If you hear or read the names EFFA or FFF-Europe there is one name which automatically pops up in your mind - Günter Feuerstein. After getting green light from the former FFF casting chairman Tom Travis in Livingston Montana in summer 1995 Günter started with the ambitious plan to bring the head honchos of European fly casting together in order to set up a fly casting instructor certification programme adapted to the high fly casting level in Europe. Due to his diplomatic and communicative skills the plan succeeded and only one year later the first instructors could be certified. In the following years the instructor team grew and grew and so did the popularity of the programme which soon was regarded as the most difficult and sought after instructor programme on the globe.
Despite several and also very unfair attempts to stop the programme which was of course a thorn in the eye of those offering courses without any certification Günter did not give in. He kept to the track and did not let the opponents succeed with their plans. After ten years of success in 2006 the mother organisation all of a sudden started to target the European market and blackmailed FFF-Europe by either transferring all the instructors to FFF (and thereby accept much lower standards), FFF-Europe’s future as well as all prospective annual fees to the States or to lose the right to use the name FFF. It was once again Günter who convinced the members that no supervision was needed and that it was better to stay independent by starting with a new organisation.
EFFA was born
So the European Fly Fishing Association EFFA was born. There were many decisions which had to be taken that did not please all but were finally of good for the association. The master mind behind EFFA developed many new ideas so the association could expand in different new areas. The EFFA guide programme was given life as well as the European Open fly tying competition. Besides that the structures of the organisation were improved through new bylaws. Easier membership application procedures were introduced and finally the website was modernised. Günter was involved in any of these improvements and much of the work in the back was done by him personally. Despite the fact that many regarded the EFFA as his baby which he would never let go, Günter always promised to hand over the lead to a follower as soon as the organisation is in save waters, perfectly tuned for the future and a suitable follower is found. In 2015 at the EFFA annual meeting the time had come. He handed over the lead to Daniele di Fronzo.
EFFA honorary life time president
For his tremendous work for the association for a time span of nearly 20 years he was awarded as EFFA honorary life time president. He will now probably have a bit more time for his wife, for fishing and archery but will continue to have an eye on the fly casting department.