Sunday, March 21, 2010

4. Karlovarské muškařské fórum / 4th Fly Fishing Forum in Karlovy Vary


The Fly Fishing Forum is organized by the Fly Fishing club in Karlovy Vary (city also known as Carlsbad in German). It is one of the premier fly fishing gatherings in the Czech Republic, a great place to meet friends both old and new - a fact nicely illustrated by friendly meeting of two red tag flies - a Czech Graying fly and a Danish Sea trout fly.

This year the Forum was dominated by two themes: Sea trout fishing in Denmark, which is increasingly popular between Czech fly fishermen, and Split cane rod building, about which nowadays very little is known, despite long and distinguished history of Czech rod builders.

The Sea trout section was presented by René Gerken, master caster with great didactic skills, and Peter Varring Jensen, accomplished fly tyer with creative spirit (one who never lets his creativity be tied down by dogma of established patterns ;-), both from Denmark.



The Split cane rod section was presented by Philipp Sicher and Jaroslav Vecko from Switzerland. This was a true highlight of the Forum, as few of us had any opportunity to cast a modern cane rod before. Our Swiss friends were more than happy to explain common misconceptions about the cane rods with great patience - and a touch of showmanship, such as a brilliant rendition of the Baginski test of rod strength (definitely not something you would do with your graphite rod). At the end of the field demonstration everybody had the chance to cast several of the cane rods and compare different tapers.


The field demonstration was followed the next day by presentations of history of bamboo rod building in general and the Czech tradition in specific by Jarda Vecko and detailed presentation on the process of rod making from a bamboo culm to the finished rod by Philipp Sicher.


The whole audience was truly captivated by the bamboo rods - and their very enthusiastic makers - and despite some initial doubts many were converted to the idea of bamboo, the fishing rod with a soul.