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supergill
17-12-08, 07:24 AM
The Fly Fishers Association (FFA) is a Durban based club which has always prided itself on being first and foremost a fly fishing club rather than just a trout fishing club, which was the trend in the early days. Because our home base is further away from the trout waters, we had to look close to home for our fix, pursuing bass, tilapia, yellowfish and saltwater species.

The inauguration of the FFA in 1981 was due to the late Jack Blackman, the Mr Chips of fly fishing, to whom many anglers owe their introduction to fly fishing and fly tying. The club has continued with Jack’s ethos of spreading the “gospel” of fly fishing to as many as possible.

The FFA holds monthly meetings at the Sherwood Bowling Club on the third Thursday of every month which are open to any interested anglers, members and visitors alike. The monthly get together entails a presentation on topics of interest to fly-fishermen; not only to see exotic places or learn new techniques, or even how to build your own split cane rod but also presentations on snakes and raptors, and how to cook your catch. At the monthly presentations folk can catch up on the latest fishing reports, use the opportunity to arrange one of the regular club outings or even the annual family day. Even if one is not able to go fishing, at least one can do the next best thing, and that is talk about fishing. Through the generosity of farmers we have the use of four trout dams, two bass dams and a stretch of the Mgeni River, and of course kilometres of coastline for the saltwater guys

Two stalwart FFA members, Rob Brett and Mark Basel saw that a fly-fishing magazine of some nature was sorely lacking in this country and were instrumental in starting “The Flyfishing” magazine. Dr Tom Sutcliffe, whom the club is proud to boast as its President, was the first editor of the magazine. The magazine was also to be a mouthpiece for the newly formed FOSAF, which many club members worked hard to establish working closely with other clubs to jointly tackle threats to our fishing.

Prior to the introduction of “The Flyfishing” magazine and later “The Complete Fly Fisherman”, the club’s newsletter was an important outlet for budding authors like Tom Sutcliffe, Dean Riphagen, Jake Alletson (FFA Vice President), Jack Blackman, Bob Crass (FFA Vice President),, Robin Fick, and Keith Miller to name some of the more well known fly fishers who contributed to “The Leader”, the current FFA magazine. The Leader is distributed to FFA members and is also available at The Kingfisher and Complete Angler as handouts. Unfortunately, for the club that is, but for the benefit of the wider fishing fraternity, these new magazines provided a much wider outlet for these master scribes of fly fishing. In later years the FFA has had to compete for articles to keep the newsletter alive. It has however opened the door for other budding writers.
The final meeting of the year will be held on December 18th where the FFA will be hosting renowned fly-fisherman, journalist, author and artist Peter Brigg where he will be promoting his new book “The Call of the Stream”. The meeting starts at 7:15pm and visitors are welcome

For more information contact Dr Gillies McDavid (FFA Chairman and Editor) at gillies@global.co.za