Questions & Answers

European Fly Fishing Association

Questions and answers

Here you will find frequently asked questions about EFFA and other questions about fly fishing, fly casting and fly tying.


The EFFA (European Fly Fishing Association) is an association of fly fishers in Europe who are aiming to improve the instruction of flyfishing, to promote flyfishing, and to further all aspects of flyfishing, up to and including the environmental protection of our waters. EFFA has the legal status of a club under Swiss Law. At the moment EFFA unites members of more than 20 European countries and overseas.

Early in 2006, the FFF (Federation of Fly Fishers, meanwhile IFFF) attempted to force their affiliated European partner, FFF-Europe - which was until then independent - to exclusively apply the American standards of fly casting instruction (which are not up to the same standards as the instruction offered in Europe) in their instructors' tests, and to submit all revenue from examinations and membership fees to the American FFF, stating that any failure to comply with these requests would invariably lead to expulsion and subsequent denial of rights to any future use of the name, the logo, or make any reference whatsoever to the FFF. Since the former FFF-Europe members were of the opinion that they neither need nor want supervision from across the Atlantic, and that European funds should remain in Europe, they decided to form a new, independent, and strictly European Organization - the EFFA. Europe has a long tradition of flyfishing and wishes to remain independent in its endeavor to continue that tradition.

EFFA is open to any cooperation with similarly oriented organizations in Europe and overseas, as far as exchange of information, protection of the environment and particularly our waters are concerned.

Please continue reading here

EFFA is happy to welcome every new member. An EFFA member has the opportunity to take part in casting courses, meetings (network), competitions and various events and benefits from purchase discounts from our partners. If you are interested, simply contact the respective chairman (fly tying or fly fishing).

A club or an organization applies for affiliation membership by sending an e-mail to If the aims of the organization correspond with those of EFFA the board gives the approval. The accession is defined in writing, in the form of an affiliation agreement and signed by both parties.

See types of membership / affiliate membership - here

One of the aims of EFFA is to make such environmental problems public and to interfere according to our possibilities. In addition to that EFFA may support projects that will improve or protect fisheries. If you are going to plan or start such a project, please let the EFFA Conservation Department know about it and apply for support. The department will have a look at the project and might also support it financially.

Instructor exam

EFFA offers an international exam for fly casting instructors. What is the purpose of such an exam? Originally, many amateur fly fishermen were confronted with a plethora of fly fishing schools and teachers - sometimes at considerable prices. However, the market required a reference documented with license or credible certificate. What has long been practiced in other sports (surf, sailing, ski instructors, etc.) with an instructor diploma was in short supply among fly fishers! In order to remedy the situation, renowned European fly casting instructors developed a curriculum and thus provided the guidelines for the examination program, with the aim of training professionally and uniformly. The prospective fly casting instructor completes his training with the instructor examination, some even with the master examination. Meanwhile fly fishers around the world can choose from a long list of certified EFFA Basic and Master Flycasting Instructors.

Just click here.

No, but if you pass, you have to join EFFA in order to be listed on the EFFA instructor list, get the instructor benefits and use EFFA 's labels and trademarks.

The exam consists of two parts: a practical and a methodical-didactical part. The practical part is in turn divided into two test parts – the required casting demands and the teaching abilities. The candidate must first meet the casting requirements in order to go on with the methodical-didactical part (oral examination). The casting requirements take up about 10% of the exam time. In the 2nd part the candidate shows that he has all the knowledge and skills to teach, which in turn is the focus of the exam. If both parts of the exam (practical and didactic-theoretical part) are completed positively, the exam is considered passed. (Insert link to exam types).

The oral exam contains the basic knowledge about fly fishing, teaching, as well as material and equipment knowledge. The required knowledge of all these areas must be understood. The questions are not asked in a multiple-choice test, but in a conversation with the examiners. They will quickly recognize whether the candidate has learned something by heart or really understands what he is talking about., which in turn is a prerequisite for professional and effective teaching.

For Basic exams, a minimum of two official examiners from two different countries or three official examiners from the same country are required. For Master's examinations, a minimum of three Masters from at least two different countries are required. Two of them must be members of the Fly Casting Department. This ensures that the standards and requirements of both tests are identical throughout Europe and that the candidates will face a fair exam.


It all depends on the fly casting level and the experience of the candidate. On average, candidates spend two years preparing for the exam. The prerequisite is that the candidates already have sufficient experience in fly casting and knowledge of the theory. In individual cases, very experienced participants managed to successfully complete the exam with less preparation time. On the other hand, candidates deliberately take 3-5 years to prepare and train.

No, examinations may also be held on others occasions which are completely unconnected to shows, for example at our annual instructors' meeting or special EFFA testing weekends. Basic exams may be organized anywhere on "neutral" ground, i.e. not at companies' sales events, provided that the minimum required number of examiners is present and the exam was announced on the EFFA website and is open for any visitor who wants to show up.

EFFA tries to give candidates as many opportunities as possible to take the exams. Examiners are often already present at public events and the infrastructure is in place, which in turn significantly reduces the examination costs. The costs incurred (travel, expenses, etc.) will be borne by the candidates themselves or the association in any case. By holding the exam in public, the candidate also proves that he understands his craft in front of an audience, since this is necessary later when demonstrating in front of course participants or at events.

No, not at all! The required fly casting requirements (distance and technique) were selected to test the candidate's ability to master the elements related to fly casting in practice. Therefore, the practical part is at the beginning of the exam, because only those who pass the practical part are also allowed to take the theory exam. The practical part is not the most important part. It accounts for about 10% of the exam time, while 90% of the time is spent examining theoretical knowledge and teaching methods.

If a maximum of one cast in each of the parts 1 and 2 does not meet the prescribed requirements (distance, casting error, etc.), the candidate can repeat the incorrect requirement a second time after all candidates have been tested. If he meets the requirements, the theory test continues. If the requirements are not met, the candidate is excluded from the examination and may repeat the exam or part of the exam at the next opportunity. (see EFFA examination regulations).

You can repeat the exam as many times as you like, even within a calendar year. However, the question arises as to whether it makes sense to compete again within a short period of time. It is advisable to work on the improvement and train until the requirements are 100% met. Only a well-prepared candidate has the chance to successfully pass this demanding test.

No, the particular style of fly casting is unimportant. The casting must simply be correct from a biomechanical point of view, and it must permit the instructor to teach quickly and successfully. EFFA examiners are well trained enough to know, and examine, all casting styles. Usually at least one of the examiners is specialized in the technique or style you are using.

Look at the exam schedule on our homepage! Some flyfishing magazines contain information on EFFA exams, too.

You can register online. See registration.

The test requirements (fly casting and the didactic, methodological, and technical requirements) are communicated on the EFFA homepage. In addition, possible questions of the theoretical exam can be read on the homepage. Now it's time to read, practice, practice, and practice again! It is important to be well prepared. Various instructors also offer preparatory courses to support you.

Several members of the instructor team offer special preparation courses. Workshops or weekend courses are also offered (see preparatory courses). You can also simply contact an EFFA trainer nearby. (see Preparation courses).

According to the EFFA standard, a basic flycasting instructor has the ability to teach the casting technique to beginners and advanced fly fishermen. The instructor masters the necessary casts and skills to teach the basic techniques of fly fishing. Master Flycasting Instructors are trainers who have mastered the casting technique to perfection and have above-average theoretical and practical skills. They are able to train instructors and prepare candidates for both exams. The Master Flycasting Instructor is the highest qualification that can be achieved within the EFFA.

Only Masters who are members of the Flycasting Department can be responsible for exams. Basic Flycasting Instructors preparing for the Masters exam can be approved by the Flycasting Department as assistant examiners.

The Flycasting Department can award an honorary EFFA Master's degree if the candidate has exceptional flycasting and flyfishing skills and enjoys an excellent international reputation. In addition, he should have published specialist works on fly fishing, such as films, videos or books promoting fly casting. The decision of the Flycasting Department to award the Master h. c. is finally confirmed by the EFFA board.

Some instructors advertise with the title "FFF or IFFF Instructor". These instructors passed the exams according to American standards, but they do not correspond to European levels and standards. In principle, the FFF/IFFF test is not recognized by the EFFA for Europe. However, it accepts this exam for the USA or countries outside Europe. The EFFA instructor exam is internationally considered to be the most demanding of its kind. This applies not only to the casting requirements, but especially to the methodic and didactics. However, the teaching methodology can be the same in the different programs, with the difference that there are many more casting styles in Europe than in America.

AAPGAI, FFF/IFFF instructors only need to pass the casting requirements of the exam to earn an EFFA  Basic Instructor Certificate. Their teaching skills are already certified, and EFFA recognizes them. Equal treatment of exams from other organizations requires approval from the Flycasting Department. AAPGAI or IFFF/FFF Instructors from countries where no EFFA Instructors reside can also register directly for the Master Instructor Examination. If the casting requirements for the basic exam are met in this exam, but not for the master exam, the candidate can apply for an EFFA basic instructor certificate to be issued.

Our Partners