RDAA has great fishing at a great price to suit all tastes. Our larger gravel pits hold record nudging carp, bream, tench, and roach while many of our other lakes and pools produce huge catches for the pleasure angler. Our Thames and canal venues are highly prized and can deliver fish in both size and numbers. Massive barbel, chub, and perch live in the fine stretches of the rivers Loddon and Kennet which we control and we have an extensive program of matches on both running and still water.
The Association was formed on December 1st, 1877 by a group of local businessmen who’s aim at the time was to “Increase the stock of fish so as to afford sport for all which so splendid a section of the river will afford”.
The committee were particularly anxious that working men anglers should show their interest in the protection of fish and for an annual subscription of 5 shillings, they were allowed to join and enjoy full benefits. The permit now definitely offers better value than it did then.
Biscuit manufacturing magnate George Palmer (Huntley & Palmers) MP was amongst the Association’s first Vice-Presidents. His interest in angling would be shared by a much later Reading MP. Martin Salter, who sat on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Angling during his 13 years in the Commons. Martin Salter was elected President of the Association in 2012, shortly after taking up his appointment as campaigns director for the National Angling Trust.
The Association has evolved over the years but the same philosophy of making fishing affordable to all still stands.
New venues have been added and the range of fishing on offer is such good value and there is always the chance of specimen and record fish from the waters. It is probably only in angling where the average angler stands the same chance of catching record fish as the expert.
Several notable figures have appeared on our Committee over the years but one who stood out was Mitchell Hedges. He was appointed Vice President in 1954 after journeying all over the world and in this time catching some of the rivers and seas large fish. It has been said that the Indiana Jones film series was based on him. Google his name and be surprised. He also left us a fine silver cup which is still fished for in the RDAA monthly matches.
I have been fortunate in my years with RDAA, meeting and working with many fine people that have given so much of their time in making the Association the successful organisation it is.
I hope you have enjoyed your time looking at our website and I hope that we might meet sometime on the riverbank.
Alan Hughes (RDAA General Secretary and Trustee)