International Fly Fishing Association

Loch - Fishing and Match Rules

to take effect from 17th May 2017


1. Fishing shall be carried out respecting the spirit and traditions of game angling.
2. Matches shall be fished with artificial fly only. Tandem flies shall not be permitted. No flies shall be artificially weighted. Not more than four flies shall be mounted on a cast and flies must be at least 20 inches apart.
3. A fly shall comply with the following specification. The hook shall be single or double provided that in the case of a double hook, the angle between the bends does not exceed 90 degrees and when viewed from the side, the bends lie one behind the other. Fly irons will measure not more than five-eighths of an inch overall, including the eye. The overall length of the fly shall not exceed fifteen-sixteenths of an inch. Fly dressings may include beads provided these beads are buoyant. Attractor chemicals and the use of light emitters to flies are debarred.
4. Lines, casts and leaders shall not be additionally weighted. Shooting heads, metal core lines and metal core braided leaders are debarred.
5. One rod, not exceeding 12 feet in length, to be used by each competitor, but each competitor will be entitled to have in the boat with him, a spare rod (length as before) - both rods, however, not to be mounted at the same time. A rod is considered to be mounted if any two sections are joined or if a reel or line is attached.
6a. Drogues, which must be uniform for all competitors, are permitted at the discretion of the host country. It being the responsibility of the host country to have 32 drogues available for each Match.
b. The anchoring of boats when fishing, is prohibited. Boats must be allowed to drift freely when fishing, and not be held on the oars in such a manner as to gain an unfair advantage over either angler in the boat or over any other angler.
c. Boat seats, thwart boards and the use of tackle boxes as seats are permitted provided the height of the "seat" is not more than 5 inches above the gunwale.
d. During a Match, no boat may encroach within a distance of 100 yards in front of another boat from which competitors are fishing, nor disturb the water in front of or around any such boat by the indiscriminate use of the motor.
e. Electronic aids, e.g. Fish Finders, Echo Sounders etc. are debarred during the official practice days and the actual Match day.
f. It is strongly recommended as a safety measure that each boat has a mobile phone which is kept switched on. The phone is only to be used to contact the emergency number for help in the event of a serious situation or breakdown developing and to receive safety calls from the event organiser.
7a. A competitor’s rod when working flies or retrieving casts, must be hand held and must be above water level. Competitors must not stand in the boat when casting or retrieving line. Competitors may stand when playing a fish.
b. Trolling of flies behind the boat is not permitted, whether the boat is drifting or being driven by motor or oars. Side casting is permitted but flies must not be allowed to trail behind the boat. When drifting it is permissible to cover a rising fish behind the boat.
c. The command of the boat will change every two hours. Competitors shall change ends every two hours or as may be mutually agreed.


1a. Boats and boatmen shall be allocated by ballot. Mixed pairings will apply.
b. No boatman shall be allowed to fish during the competition, nor handle a mounted rod (see Section A Rule 5) during the hours of the competition.
2a. When “catch & release” score cards are being used they must be signed by both anglers and the boatman. Match results will be decided by weight of fish - the higher weight taking the higher placing. In the event of equality in weights, the country with the greater number of trout will take precedence over the country with the fewer. In the event of a tie in weight and numbers of fish, each country will hold any trophies for an equal period.
b. The same conditions will apply in respect of the individual awards except that in the event of a tie, by weight and numbers, the tying competitors will hold the trophy for an equal period of time. Where a replica is involved each tying competitor will receive such a replica.
3a. There shall be no trophies or prizes awarded to individual anglers apart from “The Brown Bowl” and “The H.Emyr Lewis Memorial Trophy”. There is no objection however, to a cup or award of a similar nature being put up for competition among the team of any member country.
b. Sweepstakes amongst the competitors are not permitted.
4. Subject to any direction of the Association, any Match shall be fished under the Rules of the governing body of the water on which the Match is fished, insofar as these are compatible with the Rules of this Association. For every Match, the Association shall fix the hours of fishing. The minimum size and species of fish which may be weighed in and the starting and finishing point will be decided by the Host organisation. Such information will be included in the Match Booklet.
5. When the match is fished from boats, competitors shall not fish from the bank and shall return to the finishing point in the boat in which they set out, except in the event of damage to a boat or oar, failure of motor, or being overtaken by storm, when they may return by other means, but the circumstances shall be reported on return to the Secretary who shall deal with the report as if it was a complaint made under Rule 7 below.
6. All competitors shall present their fish at the designated weighing area immediately after the closing hour for fishing. Nil returns are required. Any competitor not reporting to the weighing area within 15 minutes of the end of the Match will be deemed to be clean.
7. Any dispute or complaint on any matter in any Match shall be notified to the Secretary before the weigh-in is completed and before the results are announced. A Sub-Committee consisting of the International President, who will have the casting vote, and one non-competing official from each country taking part, shall at once be convened to investigate the matter and adjudicate thereon. The International Secretary will attend the meeting but will have no vote. The decision of the Sub-Committee shall be final.
N.B. Competitors must refer to current Safety Policy document regarding personal protective equipment.