How the Association Functions.
The Association is managed by an elected Committee of Management consisting of an Honorary President, elected President and Vice President and 7 Committee members with an ex officio Secretary / Treasurer. The Committee take care of the day to day management of the Association, its policies and finances and liaise with the Strathspey Estate, the Spey Fishery Board, Scottish Natural Heritage and many other interested parties.
The Office Bearers.
Secretary / Treasurer: Grant Mortimer.
President: Mr Hugh Adcock
Vice President: Neil Patterson
Honorary President: The Rt. Hon The Earl of Seafield.
Honorary Vice President: Col (ret'd.) Tom Hawkins MBE.
Robbie Grant, Cosmo Imperiale, Graham Ellis, Shaun Grant, Gary Grant & Ally Grant.
Shaun Grant, a qualified Spey River Board Water Bailiff, is employed as our River Watcher.
The Association is administered from
Mortimer's Fishing Tackle and Country Wear Shop,
3, High Street,
Grantown on Spey,
Telephone: 01479 872684. Fax: 01479 872211.