The club was founded in 1964 when an 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 the club pioneered “catch and release” fly-fishing for trout, with a limited annual bag per member, thus reducing stocking costs. This ethic has been successfully maintained to date with catch and release encouraged and barbless (or debarbed) hooks mandatory.
Privatisation of the public utilities led to a systematic reduction in the clubs rights at Farmoor 1, and demands to pay ever increasing rent.
Despite the clubs desire to stay at Farmoor reservoirs, members were advised in 2007 that Thames Water would not renew our lease and the club lost the fishing rights to Farmoor 1.
Having had sufficient foresight to predict that this could happen, in 1987 the committee of the time had found an alternative venue and we took on a disused gravel pit with 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 where members declined repayment, changing loans to gifts.
Landscaped, planted, stocked and tended by successive committees and groups of members, the disused gravel pit was transformed from a muddy puddle into a delightful still-water trout fishery, with access to a short stretch of the River Windrush.
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. In 2020 we relaid the veranda and added a glass balustrade, with the veranda facing due south it’s a great spot all year round.
In 2005 the club introduced boats and built a jetty for their use. In 2020 we upgraded the boat jetty.