Today we introduce the ex-Petri-Heil editor-in-chief, Dominique Roland Lambert. During his time as editor-in-chief, he has moved and achieved a lot, even if he had to fight fierce resistance to do so. The longer the more, the more he is committed to the careful treatment of nature and the promotion of young talent and sincerely wishes for the continued existence of this great sport. "If every fly fisherman could inspire just one young person to take up fly fishing, the question of new blood would be solved."
Dominique Roland Lambert is 41 years young, married and has lived in Horn, Thurgau, on Lake Constance since he was born. Dominique started fly fishing a good four years ago. The young fly fisherman joined EFFA in 2017 and has since become a SaNa instructor and member of various fishing clubs and tying groups. He holds the position of fishing supervisor for the St. Gallen Fishing Association and is also a private fishing supervisor pFA for the canton of St. Gallen. The training and supervision of young fishermen is very important to him. And if someone like Dominique has time for diving, motorcycling, motorboating and for his dog and cat in addition to fly fishing, then he must be cruelly well organised. We asked Dominique a few questions.
What do you particularly work for in the fishermen's scene?
I am convinced that fishing is one of the most beautiful and best hobbies one can have. For years, I have been committed to making us fishermen more aware of our responsibility, treating nature with care and actively living environmental protection.
How did you get into fishing?
At the tender age of six, my grandfather gave me a fibreglass rod, a spigot and a few hooks. And I was already "infected". From then on, I spent every free minute at Lake Constance chasing everything that had scales - unfortunately not very successfully... My absolute dream fish (based on the flowery tales of my beloved grandfather) was the pike. I really did everything I could to hook Master Esox, but didn't manage it for many years - despite my best efforts. Unfortunately, I had no one "big" to initiate me into fishing and take me under his wing.
You were editor-in-chief of the Swiss fishing magazine Petri-Heil for a long time. How did you get this job?
I simply applied for the job advertisement where they were looking for an editor-in-chief. Since I had already been editor-in-chief of a regional newspaper ("Bodensee Nachrichten") and already had a lot of knowledge as an angler, I got the job.
What did you particularly like about your work in the editorial office, what challenges did you take on and what was your philosophy?
I was particularly pleased about the contact with the fishing scene and the fact that I was able to make a lasting difference as head of the Fischerheftlis - even if I had to fight bitter resistance to do so. For example, I initiated the most successful reader survey in the history of the magazine, and as a result I was the first trade magazine in Switzerland to introduce the "Du" form, i.e. to address my readers directly. I also introduced a completely new layout with a new logo and became - again against internal resistance - a media partner and co-initiator of the successful "pesticide initiative". Because I am convinced that we finally have to do something.
And finally, I managed, once again the first time in Petri-Heil's roughly 70-year history, to get a fishing topic, the "eel", on Swiss television SRF ("Kassensturz" of 31.1.2017). Petri-Heil thus became the Swiss-wide topic leader. As is well known, the eel was subsequently named "Fish of the Year" by the Swiss Fisheries Association (SFV), and the WWF, Aqua Viva, the SFV and myself launched a major campaign, which culminated in the petition submitted in autumn 2018 with around 34,000 signatures and a parallel political initiative by NR Lukas Reimann. Unfortunately, my successes and my enormous commitment were not appreciated. Even worse: I was unfairly dismissed after about two and a half years in which I gave everything for Petri-Heil. That was the thanks I got.
You founded www.fischernews.ch in spring 2019. What prompted you to do so? Who do you want to address with your portal?
After I had digested the "neck blow" from the Petri-Heil (I won the trial to my satisfaction.), I was able to devote myself one hundred percent to fishing again and so the love for the Swiss fishing scene rekindled in me. I decided to found the portal "fischernews.ch". A portal with up-to-date and well-researched fishing information that I make available to fishermen and women free of charge through all channels. The success of "fischernews.ch" not only proves me right, but also motivates me: the number of visitors to my portal is growing daily. In addition to my website, "Fischernews" is also on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. This success is a pleasure and shows me that I am on the right track.
What potential does EFFA have and where can the association develop further?
EFFA has enormous potential, and with the association as it is currently staffed, the prerequisites for sustainable growth are fulfilled in the best possible way. What has always bothered me in general: Fly fishing is considered the "supreme discipline". When I first became interested in fly fishing (as a little button), I was told by an older fly fisherman: "You can't do that anyway. And you have to go to a special course just for casting. Why don't you continue with tapping for the first time?"
Especially with the current guide, such statements are a thing of the past. I find this sensational, and it is invaluable for fly fishing. Where there is certainly still a need for development: In media and public relations work: because the best philosophy is of no use if it is not or not consistently enough communicated to the outside world, where it can fascinate more people. In my opinion, there is still room for improvement at EFFA.
How do you see the current ecological situation of Swiss waters and their fish stocks?
I am convinced that a major rethink is needed in general. We cannot sacrifice our nature for the profit of corporations (electricity, chemicals, etc.). According to the law, all watercourses should be fishable again by 2030. But that's in just under ten years, and practically nothing has happened yet. This deadline will be extended. And again. And again. And again and again. It is obvious and became clear with the "Initiative Rösti", which was also recently accepted by the "Stöckli": nobody gives a damn about nature, but the franc must roll, profits must be made. I have great hopes for the new, freshly elected, greener parliament. And after the outcome of the federal elections in 2019, I look forward with some hope to the votes on the two popular initiatives "Pesticide Initiative" and "Drinking Water Initiative". I am convinced: we must finally stop actively poisoning our waters!
Do you have something to share with your fellow fly fishers?
I wish that every fly fisherman would "take along" at least one young fisherman and introduce him to this wonderful form of fishing and pass on the philosophy and values of fly fishing. In this way, fly fishing will finally be robbed of the "high" and "snooty" qualities that unfortunately still cling to it.
When you are on the water, what do you never want to do without?
To the certainty that I behave fairly and correctly at all times towards nature in general and fish in particular.
Interview: Stefan Schramm
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