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FFI Strengthens International Presence

Posted on 2/27/2020 by Fly Fishers International

Three FFI members have been appointed by the Board to serve as ambassadors in Japan and Italy.

FFI is excited to announce the appointment of the first three International Fly Fishing Ambassadors following policy approval by the
FFI Board of Directors.  International ambassadors include Eriko Honda and Masao Sakaguchi from Japan, and Pietro Brunelli from Italy. All three share a love for fly fishing and a passion for reaching out to new fly fishers in their home countries and beyond. Brunelli is also a Master Casting Instructor who teaches popular workshops at the FFI Expo. We extend our gratitude to the International Programs Committee and congratulate our new international ambassadors.

 

Eriko Honda

President CEO Mind Creators Japan Inc.,

(Marketing, Publishing, Event Promotions, Business Developments)

Ex Board of Texas Asia Chamber of Commerce (current GAACC)

Eriko is born in January 1977 in Mie-prefecture, Japan and grew up in Hiroshima till she moved to Los Gatos, California for high school junior year.  She has graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, majored in English literature and always loved Hemingway and Thoreau throughout her life.  She has lived in Austin, TX (2006-2009), Tokyo (2009), Paris (2009-2011) and had been living in an international jet-set life style, however, she encountered The aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 3.11, 2011 in Tokyo and decided to come back to Japan. She has founded a company in November, 2011 and after she spent 5 years in Tokyo, she moved to Kyoto, Japan.

Eriko has experienced first fly fishing in Lake Biwa in 2015 when she moved to Kyoto, Japan.  Without any chance to join any fly fishing community in Japan, she had a chance to spend summer in Wyoming for a movie shooting project in 2016. It was a life documentary personal movie about a fly fisher, and she encountered a beautiful hatch and the moment moved her so much.  She kept contact with Kuni Masuda, FFI since then, and would love to explore her life to be a fly fisher, and willing to support FFI expansion in Japan.  She is also interested in conservation business and/or enlightenment activities not only enjoy fly fishing as a sport.   She believes learning fly fishing and its philosophy, history is something important for all of us for the next generation.

 

Masao Sakaguchi

Masao has been an amateur fly fisher throughout my 45-years of my fly fishing career, although I have been a constant contributor to Japanese fishing magazines focusing mainly on match-the-hatch fly fishing at some specific streams such as at Hokkaido, northern island in Japan, and at Nikko area, 125 miles north of Tokyo.

Also, in the decade between 1986 and 1995, he traveled to join the FFF Conclave almost every year, which is the annual meeting of the prior organization of FFi, and worked as the program presenter and tying demonstrator th
ere.  So, he is really proud of being newly assigning to the FFI Ambassador for Japan.  

Fly fishing in Japan has faced difficult issues as below:

  • declining population of fly fishers, reflecting fewer younger fishers and more older fishers.
  • limited wild trout fisheries based on “Catch-and Release” program
  • less governmental management on sports fishing, either freshwater or saltwater

To convey sustainable fly fishing to the next generations, Masao would like to help many Japanese fly fishers joining the FFI, to challenge these issues and to enhance educational programs.

 

Pietro Brunelli

Pietro is a passionate fly fisherman, and Ph.D. in History and a fly fishing author since 2008 for the Italian Magazine "La Pesca Mosca & Spinning".  He was already fly casting instructor in two Italian schools, when he became FFI CI in Whitefish, MT, in August 2008.  

He serves on the pro staff of Sage for Italy since 2008.  He also has served as the Fly Fishing program manager for St.Croix distribution in Italy.  Other interesting facts about Pietro:

  • PB Fly Fishing & Outdoor shop owner.
  • Member of A.I.GU.P.P. (Italian professional fishing guides association) and responsible/formator for technical support in Fly Fishing for the same association.
  • Mountain/outdoor guide registered in the AIGAE association for official guides.
  • FFI Master Casting Instructor since 2018.