In this newsletter we will focus on the equipment.
First of all you need one or more fly rods. Only one rod can be used at any time, but each competitor can have multiple rods assembled, with the flies attached and ready to be used. That way you can use valuable time to fish instead of changing setups. According to the FIPS Mouche rules, the rods have to be fly rods, and they need to be fitted with a fly reel and fly line. One more thing: no floating or sinking devices can be attached to the line or the leader, unless they are incorporated into the fly. So sorry, but your split shots, tungsten putty, thingamabobbers, and so on are not welcome to the competition.
Waders are optional to our derby since we are going to fish from the shore. You are not allowed wade or dive in for the fish per our host’s requirements.
The net is a very important piece of equipment. There are a few details regarding the net that can make or break a champion. Have you ever had the impression that you are playing tennis with a fish that you are trying to land??? If you did, that is not a net you want to use in a competition. Every second you fight the fish is a second that can cost you points. That’s why you want a net large enough to scoop the fish in one quick move.
One more important detail regarding the net is the length of the handle. Here is another question: how many times you got the fish really close to your net and right before getting it in, it somehow found more energy to take another run. Competitors use long handles for their nets to get to the fish faster and avoid the extra run. The reason is pretty obvious. You are not in the competition to enjoy the fight with a strong fish. You goal is to get it into the net as quick as possible so you can receive your points and get back to fishing.
We discussed about the flies, so I will not get into too many details. What was not discussed so far is the setup: you can use up to 3 flies, and the distance between them has to be at least 50 cm (roughly 20 inches), measured hanging. The reason for this distance is to decrease the risk of snagging the fish. As a parenthesis, the fish counts only if it’s hooked in the area between the opercle and the mouth (and obviously inside the mouth). FIPS forbids use of coneheads or dumbbells in the construction of the fly, but they will be accepted at our competition.
We’ll stop here with the discussion about equipment. Some other details such as use of pliers may be discussed in another newsletter dedicated to landing, handling and releasing the fish. Stay tuned, we have more news coming for you.