The club was founded in 1964 when agreement was reached to lease the newly built Farmoor 1 reservoir.
The aim of the founders was to make fly fishing available to anglers in the region who were unable to do so due to financial constraints. It was for this reason that it was decided to pioneer “catch and release” fly-fishing, with a limited annual kill of fish per member, thus reducing stocking costs. This ethic has been successfully maintained to date.
Inevitably, in later years, subscription levels had to be increased, to replace stock decimated firstly by UDN and then by predation from Cormorants. Privatisation of utilities led to a systematic reduction in the club’s rights, and demands to pay ever increasing rentals at Farmoor.
Having fought off previous attempts to evict the club, members were advised in 2007 that Thames Water would not renew our licence. Given the choice that we leave in 2007 and get compensation, or leave the next year without, forced the decision, at an EGM, to leave that venue in 2007.
Having had sufficient foresight to predict that this could happen, in 1987 the committee of the time had found an alternative venue and, when debated at AGM, it was agreed that we took on a disused gravel pit on a 99 year lease, now known as Darlow Water in memory of Brig. Eric Darlow, our president at that time. This purchase was funded by the members in the form of interest-free loans, from club coffers, and from council loans and grants.
All loans were repaid within five years, except to some members who declined repayment, changing loans to gifts.
Landscaped, planted, stocked and tended by successive committees and groups of members, the lake was transformed from a muddy puddle into a viable trout fishery.
As time passed, it became necessary to upgrade the increasingly dilapidated facilities on site. With 83 years remaining of our lease, it was proposed that we replaced the original wooden lodge with a permanent one. This proposition was adopted at AGM and the new lodge was completed in 2004. Although this was an extremely expensive project, it was funded entirely from club coffers, as was the purchase and introduction of boats in 2005.