Author: Karel Křivanec

General Assembly of the International Fly-Fishing federation FIPS-Mou, which will influence competitive fly fishing in future years, will take place on Friday 26 April 2013 from 3 pm in SANA Lisboa Hotel (Portugal). Changes in Statutes and Rules will be decided, besides the fact that this Congress in the election Congress. Regarding the Statutes, where Presidential Board proposes several changes, the most important one regards the Article 8.5, whose wording currently is:

8.5. The General Assembly shall be valid when at least half of the delegates who have the right to vote are present. Once the quorum number has been established, it will be the basis for all motions of the General Assembly.

And the new wording should be as follows:

The General Assembly shall be deemed to have reached the necessary quorum in first call when at least one-half of the delegates with voting rights are present or represented. In second call, which shall begin at least half an hour after the first call, decisions shall be valid irrespective of the number of people attending the General Assembly. Once the above requirement is fulfilled, it shall be deemed as acquired throughout the General Assembly.

I understand that Presidential Board needs to approve accounts of the previous year and for this case such a wording should apply, but article 17 of the Statutes should apply for changes in Statutes and Competition Rules and this is as follows:




17.1. Alterations to the Statutes and Competition Rules shall be decided by the General Assembly by a majority of three quarters of the delegates present. They shall be indicated in the General Assembly Agenda.

If the motion presented by the Presidential Board was accepted, then they could do everything. It is not a clear game even with the accounts, because their approval is made in a very non-transparent way when the Secretary General reads it or shows quickly on the screen, where nobody understands it. I do not remember the time when the delegates would ever have it in hands or they would even get it before. Why? And now this reason should be a pretext for total taking over the control about the developments in the federation.

Presidential Board never took care of the valid Statutes. As an example I mention the fact that last year in Mallila only 7 countries (+2 proxy) were present and despite this fact they banned the the Czech Republic´s team manager Martin Musil who is also the president of the Czech national Fly Fishing Committee to take part in FIPS-Mouche events in the period 2013 - 2014.

Further, it is proposed to shorten the period, when the documents for member countries for the General Assembly should be sent from two month to one month. On one side it is understandable, but on the other side, the in the voluntary system of most of federations this is a very short time for member countries to react to changes proposed.

Further, the Presidential Board proposes that the Technical Commission will consist of the second Vice-president and two more members proposed by the Presidential Board and approved by the GA. Why not, when the Technical Commission was always only a formal group which never had any influence on anything, thus why to lose time.

It is proposed furter:

9.2 If a vacancy occurs, for any reason, in any of the elected positions in the FIPS-Mouche Board or Technical Commission more than six months before a General Assembly, the Presidential Board may appoint a person to fill the position until the next following General Assembly.

The idea is not bad, but unfortunately, this further extends the influence of the PB, because such a co-opted member of Board will be certainly elected next time and this will be nobody who could disturb calm meetings of the PB.

Also election procedure is firstly described in these proposed changes. Certainly this is a good idea. Every member of the Board should be elected in secret election once in four years even if there is no rival. However, the practice was that who had no rival, he was elected automatically, and this meant that his nomination was taken into account. Such a procedure we did not experience even in forty years of Communist regime. They were electing publically by raising hands, but at least there was a chance to oppose publically and this also sometimes happened.

Regarding the Competition Rules, several motions were presented as well as several proposals presented by PB. I, as an inexperienced Central European have never understood the difference between the term “motion” and “proposal”. Once happened to me that the PB did not want to discuss about my “proposals”, because the heading should have been “motions”. Now seems to me that member states can submit only motions, while proposals are made only by PB (even they do not mind that they live on the contributions of individual member countries). Firstly, I would like to assess Proposals presented by PB. There are relatively many changes and I would like to spend my time on those with deeper sense.

Finally, after many years the minimum age limit for the category of Masters was determined – which is proposed now for 60 years. Nothing would happen if the level is 10 years less, but no objection. We will see what it brings.

The organizing country will be finally ordered that if a beat has no competitor, the organizing country must place there someone who will fish there for all three hours.

Further, there is an interesting specification in the new article 9.7:

During a championship session, bank fishing; wading allowed, only the competitor may enter the water within the boundaries of his beat.

Bank fishing means that there is always contact with the ground or bottom. Deliberately swimming or floating is forbidden.

In practice this means that competitors will not be able to swim across the river in a completely bad beat and will not be able to fish at the second river bank. Now they will have to change into the diver, who is walking on the river bottom or a shepherd calmly lying on the river bank and waiting for the end of the session.

Further specification is this:

During a boat fishing session, the team captain will not have access to team member(s), nor have the right to communicate with them.

And what if the captain prepares several caps where a specific meaning will be hidden in each? Who will judge it? What is the captain´s task?

Further proposed change is good, but it is only a question if it is possible to prevent from the leak of information:

The beat/boat numbers will be announced by the Sector Judge or his designated representative or the International Supervisor and only after the bus has departed to the sectors only at arrival at the sectors.

And now let´s get to the best pearls:

26. 1 Any factory made floating, sinking or sink tip lines (from #3 weight and up) may be used, except for lead core lines.

The PB can´t be serious, when today we fish not only with rods size 1 and 2, but also 0 and 00? Who is able to judge which fly line size it is, when for example microrings were rejected by PB four times for reason that controllers are not able to recognize a microring? Why should be give up the possibility to compete with finer rods which is today common even in non-competitive fishing? 

27.1. A single monofilament leader, tippet included, may be used, with a maximum length of twice the length of the rod used.

Long French leaders are a real problem for PB. The officials showed this in the last season; when they pushed forward this wording into rules modification of all three championships. And what changed? Nothing. The same teams won again, because they know how to fish. Long leaders get into fishing all over the world and PB wishes the old times to come back when fly-fishing lines and not long leaders were flying in the air. The long leaders must fly as well as the line if you want to cast flies somewhere further. That´s a news, isn´t it?

28.5. If more than 1 fly is used on a leader, all flies must comply with this measuring gauge (see drawing)

one-step-forward-three-steps-backThis can´t be meant seriously that someone will develop such a tool which every controller and a competitor should have. And unofficial reason is that the Italians had so heavy flies at home that they threw them into water with a hand. Maybe, such situation comes once in ten or twenty years, so why not to solve it differently than by using such a monstrous tool?

The use of radio or other electronic communication methods by controllers during a competition session, except on request of the competitor to solve disputes on rules or for safety reasons.

No special news. This was already in the Competition Rules and got lost somehow. I remember well the World Championship in France, when this rule was valid, but every controller had a mobile phone with, with which they were reporting every fish caught by the Czech competitor, with which fly it was caught and which fish it was to the headquarters. We did not understand them, but our friends from Belgium and Luxembourg notified us about it several times. We did not submit any protest as this did not make any sense. 

Well, we have gone through the PB´s proposals and let´s get to those motions.

Norway proposed that three women teams at the most could take part in the Men´s World Championship. The idea is good, but if women cannot have their own championship, this leads to nothing. For the Board is enough that about the women´s category is spoken in the CR, but does not do anything to support this organization. When it was not done at the time of boom, nobody will do it now at the time of recession.

French motion

The French propose to fish in the river only with one fly and in the lake with three. To reduce the number of rods (2 only) and the use of the fly line from No. 3. This means the comeback to the past again They are thinking of the comeback of the forgotten fame of French rods?

Czech motions

Only in short, because the Czech federation has officially withdrawn them. I do not want to suspect the PB from nothing bad, but I do not understand why Czech remarks to the Board´s proposals for Congress in Mallila are considered as the motions to the Congress in Lisbon. Somehow the date from the Czech letter got lost and this would show the fact that there are no recent Czech motions. This is not normally done in polite society.

New Board of FIPS-Mouche will be elected at the Congress and also new locations of the future championships will be decided. I have a certain suspicion that something undue is getting prepared, but it is also possible that I am mistaken and therefore I will wait for the Congress´ result about which I will also inform you about. Now, I would like to ask my readers to try to contact your representatives who will take part in this GA in Lisbon and tell them your opinion. I would like to remind you again how important it is not to accept the proposed change in the Statutes in Article 8.5 and tell them about the meaning of the valid article 17.1. If the proposed changes are not be accepted by ¾ of delegates, no changes can be made. And this is worthwhile trying.