Dipl. Päd. Günter Feuerstein, was born in Dornbirn, Austria but has been living in Switzerland for more than 25 years. He works there as a teacher and runs a well-known international fly fishing school.
Günter started fly fishing in 1978 and during the last decades he became one of the most successful and best known fly casting instructors worldwide. Besides his extraordinary fly casting skills and his developments of fly fishing techniques he is known for his very rare talent to teach fly casting and even difficult techniques in a well understandable way independently from the intellectual background of his clients. Many years ago he started a new way of instructing people which makes it possible that even complex casts can be learned and understood in a very short time. By understanding the fly casting movements based on the biomechanics of the casts many casts which were said to be very difficult up to that time where demystified by him. This very direct way of teaching made him internationally successful.
Philosophy of Fly Casting
Developing contra replicating
"The truly masterful" as Jason Borger calls him in his book The Nature of Fly Casting is said to be one of the last developers of fly casting. He has brought a lot of valuable new input into the international fly casting scene during the last 20 years. Günter is known to have developped several trick casts and techniques which have found their way into modern fly fishing with one-handed and also two-handed rods (e.g. Backhand Power Haul aka High Hauling, Snap-T, Snap-Z, Magic Switch, Dunker, Vertical Bow Cast, …).
He was the moving spirit to found the former FFF-Europe as well as the first international European Fly Fishing Association (EFFA). In 2007 he was elected as their 1st president. He handed over precidency in 2015 and was awarded the title EFFA Honorary President for his tremendous work for EFFA and the promotion of fly fishing. He is still active in the association and still manages the core of EFFA, its fly casting department.
Günter Feuerstein has been demonstrating fly casting at major shows in Europe, Asia and the United States and has been teaching fly casting from the west of USA to the East of Russia and even in Down Under. He taught many of Europe’s outstanding fly casting instructors personally.
Besides that, Günter Feuerstein is a successful fly fishing author, too. His book on nymph fishing for salmonids called " Erfolgreich Nymphenfischen auf Salmoniden" (meanwhile 3rd edition) is the secret bible of many fly fishers in the German speaking countries in Europe.
Fly fishing globetrotter
Günter Feuerstein is a fly fishing globetrotter. Not only has he fished more or less all of the top rivers in Europe from the salmon rivers in Norway down to the back country trout rivers in Greece as well as dozens of lakes and the coastal waters of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Italy but also the blue ribbon streams in Montana, the fantastic rivers in and around Yellowstone Park and the famous rivers and chalk streams in Idaho. He spent a total of six months in the Rocky Mountains and shot three fly fishing films there. As British Columbia and Alberta are not far from there he of course fished in that part of Canada, too. Günter also spent several months in Russia where he fished the magic rivers on the Kamchatka Peninsula and caught huge grayling on his famous mouse pattern in Polar Ural. Not to forget Australia where he spent several month and fished the west and east coast and New Zealand where he targeted both the North and South Island. During the last decade he fell in love with saltwater fly fishing. He made several trips to Cuba and the Seychelles and fished Antigua, Barbuda, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Of course also Australia's and New Zealand's flats and beautiful reefs he could not withstand. He also got in contact with blue-water fly fishing in La Gomera and Guatemala. There he fished for the strongest and fastest pelagic species like marlin, sailfish, tuna or Mahi Mahi. But there are still a lot of remote places Günter wants to fish and “new“ species he wants to catch.
Nymph fishing is his great passion in which he got specialized during the last 25 years because he thinks nymph fishing to be the most complex and difficult of all fly fishing techniques. If he talks about nymph fishing he does not mean Czech Nymphing which he does not regard as a fly fishing technique at all. Günter is always concerned about the proper use of the fly line as the mean to transport flies, nymphs and streamers as this is the core element which distinguishes fly fishing from other fishing techniques. Proper nymph fishing is always connected to a certain level of fly casting skills. Only if they are developed well some of Günters high end nymph fishing techniques can be put into action. Using his techniques makes it possible to fish spots in a river which many fly fishers think to be unfishable.
The more difficult a fish is to catch no matter in regard of the fly casting requirements or the “smartness“ of the fish the more interesting a fish is for him. Günter likes to fish for really spooky fish which do not necessarily have to be trout or grayling. One has to know a lot about a fish's behaviour in order to become a really successful nymph fisher. “You have to crack its code!“, says the expert. In his book “Erfolgreich Nymphenfischen auf Salmoniden“ which is said to be one of the best fly fishing books that has ever been written, Günter shares his knowledge based on decades of fishing with the nymph all around the world with his readers. The book is supposed to be available in English in 2018.
Besides his fly fishing activities Günter is often consulted by universities and fishery boards, too, for his practical knowledge on trout and grayling based on their “bio-logic”, as he puts it. He is specialized on rainbow trout and has produced a film about their life-cycle as well as several others on fly fishing. He has also been a co-writer on scientific books on several fish species.
His Fly Fishing Career
e.g. Chatsworth Angling Fair, Danish Fly Festival, Fly Fair, FFF-Conclaves, Sportfiske Mässan, Fly Day Moscow, Fly Meeting St. Petersburg, ...)