Back on September 13, 2014, at the North Umpqua Fall Festival, I found myself sitting around a table discussing ways to use the new blog and other social media to bring younger folks and people in other countries into the IFFF. Several people were there including Frank Moore, Philip Greenlee and myself, Tom Collett. Frank Moore said he had a contact in Europe by the name of Eric Arbogast and would send me the information and he did. The contact information was out of date but the miracle of modern computer searches soon set the correct course in motion. The following is a series of e-mails back and forth. There has been a small amount of editing, but not much. Eric has seen and approved the use of our e-mails. As you will see, his command of our language is very good.
Frank told me the FFF was going to contact me, something I was looking forward to. (we love Frank and Jeannie!!!)
I would very much like to correspond with you, but please note that I am not a member of the FFF (yet).
As an “Americanophile” it would make sense to join or at least have more contact with the FFF. I do not know the actual structures of the FFF present here in Europe, I wonder how we could kick off any cooperation with you (which I would gladly do).
I do, however, believe that there is a place for a group like that over here since fly fishing IS popular. Possibilities are even better as I happen to be Luxembourgish (and thus forced to be polyglot: many Luxembourgers are required to speak 3 or 4 languages) and use 4 languages all the time: German, French, English and Luxembourgish, my mother tongue.
Let me know how I can contribute to your cause, I will gladly comply. Feel free to contact me any time.
I am very pleased that you responded in such a positive way. Frank Moore was correct when he said, I know the perfect person for a contact in Europe. With your connection to IGFA and fly fishing along with your location and language skills, you are the perfect choice.
I can assure you that all your dealings with the International Federation of Fly Fishers will be very friendly, positive and uplifting.
Best regards, Tom Collett
I also sent an e-mail asking questions about the fly fishing situation one would find in Europe.
Here are some answers to your questions :
1)It is difficult for me to get a feel for what it is like for an individual fly fisherman in Europe
=> indeed: many different nations and mentalities with even more regional differences, it can be hard to get decent information … in my part of the world, a connection with Eric Arbogast is a great first step!
2) If you want to go fishing near where you live, what would it be like?=> First of all, you will need a license. Getting one puts you through a heroic quest through Luxembourg administrations, but you will get there. Then comes the hard part: The fishing rights belong to individual or associations that lease the fishing rights. You will need to get their approval if you want to fish… essentially you need to be invited or you DO NOT FISH AT ALL. Flip side of this system is the fact that most of the waters under lease (private waters) are in a decent to excellent shape and fish real well (with some exclusions).
It is almost the same in the neighboring countries of Belgium, France and Germany, with the exception of a facilitated procedure to get a license in some instances (France, Belgium) and the possibility to adhere to angling associations that manage fishable water. So yes, I have at least three different licenses from as many countries…It does help to have some status within the angling community, acquired through presence at trade shows, fly shops, the fly fishing press, weblogs and online forum to get access to other waters …
3) Would you need to travel far?
=> We do a bit of fishing here in Luxembourg, but considering its diminutive size, we travel all the time, oftentimes quite far (we love North America and Argentina is coming up next year…)
4) Would you be required to pay to fish on Private land?
=> In some instances yes (stillwaters, pay-for-play waters), but fishing rights in rivers and streams mostly do not belong to landowners with the exception of the British Isles, maybe…
5) What is your home water and what kind of fish are available?
=> For the time being (lease running), our home water is the Mamer stream, small stream to the west of the City of Luxembourg. It harbors a decent population of feral brown trout (we are required to stock leased water, but we do so with fingerlings that, upon release, will get “sorted out” a lot, the surviving fish thrive as a halfway wild fish, which is a good thing!) We also fish some private water here and there: lakes and streams, we do either pay for the rights or get invited or just are allowed to fish the waters.
I will gladly participate in giving information about the fishing here, let me know what kind of information you need.
I find your information about the fishing situation in Europe very interesting. Would it be OK for me to use it in the IFFF blog? If it is OK, then I would like to give you recognition for it. You already have status in the fishing community and of course I would have your approval before using it.
I very much appreciate the communication with you. Best regards, Tom Collett
Eric is coming to the IFFF Fair in Bend. I know you will all make him feel welcome. Eric would love to tie into a steelhead. Any ideas?
Eric likes his new friend in Argentina
Could it get any better than this?
Yes, it did get better!