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European Fly Fishing Association

Bas de Bruin


Today we introduce EFFA Master Flycasting Instructor, Bas de Bruin

First of all: I will answer the questions in English, because my German is not good enough. I would like to introduce myself. I was born in Rotterdam on March3 1958 and now live in Hellevoetsluis on the Dutch coast. My profession is Sr. Inspector Greenlaws, serving in the government institution Environment South Holland South. My principal task is the surveillance of Natura 2000 areas in the Delta waters in the South of Holland.

On 29. April 2000 I got the certificate of basic instructor and became a member of the FFE-E, the predecessor of EFFA. During the Fly Fair in Venlo October 2003 I took the initiative to found the EFE-E department in The Netherlands.
I then became coordinator to further and promote the interests of both FFE-E and its instructors.
After the foundation of EFFA I became president of the Dutch EFFA Council and I still am, but I have indicated that I will stop that activity after the next meeting in 2019.
On May15 2005 I passed my Masters exam and have been an examiner and advisor of the EFFA casting board ever since.
Together with Sepp Fuchs and Günther Feuerstein I became one of the first certified EFFA fly fishing guides in Europe.

Since when do you fish with the fly and how did you come for fly fishing?
Bas de Bruin: I was infected by the fly fishing virus on a holiday in Sweden in 1995, but my first attempt was 2 years later in Norway. After having received my first casting lesson in a car park by a lorry driver I caught my first fish, a tiny grayling and went home completely hooked.
In a short time I learnt and practised a lot to improve on my casting skills and became casting champion of The Netherlands, after which I did a lot to improve the skills of VNV (Vereinigung Niederländische Fliegenfischers) instructors and set the goals, together with VNV, for the VNV casting programme.

Where do you prefer to fish / your favorite area, your favorite fly?
Bas de Bruin: It is difficult to decide which and where my preference lies. If I were to come up with a top 3, my  first choice would be fishing for sea trout in Denmark. Lately I have at least been 2 times a year on the Isle of Fyn, chasing the “Silver Torpedoes”, with the favourite flies (my own variant of) the Mysis, the Eskol Mini Pig, and the Brenda.
Secondly there is the Bonefish. Hooking a bonefish is really an outrageous experience. The Bunny and the Gotcha are my favorite lures. In April 2018 we go again to Bonaire, one of the beautiful Dutch islands in the Caribbean, where the ladies enjoy the sun under the cabana and I hunt the tiny, shallow “flats” in stealth mode.
My 3rd choice is rather difficult. Will it be fishing for pike in our polders or sea bass on the coast? No, I think I prefer river fishing on e.g. The Glomma in Norway. Every year I do a workshop river fishing there, together with Tore Litlere Ryndgren and Erik van der Hoek. The river is beautiful in its diversity  and is abundantly stocked with grayling.
Also favourites are the Austrian and Slovenian rivers where Sepp Fuchs and I regularly do workshops.

What fascinates you about the EFFA?
Bas de Bruin: What appeals to me most is the solidarity and enthusiasm to enlarge and promote the pleasure of fly fishing, in the widest sense, with casting techniques and professional instruction being important factors. This of course does not cover the whole of EFFA’ activities, but they are of the greatest importance.
The creation and promotion of sound habitats for fish, with respect for the environment in general, gives additional  enjoyment.

Where did you catch your biggest fish, how caught and how big?
Bas de Bruin: There is no hesitation about my biggest fish. It was a Chinook of 1.25 cm, with an estimated weight of 23 kilos. This was established to avoid “Fisherman’s Latin”, according to Canadian fellow fishermen who stood with me in he Campbell river on Vancouver Island.
One of my mates, Ton Plijnaar, was so enchanted by Vancouver Island that he emigrated there.

How do you see the current situation with the waters / fish stocks in Europe?
Bas de Bruin: In Europe I see good and bad developments as regards the environmental state of rivers and fishing. The Haringvliet dam, which stopped the entire inland run of e.g. salmon will finally be opened partially, thereby making the preservation goals set for the area possible. This measure is specifically aimed at the influx of fish like char, sea trout and salmon, which species will hopefullly benefit.
In Denmark many  such good projects have been concluded or will be shortly.
Canalised waters will be restored to their meandering state. Spawning grounds will be created, and passages near  and beside waterworks will be constructed. There are also much stricter environment rules for factories and other big water users. Purification is under good survey and calamities caused by direct discharges are thus prevented.
But it is the professional fisherman that worries me most. He represents, there are exceptions, the short term vision of generating as much money as he can.
Another great international problem is the destruction of salt water life by dumping vast quantities of e.g.plastics. Some fish in certain areas already get stoppages in the gills caused by tiny plastic pellets. Too sad for words.

What potential does EFFA have for your view?
Bas de Bruin: I still think that EFFA  has the potential to become an important player in Europe. To achieve that more members must be recruited in all European countries, asking them to answer the questions: what does EFFA mean to me and why would I become a member?

Where else can the EFFA improve?
Bas de Bruin: EFFA must move to the foreground more than it does. EFFA must publish articles in important magazines, and must try to be present on all important fairs, with a stand, but also with casting demonstrations, just to show how intriguing fly fishing can be, and what great fun it is,  when one has mastered the basic skills. Fly fishing becomes simple when a good command of casting has been achieved.

Your most beautiful experience on the water (location, people, situation, etc)?
Bas de Bruin: There are always fishing activities that stay with you. An example may be the first pike I caught. It  was 104 cm long! There was the  first Atlantic salmon in Ireland. Beautiful, but my best experiences are, when, after a successful workshop wherever, the  participants catch their first trout or grayling and their sparkling eyes show that they are hooked.

Your biggest wish as a fly fisherman?
Bas de Bruin: To enjoy fly fishing as long as possible in the beautiful nature that we still have in Europe and to catch a Permit and a Huche.

Interview: Stefan Schramm

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