Verulam Angling Club, rooted in the angling traditions of St. Albans, has woven a rich tapestry of history and achievement since its inception in 1934. Born from the shared passion of local fishermen, the club’s journey unfolds through the annals of time, chronicled within the pages of its official minute books.

In April 1936, the club embarked on an endeavor to secure fishing rights at a lake in Smallford, a testament to its early commitment to expanding its angling horizons. This spirit of exploration and expansion continued to shape the club’s trajectory over the decades.

By March 1942, Verulam Angling Club had cemented its place in the angling community by affiliating with the esteemed London Anglers Association. This affiliation not only bolstered the club’s reputation but also facilitated access to a broader network of fishing opportunities.

The 1950s posed challenges for the club as uncertainties loomed over the future of its waters at Smallford. Despite concerted efforts, securing new fishing venues proved elusive. However, the spirit of resilience prevailed, culminating in a proposed amalgamation with the Barnet & District Club, a testament to the club’s commitment to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity.

The 1960s marked a period of growth and innovation for Verulam Angling Club. In 1964, the club celebrated a significant milestone with the acquisition of fishing rights at Felmersham, expanding its reach along the picturesque River Great Ouse. Subsequent years saw the club’s footprint expand further with agreements to fish at Frogmore and the exploration of disused watercress beds in St. Albans—a testament to the club’s pioneering spirit.

Noteworthy developments continued to unfold in the following decades. The acquisition of fisheries at Leasey Bridge and Marford Farm underscored the club’s commitment to stewardship and conservation. Despite legal challenges in the 1980s, the club emerged stronger, embracing corporate status in 1985 to safeguard its future and foster collective responsibility among its members.

The dawn of the new millennium ushered in a wave of modernization and outreach for Verulam Angling Club. The launch of its website in 2000 heralded a new era of connectivity and engagement, while strategic acquisitions, such as the lakes at Bellows Mill, underscored the club’s vision for sustainable growth.

In 2006, the club embarked on a mission to showcase its legacy and promote angling through its inaugural Open Day—a resounding success that underscored its commitment to community engagement and outreach.

As Verulam Angling Club charts its course into the future, it remains steadfast in its commitment to progress, inclusivity, and conservation. With a diverse portfolio of waters, a vibrant match section, and a dedication to nurturing the next generation of anglers, the club continues to uphold its legacy as a pillar of the St. Albans angling community.

Fishing enthusiast Jacob Gourd has beeen a member of Verulam Angling Club most of his life and now spends much of his time trying to tempt a specimen from one of the clubs fantastic local venues. When he is not installing windows and doors for his company Ideal Glass, he spends many an hour fishing with the Smallford and Riverside road fisheries being his favourite.

From free coaching sessions to trout season tickets, Verulam Angling Club invites anglers of all ages and backgrounds to embark on a journey of discovery, camaraderie, and stewardship along the tranquil waters of St. Albans—a journey that honors the past, embraces the present, and casts a hopeful gaze toward the future.

By Ken