Friday, August 21, 2015

Impressions of Bend

Upon “getting invited” by Tom Collett (and our summer vacation coinciding) with the IFFF Conclave in Bend in August, my wife Muriel and myself had the great pleasure to participate in the convention. It started out with minor (probably technical) problems  as our pre-registration and membership application just never happened.  The the friendly and competent front-desk registration helpers quickly had us on the roster, though, kudos for that!! We were even able to get our tickets for Wednesday’s awards banquet which turned out to be quite an event, meeting very friendly, interesting people you only read about in magazines or with whom you might only have spoken on the telephone, at best.

Not really new to “fishing shows”, we were impressed, though, how well the Conclave was organised and how easy going and forthcoming everyone was, this is definitely not always the case here in Europe. I understand there were a lot of volunteer helpers involved in the process and I can only say “wow, well done” and that we will be back! 

We felt it was almost too large an event to get a taste of everything on offer for newbies like us with all the workshops, fun casting and demos, this is probably due to the "kid in the candy store” effect: just too much to see and discover, hardly enough time doing so - we were on vacation after all and wanted so see more of what the town of Bend has on offer. Three days is just too short for all that but we will know for the future and plan accordingly. 

The IFFF has quite a mission and takes its role very seriously. I am now considering starting a “club" here in Luxembourg with an affiliation to the IFFF. As a representative of the IGFA (International Game Fish Association), it is not always easy to get (fly)anglers here interested in its mission of conservation and education, the general ideas (not always so fly fishing) as well as the language barrier seem to play a major role in that non-interest. The IFFF however has similar goals of education and conservation and it does address fly anglers directly. This will make things much easier as this common interest speaks the same language wherever you go.

Let’s see what can be done here this side of the big pool, I will let you know.   
Cheers
Eric

Comments by the Blogger:  Eric speaks four languages, one of which is English.  This article was not edited and as you can see, he is quite articulate.  It was quite the treat to meet and talk with Eric and Muriel.  Eric will be an important asset for the IFFF.  Tom Collett


Tom and Eric at lunch

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