Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Swiss fishing clubs, the breakdown.

When it comes to pretty much any hobby, the Swiss are very fond of clubs. Fishing is no exception. Fischervereine, as they are known here, are everywhere. They vary greatly in size, benefits, and fees, so it pays to do some research, but I would highly recommend that every interested Fisherman or woman look into joining one. Fisheries laws vary greatly by Canton. Some, such as Glarus and Graubunden, offer a Canton-wide fishing license, while others, such as Z├╝rich, lease out the rights to individual bodies of water and stretches of river. Both systems have the obvious drawbacks and benefits, fishing pressure is greatly reduced in places where only a handful of people have fishing rights, while getting those fishing rights can be difficult or downright impossible for some of the more desirable beats. These fishing clubs are generally in charge of one or more bodies of water, with entrance to the club facilitating access to the beat. It might be a section of river or a small pond or reservoir stocked with pike or walleye. The clubs generally hold events like fly tying sessions, hatchery visits, weekend and day trips in Switzerland and abroad, casual monthly meetings at a bar or restaurant, or a year end dinner meeting, but you’ll also likely be expected to help out once or twice a year when it comes to cleaning your clubs’ waters, but since these oftentimes mandatory meetings are mostly followed by fishing, grilled bratwurst, and lots of beer, they’re not nearly as bad as they sound. Most importantly, you’ll meet other like-minded folks. Don’t let the language barrier stop you, many of the people I’ve met in these clubs speak English, and will love to talk with you about where you’ve been fishing. Costs vary, depending on things like the quality or amount of water the club is responsible for, or if you live in the same Canton as the fishing club. Generally speaking, the fees are affordable and definitely worth the benefits.

Here is a link to Petri Heil’s list of Fischervereine. It’s in German, but that shouldn't stop a determined fisherman. Just click on a canton, and scroll down for a list of clubs and the relevant contact info.