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European Fly Fishing Association

Simon Barg

Today we introduce EFFA member Simon Barg. Simon lives in Schlier, Germany, is a sales engineer by profession, 39 years young and a member of KFV Ravensburg. His home territory is the second largest German Lake Constance tributary, the "Schussen". We asked Simon a few questions.

How did you discover fly fishing for yourself?

Simon Barg: My first contact with fly fishing was about 15 years ago. At that time there was a report about fly fishing in the Blinker or Fisch und Fang. There was a task to buy equipment for 300 DM/Euro, (it was around the changeover to the Euro, but nothing changed ;-), the price remained the same). The editor got a complete combo. So we got in the car and went to Ulm. Into the shop and briefly explained what it was all about. Mr. Förg Sr. commented on my plan with the words: "Interesting as well". 30 minutes later I walked out of the shop with an Exori #6, an Okuma reel, a DT6 and 300 DM/Euro less in my wallet. On top there was a tapered leader and four flies.
Everything was quickly assembled (including the fly) and off to a remote football field. How to cast was shown in the preparatory course for the fishing exam.

After the fly had flitted past my eye twice, I decided to tie something else. A Coke can was lying in the grass, at that time still with a ring at the opening. Without further ado, it was tied as a fly.
So I stood on my training ground for several evenings and got better and better.
For reasons that I can no longer pinpoint and for lack of suitable waters (fly fishing is "only" possible on rivers ;-) ), my fly fishing career was put on hold for a few years.
When I moved to my current club, I got the opportunity to fish on a running water. At the same time I got to know EFFA Flycasting Instructor, Markus Kunter, who told me a lot about fly fishing and thankfully improved my casting with helpful instructions. Through him, I also became aware of EFFA and later became a member. At numerous EFFA fairs and events I was able to learn new things from different instructors and improve what I had learned. Who knows what is still to come? Someday I hope to find the time and the muse to improve myself in addition to my job and family commitments to the extent that I can take the exam to become a guide and/or instructor.

What fascinates you about fly fishing?
I've never been a sit-on fisherman, sitting on the bank and waiting for the bite. It's much more exciting to outwit a rising fish with a fly you tied yourself. At the same time, the movement of casting the fly is exciting. For me, the most exciting thing about fly fishing is that you can never claim to be perfect. There is always something that needs to be improved. Whether it's casting, reading the water, insect lore or the tying stick.
There is still a lot to do...   

Do you have a favourite water - where do you like to fish the most?
In my home country, I like to fish the waters of the northern Alps in the border triangle of Lake Constance.
More and more often, however, I find myself in the far north on the German/Danish Baltic coast to pursue the fish that are most interesting to me from a biological point of view. Sea trout.
There is nothing more beautiful than standing in the sea and casting your fly into the tide. At some point, every mefo angler will ask himself if he is still "ticking" correctly.
Casting for hours without a single touch in the big bathtub...
... and suddenly, out of nowhere, a jolt goes through the rod.

Do you have a fly fishing idol?
What is an idol? For me, an idol is unattainable, unapproachable. As far as fly fishing is concerned, I haven't met anyone like that yet. Certainly there are a few who have a very high status as far as casting and tying are concerned. However, I would like to mention one whom I had the pleasure of meeting only recently, but who has never taken a course or been on the water together.
At the EFFA warm-up on the Neckar in Bieringen, I was there less as a "student". I was asked by our president Daniele di Fronzo if I could take photos of the event. This gave me the opportunity to observe the instructors and pick up something everywhere. Especially Master Instructor, Uwe Rieder from Austria caught my eye. It was great to see the joy, prudence and didactic skills with which he kept an eye on the participants and already knew on the way from one to the other exactly with which instruction he could help.

Where did you catch your biggest or best fish?
I caught my best fish in the Little Belt in Denmark. A sea trout of about 70 cm (was not measured). A male with a beautiful spawning hook and wonderfully coloured. I'm also happy about smaller fish that have grown naturally in the water and couldn't grow too big because of the water.

What potential does the EFFA have in your view?
In my opinion, the EFFA has great potential. But it will certainly be a big challenge to convince the fly fishing community of this. I have already told many of my friends who also cast midges about the EFFA. Many of them didn't see the benefits of membership or had not had good experiences in the past. In my opinion, EFFA is a good opportunity to learn from like-minded people and to meet new people.

Fly fishing is all the rage. Where do you see the reasons?
A lot has been written and reported about fly fishing in recent years. Many fishermen are certainly bored of just sitting on the water and waiting for a bite. In the same way, the image has changed in the past. From an elitist circle of fishermen who can only pursue their hobby on expensive river sections, to an affordable hobby that can be practised on almost any body of water.

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?
The biggest problem is us fishermen ourselves. If we don't pay attention or report on what else is being done for the waters apart from fishing, there will be fewer and fewer waters available for our hobby in the future, because the so-called nature conservation associations will seize them and make them inaccessible to us.

Every fisherman has to take a course and, among other things, pass an examination in ecology. Do the ordinary members of the big nature conservation associations have to?

If we all speak the same language and educate the public about our activities outside of fishing time on the water, our image will improve and we can stop this trend.

Last but not least, I wish all fishing friends unforgettable hours on the water and good luck with the most beautiful pastime in the world.

Interview: Stefan Schramm

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