Portraits of Salmon Flies

Published Oct 28th 2012

We have featured Danish Niels Have's beautiful full dressed classic salmon flies before, but here's another take on them

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Niels Have is a Danish salmon fisher and fly-tyer, whose merits are well known to the regulars on the Global FlyFisher. His flies have been shown before and his story told. He is an excellent fly tyer and produces very fine full dressed salmon flies, contemporary hair wing flies as well as Danish sea trout flies, but what separates him from the average salmon fly tyer is that he ties his full dressed feather wing flies for fishing!

Yes, every single fly that you see on this page has been tied for fishing, and has gone right back into Niels' fishing fly box after having been photographed.

The classics
Niels is very much into the classics. He does tie more modern flies - both for salmon and for sea trout - but it's still patterns that have a history. Niels is pretty particular about what he fishes, and has some standards, which are beyond the understanding of most of us. If one of his flies does not live up to this standard - shape, proportions, proper materials, tying quality - well, it simply doesn't go in the water! Most of us would be proud to have these flies framed and hanging on the wall, not to mention being able to tie them. But Niels won't fish them...

Black Doctor, Akroyd, Beaufort Moth, Black Doctor

Some of the patterns are repetitions of flies we have already shown, while others are patterns that Niels has recently adopted into his collection.

Silver Doctor, Blue Charm, Durham Ranger, Silver Doctor

Simple portraits
On this page you see a bunch of Niels' flies depicted in the simplest and most revealing manner, and you can judge the quality for yourself. Most of the flies are impeccable, and usually when Niels ties up a bunch of the same pattern, they are also identical - the hallmark of most really good fly tyers.

I know that Niels bought Sven-Olov Haard's book Tied in the Hand and that he plans on embarking on the vise-less tying journey. Like Niels' flies, the ones in Svend Olaf's book are also tied for fishing, and I'm sure those who own the book will see some similarities in style and pattern selection.

We will surely return to Niels' flies again - tied in the hand or not. I still have boxes full of hair wings and flies tied on double hooks that I'm in the process of photographing, so they will follow soon.

Tippet Grub, Glen Grant, Lady Caroline, Tricolor

Toppy, Green Highlander, Fiery Brown, Helmsdale Doctor


Niels' flies on mugs, flasks, posters
If you also love beautiful classic salmon flies, you can now get some of the flies above printed on different products. We have made a series of coffee mugs with a number of the flies (more are on the way). You can also get a traveler's mug, a water bottle and of course plain posters.

All these things are available in the Global FlyFisher Store or in our online shop on Zazzle. You can see most of them below, and click on to the store.

I have ordered some coffee mugs myself and they are indeed beautiful and definitely something you won't see elsewhere. You can see them to the right here. Be the first in your fly-tying gang or your fly-fishing club to drink of a cup with a full dressed Durham Ranger or Lady Caroline on it!

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