Sunday, March 20, 2011

5. Karlovarské muškařské forum / 5th Fly Fishing Forum in Karlovy Vary


The 2011 Fly Fishing Forum in Karlovy Vary continued in its tradition of the premier Fly Fishing event in the Czech Republic. It served not only as a gathering place for friends from near and afar, but it brought us interesting insights into trout stream ecology and conservation. It was a great continuation of the tradition of the last year's event.

The forum started off on Saturday on a more serious note, with presentations on fish migration, a case study on weir removal and the hotly debated problem of the Cormorants. I was rather surprised by the complexity of the problems and some of the issues involved - for example I did not realize before that important obstacle for weir removal projects is the reluctance of the watercourse operators to "lose" property for which they can claim maintenance funding.
Neither was I aware that the reason Cormorants (huge numbers of which come from the Baltic sea to spend the winter in Czech, causing great damage to fish stocks) are still on the list of endangered species is not their scarcity (their numbers are way back from the near extinction they suffered in the 1970's) but because of intense lobbying from production fishermen, who use their status to claim losses suffered by their feeding on production carp ponds from the state.


The next presentations were by Lee Cummings on Mullet fishing in Cumbria in the UK - his description of Mullet as a chub on steroids and amphetamines at the same time was unforgettable :) René Gerken shared his experience fishing for Sea Trout on Danish rivers, continuing the theme from last year when he described fishing for Sea Trout in the sea. In the last presentation Philipp Sicher from Switzerland showed us the results of his efforts to create a better split cane Spey rod.


On Sunday we had field demonstration of the Spey casting technique by Lee and René, two master casters with great didactic skills. Especially Lee's showing us not just the way Spey casting is done right (he made it seem almost easy) but also the most common mistakes raised a lot of interest.


At the end of the presentation Philipp showed us how the bamboo rod with a silk fly line behaves compared to its modern graphite equivalent.