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European Fly Fishing Association

Peter Rubischon

Today we introduce the emigrant, autodidact and visionary Peter Rubischon.

20 years ago, the trained banker decided to make a lifestyle change and emigrated to New Zealand. Today, the 59-year-old Swiss lives in God Zone and works (as little as possible) as an accountant and investment consultant.

Thanks to completing the Guide course, he has been able to make many new and good contacts. He is on the board of Sport-Fly-Fishing New Zealand and maintains an international network with top anglers. His home waters are mainly the lakes and rivers in the north of New Zealand. Peter has been an EFFA member for 3 years.

We asked Peter a few questions:

Can you remember your first casts? Who taught you how to fly fish?
Peter Rubischon: I bought my first fly rod in the 70s. Although I had Hans-Ruedi Hebeisen's videos to help me, it took endless weekends before I landed my first trout on the Reuss in Bremgarten (Switzerland). Today I know that a few hours with a casting instructor would have shortened this process drastically.

How did you discover fly fishing for yourself?
Peter Rubischon: From the first moment, fly fishing stuck with me. But I only really got into it when I emigrated to "God Zone" New Zealand.

What fascinates you about fly fishing?
Peter Rubischon: For me, fly fishing is the perfect combination of nature, art, craft and science. Through my involvement in competition fishing, I quickly understood why 10% of anglers land 90% of the fish. So it was only logical to buy a tying rod, build my own rods and attend every possible clinic with top anglers.

Tell us something about competition fishing.
Peter Rubischon: I came to competition fishing by chance, as a controller. Each competitor is monitored by a controller to measure the fish and make sure all the rules are followed. Typically, a competition consists of 3 sessions of 3 hours. The angler can fish on a marked out beat of typically 200-300 metres. 20, 30 or more fish landed and returned in 3 hours was incredible enough. But when the third competitor (on the same beat) also landed a dozen fish, it was clear I had to find out what they were doing differently, what do they know that I don't? Although I am not a competitive person (and certainly not in fishing), I was fascinated by the way tackle, tactics and techniques are constantly analysed, questioned and improved. Many innovations in fly fishing come from the competition environment.

Where do you like to fish the most/are your waters located?
Peter Rubischon: My favourite waters are in New Zealand, of course. I could fish a different body of water here every day for the rest of my life and still not have seen everything. Once a year I like to fish in Europe. In New Zealand everyone catches fish, but in Europe you are reminded very quickly that one or the other technique/tactic needs to be refined. This is due to the lower number of fish per km and the very intensive fishing. This results in more "selective trout".  Europe is therefore my training platform and reality check!

Do you have a fly fishing idol and what inspires you about your idol?
Peter Rubischon: I have met countless fantastic people and friends on the water. Many of them are gifted fishermen, fly tyers, casting gurus and rod builders. Probably my most impressive encounter was with Lubos Roza, member of the Czech National Team, multiple world champion and  "just damn good bloke". For me, he is the "brain surgeon" among fly fishermen. Nothing is accidental, everything has a well-considered and tested reason. What makes him so unique is that he likes to share his knowledge openly, a super buddy!

Are you still in contact with Lubos Rosza?
Peter Rubischon: Yes, Lubos is a full-time engineer and has just recently developed a revolutionary reel seat that allows you to change the reel in seconds. He sent me one of the first ones and I am now testing it with a Hot Torpedo blank from Sexy-Loops. Many members of the Czech team (but also the French, Spanish and English) come to New Zealand regularly, and it is always very exciting to "bone up" on the latest trends and findings with them.

Where, how and when did you catch your biggest fish?
Peter Rubischon: I caught my biggest fish in New Zealand. But size alone can no longer appeal to me today. [What makes the difference between a good and a great day for me is when I land the difficult (actually uncatchable) fish. Often you only have one cast. If you don't succeed (most of the time), the fish is "spooked" and the chance is gone. I can easily spend an hour trying different casts/tactics to figure out how it could have worked. Those are the moments when I improve my technique for the next time... Tomorrow!

How did you come to EFFA and what potential does EFFA have?
Peter Rubischon: Via the internet and contacts in Europe. EFFA is an important platform for anglers in Europe but also an ideal contact point for international anglers who are interested in European fly fishing.

Fly fishing is all the rage. Where do you see the reasons?
Peter Rubischon: Unfortunately! Although I am of course also happy that more people are appreciating the beauty of our nature and waters and hopefully are also more conscious about it. Fishing is not like football, tennis or golf. You can't just  enlarge stadiums or build new golf courses. Every body of water tolerates a limited number of users (not only anglers). If this number is exceeded, the consequences can be devastating. Although we are privileged in this respect in New Zealand, there are already rivers here that I avoid because I think they are overfished.

There are many things that speak for but also against our fishing waters - environmental protection, bird protection, nature conservation, etc. How do you see the development of fish waters in Europe?
Peter Rubischon: As with most things in life, the right balance is crucial. We share the waters with many other communities of interest. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that the waters remain accessible to all but are also protected and cared for.

Why did you migrate to New Zealand?
Peter Rubischon: After an exciting but intense career in banking, it was time for a lifestyle change. There are not many countries with a mild climate, great beaches, rainforests, world-class fishing, a democratic government, open, uncomplicated people and pure nature a gogo!

What else Peter Rubischon wanted to say:
Whoever needs information about New Zealand is welcome to contact me. If the answer takes a little longer, I'm probably somewhere off in the bush and the nearest Wi-Fi is a day's walk away.


Interview: Stefan Schramm

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