Fishing in Scotland – Introduction by Stewart Collingswood (founder and MD)
Since 2004 we have hosted thousands of guests from all over the world. Not just delivering fishing trips, but also corporate fishing events and mixed fishing and touring vacations in Scotland. We are an Orvis endorsed tour operator and fishing guiding company.Our office is based near Edinburgh, in the seaside town of North Berwick.
This is our 19th year in business, and our passion for Scotland remains strong. We constantly strive to improve all aspects of what we deliver. As well as running our business I consider myself an ambassador for Scotland. If you’ve never been here, Scotland is a very friendly (and safe) country for guests to visit. You’ll find our people are genuine, helpful, passionate and enthusiastic.
Delivering Orvis Endorsed trips since 2004
I founded Alba 19 years ago. Disillusioned after running a software company, I took to the hills in search of inspiration. Armed with a notebook and a few ideas, I wrote down everything I loved: fishing, photography, Scotland, beautiful locations, food, whisky, heritage, e-procurement, and tourism. Not an obvious combination, you might think, but it led to the formation of a new concept, a company delivering one of Scotland’s most sought-after pursuits and one that embraces all the concepts sketched out 18 years ago on that hilltop.
When I launched Alba it was a new concept, and it took 6 months before the business started to materialise. We pioneered a new type of fishing trip in Scotland, complementing fishing days, vacations and trips and with good food, photography, and an absolute focus on customer service.
We set out to offer the best of Scottish fishing from Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Inverness, and the Scottish Highlands. This led to entertaining hundreds of groups from all over the world including the Poet Laureate, Open Golf winner Louis Oosthuizen, the South Africa rugby team and the CEO of Gazprom.
Over the past few years, we have come through some challenging times. I have to admit it was a difficult time for our industry, but we were robust enough to survive. In fact, we survived and worked hard to thrive. In 2022 and the start of 2023 there has been huge growth in this sector. It seems people have an increased appetite to escape to the outdoors and enjoy clean, safe and spiritually uplifting experiences.
We used the time in Lockdown wisely. I reimagined this as an opportunity to gear the business for future success. We scrutinised, realigned, and worked to improve everything we do.
During lockdown, we took more staff on, to gear up, for the expected surge, which did happen. Accounting systems were improved, sales processes fine tuned and existing fishing tackle maintained and repaired.
New fishing equipment was purchased, utilising our relationship with Sage and Redington, 20 brand new auto inflate life vests added to stock. Our website updated and our team learned new skills, including all training on Covid prevention and infection control.
We all look forward to hosting you on a trip in Scotland and sharing this great country with you. Tight lines and good health.