Izaak’s Legacy

John Ellis and I were talking recently about angling club names linked with Izaak Walton. John suggested it would make an interesting topic for a blog and so here it is. As many of you are already aware, Izaak Walton is the 'father' figure of English angling and author of the 'Compleat Angler' in 1653.

Izaak Walton Izaak Walton

A quick Google search on Izaak Walton returned 412,000 results, Isaac Walton returned 863,000, Izaac Walton some 41,000, and finally Isaak Walton 237,000. That’s a lot of Internet information and links on old Izaak, though to be absolutely correct much of this is duplication.


Izaak WaltonThe spelling of 'Izaak' confuses a lot of people. There are a number of well-used variants on the spelling but for me 'Izaak' is correct. Well that’s how Izaak spelt his name in the 'Compleat Angler' and he signed his name that way too - so who are we to change it?

If you start off in Wikipedia, the free Internet Encyclopaedia, this obscure 'americanism' pops up. 'At least two organizations have been named after Izaak Walton. Inspired by The Compleat Angler, advertising mogul and land developer Barron Collier founded the Izaak Walton Fishing Club in 1908 at his Useppa Island resort near Fort Myers, Florida. It was considered one of the most exclusive sporting clubs in the world.

The Izaak Walton League of America is an American association of sportsmen that was formed in 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to preserve fishing streams.' Further searching revealed the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club, Toronto who 'promote clean waters, angling ethics and the preservation of our natural resources'.

UK fishing clubs

Well that’s sorted out our American cousins – but what about good old blighty. In the UK the following clubs appear. I haven't checked if they are still in existence but many of them are. Where known the foundation date has been noted.

  • Aylesbury & District Izaak Walton Angling Association
  • Izaak Walton Fishing Club Worcestershire
  • Burslem Izaak Walton Angling Society (Stoke) - 1890
  • Newcastle and Gateshead Izaak Walton.
  • Izaak Walton (Preston)
  • Izaak Walton Anglers Association (Stafford) - 1899
  • Cambridgeshire Izaak Walton Society
  • Leigh Izaak Walton Angling Society - 1927
  • Izaak Walton Angling Society Worcestershire - 1885
  • Isaac Walton Angling Society Kingsland Road

Interesting that J P Wheeldon in his 'Angling Clubs and Preservation Societies' printed for the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition, listed two Isaac Walton Clubs at Longdon Stafford, both named the 'Isaac Walton Angling Club', but with different head quarters at the Coach and Horses and the other at the Dresden Inn. Were they one and the same?

There is the second half of the question. How about the Walton or the Waltonians? This list is compiled from Charles Dickens 'Dictionary of the Thames' 1881 and J P Wheeldon’s 'Angling Clubs and Preservation Societies' , International Fisheries Exhibition , 1883 plus various internet searches.

  • Amicable Waltonians Clerkenwell
  • Waltonian Angling Society   Regent Street, London.
  • North Harrow Waltonians Angling Society
  • Oxford Waltonians
  • Macclesfield Waltonians Angling Society - 1891
  • Waltonians Fishing Club Sheffield - 1897
  • Bradford Waltonians Angling Club
  • Waltonians Angling Society Nottingham - 1891
  • Stockport Waltonians Angling Society - 1900
  • Walworth Waltonians Walworth
  • Portsmouth Waltonians Landport
  • The True Waltonian Society– Islington - 1830
  • The Newcastle-on-Tyne Waltonian Club - 1822/24
  • North Harrow Waltonians Angling Society Herts
  • Waltonian Angling Club  Derbyshire
  • Higher Openshaw Old Waltonians Fishing Society (Manchester)
  • Sheffield Waltonians Angling Club
  • Walton and Cotton  Clerkenwell
  • Walton Angling Club Glasgow - 1880
  • Walton Angling Club West Yorkshire
  • Walton Angling Club Wakefield - 1979
  • Rochdale Walton Angling Society
  • Walton Angling Society ( Walton on Thames)

One tenuous link we can’t ignore is the London Anglers Association whose Headquarters is aptly named 'Izaak Walton House'.

If anyone has any further up to date information about any of the clubs mentioned in this article we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if there are some missing we would love to hear all about these too. Please email us with any information

Last date edited: 29 January 2016

About this blog

Angling history

John Essex was a key member of the legendary Leicester Likely Lads match team of the 1970s, picking up five Division 1 National team medals. John coached the Leicester juniors to five NFA junior titles and chaired Leicestershire Angling Federation for nearly 30 years. Still fishing weekly at club level, John is an avid collector of books and old tackle, and has written a book about the history of the National. John blogs for us about angling history and heritage.

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