Author: Karel Křivanec
In the evening of Friday, April 1, 2011, the General Assembly of the International Fly Fisher Federation FIPS-Mou took place in Rome within the regular CIPS congress. We considered also our participation in Rome during the spring board meeting of the Fly Fishing Federation in Prague, but as the agenda of the General Assembly did not contain any essential items, we decided to render the participation at the GA to the CFU delegates to the CIPS congress for economical reasons.
But we were very surprised at discovering on Tuesday, March 29, that there was a new FIPS-Mou document, sent out by the secretary general of FIPS-Mou on the preceding day with proposals for a number of changes of international rules. It was submitted clearly after the two-month period defined by the FIPS-Mou Statute, but the presiding FIPS-Mou board considered the two-month limit as intended only for plebeians (National Federations), but not for the presiding board themselves. What can be added to that? None of the five sirs was probably ashamed of showing their hands for such a flagrant trampling on the Statutes! And it is quite obvious why they did it. The indigestible morsel called “French nymph” has got stuck in their stomachs, disturbing their digestion since several years.
The proposal for changes included also a number of good provisions that had been applied last year during the world championship in Poland and the European championship in Bosnia and nobody had protested against them. It was particularly the issue of international supervizors and their presence at local competitors, which we had required since many years. Further, the proposal improved the formal wording of several points of the competition rules, which did not cause any problems anyway, and several problem proposals were included too.
The first proposal concerned the fly-fishing lines, suggesting that only lines from AMTMA 3 and thicker should be used. Thinner lines would be banned. A very funny provision, when considering how it could be checked in a competition with 100 and more participants, each with several rods. Two years ago, the main argument of the FIPS-Mou presiding board to the third refusal of our proposal for legalization of micro-rings was the fact that the controlors were not able to recognize what a micro-ring was, even if they received its sample in a small plastic bag. And today they should recognize a line with AFTMA 3. I would not dare to do it, and the line has no tag or mark attached.
Another item consisted in the recommendation (?) that the line should stick out of the last rod guide in the final phase of throw, but only at river competitions! I don’t understand it at all, because it either should or need not stick out of the last rod eye. So the controlors should equip themselves with binoculars, and when fishing at a river as wide as the Polish San, they probably should have a small astronomical telescope. And all that would be required from controlors who are not able to recognize a micro-ring. That constitutes a perfect environment for filing protests and for constant disputes on whether the transparent line does or does not stick out of the rod, doesn’t it?
And further proposals concerned the leaders. Leaders only double the size of the rod should be used only in river fishing, while in lake fishing there would be no limit like to date. This item could also become subject to constant remeasuring of leaders and cause of a number of protests because for a rod of 3 m, an extension of 600 cm would still be OK, but an extension of 601 cm (or 600,1 cm already?) would not be OK any more.
Another “great” idea in the proposal was the idea stating that the leader may be connected only through knots at least 30 cm from each other. FIPS-Mou did not recall our demands for legalization of micro-rings, devices serving to anything else than to connection of individual parts of the leaders. They somehow don’t like the arguments of how many nylons and fluorocarbons would be saved by that. And where will the competitor put the old leader exchanged during the competition? He will probably throw it away somewhere, so that it gets into water etc. Nobody of the presiding committee wants to hear the official Czech proposals, but they lend an ear to oral complaints of less successful competitors and different conservatives threw in somewhere at the hotel lavatories!
And the last attack against the modern ways of nymphing consisted in the proposal ordering that the leader must be only straight, without any intentional frills, spirals and knots. That means almost perfect attack against everything new. It is interesting that the presiding board overlooks for example the fact that the rules have banned shooting heads since the beginning, but that fly-fishing lines constituting exactly such banned shooting heads have existed at least for 10 years. There is still double standard and the situation probably will not improve.
Of course we did not like such artifice of the FIPS-Mou concerning the sudden proposal of changes of rules. It must be stressed that we are not against regular discussion and possible approval of some new provisions, particularly if they will move our sport forward. Therefore our presisent Martin Musil wrote a letter to all FIPS-Mou member countries telling them that we did not agree to the proposed changes because sufficient time was not provided to discuss them. His letter had quite good response, and Walter Ungeman, the USA delegate supported us most strongly at the discussion. Thanks to the skilful action of the CFU representatives at the Rome session, the 5 main items of the newly proposed ones were finally not approved, by 11 votes to 8 (19 member countries were present in total).
So this time the FIPS-Mou still did not succeed with the April Fool’s joke, and that’s why I did intentionally not state the names of the sirs of the FIPS-Mou presiding board, although I assume that a lot of readers know them and are aware that they really tried to implement the proposal like one man. Therefore they should draw a lesson from the result of the vote, because such behaviour is really not correct. Finally, it should be stated that approval was granted to the proposal that from now on, only hooks designed as barbless are allowed. Some federations certainly did not like it, but they did not protest at the assembly, so that this change was approved.
The extensions and the French nymph will be further discussed, and maybe the French will express themselves on that issue too; so far they have played a straight bat and don’t know about anything under discussion. It is probably caused also by the fact that all proposals were filed only in English and they recognize only their native language, constituting also the official language. Their biggest rivals – the Czech – must be their cat’s paw. The presiding board will probably not waive its intention to get back to the waving lines above the competitors’ heads. But that is not the main issue; probably their successors will understand that, because the next congress will include elections, and some members of the presiding board have been there for more than twenty years and they certainly will want to extend their influence by further four years.