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‘Angling is about two decades behind’: Campaigners aiming to keep sport alive in younger generations

The River Spey Anglers Association held an event to encourage youngsters to take up Angling. Andrew Pole with father Mike. Picture: Brian Smith
The River Spey Anglers Association held an event to encourage youngsters to take up Angling. Andrew Pole with father Mike. Picture: Brian Smith

Anglers in Moray hope sessions to spark the interest of youngsters will keep the sport alive among locals.

Catching salmon on the River Spey is one of the most fabled past-times of living in the area.

Amidst lower catches and prices for spots on beats increasing, there are concerns future generations may never pick up reels.

However, the River Spey Anglers Association wants to keep the hobby alive for years to come.

‘There isn’t the support like football or rugby’

While many sports like football, rugby and others has coaching in schools, angling has historically never had such support.

Instead, the skills and knowledge has traditionally been passed from fathers and grandfathers to the young.

Now the River Spey Anglers Association wants to help inspire youngsters to swap games consoles for waders by running sessions to teach them.

The River Spey Anglers Association held an event to encourage youngsters to take up Angling. Aaron Winton. Picture: Brian Smith

Chairman John Trodden said: “In the past it has been crusty old guys my age who you would associate with it, and I’m coming up for 69.

“Occasionally you would get a grandad out with kids but there isn’t really anything to get young people interested in the sport.

“There’s a perception that salmon fishing is only for the aristocrats or wealthy people who can afford it, but there’s lots of affordable fishing available now

“Most of the other sports in Scotland have a track record in development coaching and angling is probably about two decades behind in that.”

‘Great for mental health’

The River Spey Anglers Association have been supported on their mission with a donation of 10 fishing outfits as well as rods and reels from tackle firm Loop Aktiv.

A session has been run at the Wardend fishery near Elgin to help youngsters get to grips with the equipment while passing on time-honoured advice.

Mr Trodden said: “Angling really is one of the most important sports.

“It’s really good for mental health. I had a really busy job in education for 40 years and it was great for me to get away and get things in perspective.

“Lots of people find it a really good way of chilling out and getting problems sorted in your head, or whatever.”

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