Within the jubilee 30th Congress of the International Anglers Organization CIPS, which took place from 16th – 19th April in Dresden, Germany, also the General Assembly of member states of the International Fly Fishing Federation FIPS-Mou was organized. This meeting, which was organized on Friday 17th April from 10 – 13 o’clock and I took part in it together with Martin Musil, who is now the new Chairman of the sport fly fishing department. With respect to the fact that during last Christmas Mr. James Fergusson resigned from the position of the of FIPS-Mou President due to health problems, this Dresden’s meeting was managed by the deputy President Paul Vekemans from Belgium.
At registration we have found that from 31 member countries associated within FIPS-Mou the representatives of 15 countries were present (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the U.S.A.). Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan and South Africa appointed other federations by their representation. I mention it in detail that fifteen present countries would not be able to take decisions without those four, as at least 16 federations are required.
The financial report was presented precisely by Mario Podmaník (Slovakia) and the only mistake was the fact that we did not receive it in writing, as it was not easy to watch it only on the screen. From our notes, however, comes out that the FIPS-Mou has quite high assets in the amount of around 52,000 EUR. The interesting was also the fact that FIPS-Mou had to financially support the Youth World Championship in the U.S.A. in 2007 by the amount 5,000 EUR. This was certainly right act, because the majority of sponsor gifts in the past came just from the U.S.A.
Malta was accepted as a new member of FIPS-Mou and the application of Hungary was postponed, because there are disputes that should represent this country.
Then the motions for change of Rules were discussed. The Czech Republic submitted two motions. One concerned the legalization of micro-rings and the second the possibility to rotate the competitors during one period. The Presidential Board of FIPS-Mou did not support both motions. After three attempts during eight years to legalize micro-rings I came to the opinion that this is a waste of time to fight. Paul Vekemans told me they have nothing against micro-rings, but it is only necessary to describe, what such a micro-ring is. If it is as he says, then there must be a different reason, which is clearly personal. If the same motion was submitted by for example Finland, probably the Presidential Board would recommend it and the present delegates would raise hands.
Really non-sensual sentences against micro-rings were used – they could be chained or they could be produced from tungsten, or could be substituted by a tungsten tube. Because the micro-rings are produced in the diameters 2 or 3mm, we proposed the limit for the size of the micro-ring 2.5mm, which would allow using only the smallest micro-rings. Before the assembly we added the maximum weight for 0.015g (2 mm ring weights only about 0.007g). There were also objections against our proposed maximum limit of five micro-rings (they asked why not four?). Finally there was a really hard argument that it would be difficult to check it, as judges do not know what it is, etc. No support caused also my argument that each judge would be given a sample in a plastic bag, simply said, there was no will to find a solution.
Micro-rings are not prohibited by the Rules, but they are neither allowed. Everybody who had ever them in hands would immediately understand that they are used only for connection of a leader. Even if upon laying them on the surface they float and it is clear they are not used for lifting of the leader and what about its sinking. Micro-rings save competitors´ money, which otherwise destroy lots of nylon during contest and fluorocarbons and this also helps protect environment. The unused fiber from the tippet or a dropper can be thrown more often into water than it is upon the use of micro-rings.
I would like to know that the question of using micro-rings on the leader was solved in the competition by the neutral JURY, because its use is not in contrast to the current Rules. Sure, it would depend who would had them on the leader and who would be the ”advocate“ at the JURY. We used the facts that micro-rings were allowed also during the Youth World Championship in 2006 in the Czech Republic and there were no troubles. The conclusion of this longer discussion was that micro-rings can be added into the Rules modification for a particular championship and this will be correct, because they do not belong to the Rules and the judges would not be able to check it.
The similar was the discussion about a possibility of implementation of rotations of competitors during one competition round. You may remember that at the World Championship two years ago several competitors had only very short beats. It was a mistake and instead of required 200 meters these competitors had only a beat which was only 35m long. Neither this fatal mistake had impact on looking for a new solution that could prevent this problem in the future. But it is sure that such mistakes should be observed by the FIPS-Mou Presidential Board. It is sure that even the beats of the same length do not guarantee the equal chances, and then the implementation of rotation could remove at least a part of this problem.
According to the Presidential Board of FIPS-Mou it is completely impossible and nothing can change the fact that it has been tested and proved in several countries. Of course, the rotation at the world championship could not regard venues, but a venue could be divided into four parts and in them the rotation could be made. Our motion allowed rotation only as a possibility and it would be upon decision of the organizing country, whether to rotate or not. In some countries it could be realized and in some it would be completely impossible. By acceptance of our motion also rotations at the still water bank competitions would be legalized. The end of discussion was unexpected. Rotations are possible if it is in the modifications for a particular championship, but it does not belong to the Rules! This was also caused that it is dependent on the submitter of this motion?
After refusal of Czech motions there was a discussion about recommendations of changes of rules, which were presented by the second vice-president FIPS-Mou - Jurek Kowalski. This was a total attack against the French style of fishing with a very long leader, which was characterized by Mr. Kowalski as a return to the real fly fishing and its values, because fishing without the use of a fly fishing line is simply - Yuk!
His motion contained also such sayings that the competitor can use a line in size, for which his rod is intended. I pointed at the fact that this is a very difficult question, because on the line nothing is written and on the rod I can have written whatever I want. And this problem should not be judged by judges who were not able to distinguish a micro-ring from a tungsten tube a moment ago. Another recommendation for the change of Rules regarded the fact that the fly fishing line must be permanently pulled from the rod’s rings (about 15 – 20 cm) and cannot be within rings. It is pity that they did not come with this decision twenty years ago, because at that time there would be a chance to prohibit also Czech nymphing style, today it would not be possible.
I gave reasons that if we are able to cast a fly without using a fly fishing line then it is a legal method of fishing, because the main element in our sport is an artificial fly, which is used for fishing. The ban on using extremely long leaders should not regard boat fishing, which would be a problem for the English, but it was a specialty determined only for bank fishing, because the river competitions are in the same category as the bank fishing on lakes. While Mr. Kowalski probably does not like new nymphing methods, the fact that some fly fishing lines for still water fishing are nothing else than long time ago prohibited shooting heads, has sliped out of his mind. Probably, this is caused by the fact that also this term is not defined in detail.
The game with words shown by Mr. Kowalski, who was completely silent about the many previous questions, and after our remarks finished absurd. We said that these long leaders cannot be used at still water bank competitions, which were completely common. Jurek suddenly started saying that landing fish is not fishing and therefore the line can be in the rod’s rings, to be able to be landed. Thanks God that also representative of the U.S.A. Walter Ungermann, who had similar remarks to the proposed implementation of bright tips with the transparent and not colored fly fishing lines. Then fortunately Paul Vekemans proposed to put off the discussion of these new recommendations for later time and these did not get on the agenda. This was very clever, unless the Presidential Board wanted to lampoon itself eyes to eyes to the competing publicity.
Without larger resistance the changes regarding the changes of Rules, which regarded the leader and hook, were pushed through. Next time you can use only monofilaments of the same diameter or gradually thinner knotted or tapered leader and barbless hooks and not with the pressed barb. This must be removed on the classic hooks with a barb by rasping. Also anti doping inspections were approved as a part of the Rules, but there will be no money for them. The course of this part of the meeting about changes of Rules did not surprise me much and without the fact that the American representative joined us and from the hall a weak disagreement was heard, who knows what the vote would finish like. We were also lucky that the proposed changes were not approved unanimously in the Presidential Board itself.
The problem, which was not discussed at all, was arrangement of neutral supervisors for home competitors. Home water, conditions and controllers this is a great advantage for the organizing country and the Presidential Board unfortunately has no courage to make order. In some countries it is not necessary, but in some it is the essential assumption for “fair play“. And unfortunately this problem is more and more serious and the FIPS-Mou´s Presidential Board plays a role of a dead beetle and does not want to see it. They say that it would cost much money and the organizing country does not have them. I have to oppose such a statement – if such an organizer did not fulfill its duty, which is given by the rules then it should be penalized. And I do not mention money lying on the FIPS-Mou´s account. Why not to create own committee of international controllers, who would guarantee fair contest. May be some people could be found who would take part in the World or European Championships only for food and board.
The next course of the General Assembly of FIPS-Mou was quite smooth. The organization of the next championships:
World Championships: 2010 Poland, 2011 Italy (World Games), 2012 Slovenia, 2013 Norway
European Championship: 2010 Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011 Czech Republic, 2012 Portugal, 2013 Slovakia
Youth World Championship: 2010 Slovakia, 2011 Italy (World Games).
I have to praise the Presidential Board that they finally tried to plan the championships in longer time scale.
Then the President and Technical Commission were elected by the secret vote, where Paul Vekemans was elected for four years on the top of FIPS-Mou. The next three officers had no opponents and then as the first vice-president were elected Mario Podmaník, the second vice-president Jurek Kowalski (Poland) and Secretary General Borut Jerše (Slovenia). Technical Commission was created by: José Luis Bruna (Spain), Edvardo Ferero (Italy) and a man from Portugal. The Czech candidate Martin Musil has not been elected this time. Probably sometimes in the future, when the Technical Commission will have higher influence on matters in FIPS-Mou. For the representative of France was finally created an honored position of the third vice-president for two years (sponsoring and environment).
At the end Mario Podmaník had a nice presentation of the FIPS-Mou´s website, which showed great possibilities and perspectives of this site, which was revived just before the meeting in Dresden after almost two-year long break. However, the future will show what is real from his big plans and what only the fiction is. Even despite this he showed himself really well and it is supposed that he will be in the FIPS-Mou President’s chair in not a long time. Then they come to the conclusion that the time used for such a meeting is insufficient for a serious discussion and finding a solution.