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Read the collected stories about the Danish Fly Festival and the enjoyable fishing, which took place before and after. Tons of pictures and great stories taken and written by contributors from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Wales and Denmark. See it all here.
This article will grow to become a complete story about the Danish Fly Festival - and the fishing before and after the show. Anybody who wants to contribute pictures and text are more than welcome. Mail it off to Martin Joergensen and your contribution will come into consideration.
Dutch Bas Verschoor sent in his impressions from the fishing before the show and the show itself. Read his story
"Velkommen til Sjaelland" (Welcome to Sealand)
April 21st. Spring is trying to make faint attempts to make some steps into the Lowlands by the Sea. On our way to one of them - Denmark that is - friend Bart and yours truly found themselves on a 6-lane 'Autobahn', somewhere between Bremen and Hamburg, with Eric Clapton sitting in the backseat.
"Can't get her to go any faster than that, Bas", said grinning Bart as the speedometer of the Citroën travel monster indicated 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour). Another long expected fishing trip has begun, lovely Denmark being our destination.
Having been our guest in Holland a few times and having fished Lake Oostvoorne together, GFF Partner Martin Joergensen repeatedly said: "Come and fish with me on my home turf some time, guys. I'll try to get you into some Sjælland seatrout".
The Danish Fly Festival being held in Kolding, on the Jutland peninsula, every 2 years, was the ideal opportunity to finally accept Martin's kind invitation. A speedy, 9-hour trip took us to his house in Bronshoj, a quiet residential suburb of Copenhagen. We were welcomed with a warm and friendly "Velkommen til Sjælland" by all members of the Joergensen-crew, and also by our friend, Tomaz Modic - aka Fish in VFS - who had flown in with the Slovenian and German Luftwaffe earlier that day.
A few facts: Denmark is the world's oldest kingdom, and with its 5.2 million friendly inhabitants, no country in Europe is more accomplished at blending old world charm with new world efficiency.
Denmark has: more than 5,000 kilometers of clean, sandy beaches (the cleanest waters in the European Union), 100+ castles and manorhouses, hundreds of years of fascinating culture, a raft of exciting leisure activities. The mainland peninsula of Jutland points north from the top of Europe but Denmark's 406 islands spread like stepping stones across the mouth of the Baltic Sea. No matter where you are in the country you are never more than one hour away from the sea and some of the best saltwater fishing in Europe.
Enough of this tourguide stuff... let's go fishing. I had no camera at my disposal until the show started at the very end of the week, so I was unable to take any pictures of the fishing. Some of the other members of the Sjælland Seatrout Slaughtermen shot a few rolls of film. Pictures can be seen here. Take a peek, Folks!
Some details about the fishing equipment used: Rods: 9 feet Loomis IMX & GLX 7/8 wt. Sage SP and Thomas & Thomas in the same category. Floating and Intermediate lines.
Some of the flies designed by the author:
- the "Great Gonzo" *G*
- a Low Water Red Tag as per Danish instructions.
- a simple Shrimp pattern which I have succesfully used on Lake Oostvoorne.
The weather - very variable - made us feel right at home. Long, sunny spells on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday morning. Pouring rain on Monday and Wednesday. The fishing was not at its peak yet, the water temperature being 6 degrees Centigrade Only.
"You should have been here now", said Martin when I spoke to him on the phone yesterday.
For a novice in seatrout the fishing can be difficult. Finding them can even be an even greater problem as the fish can be here, there, everywhere or nowhere. Determining factors are - as in many other areas - the weather, the water temperature and the food supply. We mostly fished on the western part of the island, and also went to Hornbaek on the northern coast.
Martin was as excellent a ghillie as any flyfisherman could wish. He was even maintaining close mobile phone contacts with his other Sjælland colleagues who were fishing at the same time. In spite of the low water temperature, most of us caught some nice fish, where we would have been skunked without Martin's friendly guidance. And while watching him and his colleagues skillfully casting their lines into the Store Belt, it flashed through my mind...
They have no raw materials, they have now power... they have k n o w h o w.
All in all, a most interesting learning experience to be repeated in a hopefully not too distant future.
The Danish Fly Festival. A friendly show organized by the Danish Federation of Flyfishers. A great compliment goes out to Soren and Birthe Klünder, the head organizers, for all the work they put into it. I have taken pictures, which can be seen here.
It was great to be back in Kolding again, meeting so many old friends and making a few new ones. We met with Marvin Nolte, Ed Berg and A.K. Best, were deligthed to see Mike & Sheila Humphries and members of the Flydressers Guild again, and to 'slip some skin' with ol' buddy Gaither 'Butch' Sherrill.
Hadn't hugged Helén Kensby from Sweden in three years and did make up for that.
Had some lively chats with Grey Eminences Poul Jorgensen and Preben Torp Jacobsen and spent some time at the Casting Pond. Didn't see much news in point of materials, but spent some money in Paul Morgan's bookstand. The dinner party on Saturday evening was most enjoyable indeed - as the picture will show.
Summing up: fish were caught, tallest of tales were told. Paul (aka Taff in VFS) flyfisherman and bullshitologist par excellence kept on telling stories that brought tears to our eyes.
Tomaz displayed his culinary talents serving us an exquisite 'Risotto con frutti di mare'.
A sophisticated keyboard was thoroughly tested and approved of by the author
A flyshop was visited.
Stuff we didn't need, but absolutely had to have was purchased.
Flies were tied
Chinese food was enjoyed with all Joergensens, just around the corner of their house.
It all seemed to be over before it even began... in the twinkling of an eye. Going home on the last Sunday of April with fond memories of our friendly neighbors.
"Fishing with good International friends for a week. That's what I call having a nice time!", says the Global Partner. AMEN to that Maestro Martin!
Bas A. Verschoor
May 14, 2001
Dutch Henk Verhaar and his wife Haneke contributed some pictures from the show. Henk was tying, Haneke taking pictures and their son Floor just hung around
Henk Verhaar responded like this to my "call for papers":
>I need your help to make the Fly Festival report 2001 happen in a new and better way!
Martin, don't think I've much to contribute in the way of anecdotes and such, but I DO have pictures. Will send them ASAP.
This page shows what he and his girlfriend Haneke De Bakker sent ("SO. Girlfriend. Partner. Not wife. We're NOT married. Explicitly so ;-)" as he wrote).
Slovenian Tomaz Modic made it an even dozen when he came to conquor the Danish seatrout. He did well by doing as the Romans... eh... when in Rome, that is... duh!
Better read the story in Tomaz' own words
Danish Martin Joergensen - GFF partner and the editor of this article also did a small something on his own behalf. Read about his impressions below.
Editor and GFF webmaster Martin Joergensens asks: "Is there anything better than to invite fellow fly fishers into you country and your home? Well, OK... there may be... but it sure is great fun no matter how!
These are my stories from a week of fly fishing and fly tying in connection with the Danish Fly Festival 2001.
Up to the Festival there was the usual commotion on the e-mail. Messages coming and going from and to friends who wanted to come to the show and to sample Denmark and the Danish flyfishing.
Dutch Bas Verschoor and Bart van der Schrieck had inquired into the possibilities already a year before the show, at FlyFair in the Netherlands, and I was prepared for the phone calls and e-mails:
Bart and I enjoyed talking to you on the phone yesterday about our forthcoming seatrout adventure. Making plans to go fishing always is almost as much fun as the fishing itself *S* Here is some information about our travel plans, and we also have some questions ... of course :-)
To my surprise and great joy he continued:
Great! Two Dutchmen and a Slovenian! We have a spare room, and by juggling a bit with mattresses, blankets and the local residents (my family!) we would easily manage to have them all three in the house. The details were discussed and arrangements were made. Tomas was obviously also looking forward to the trip:
It looks I'll be arriving in Copenhagen on 21.st at 2 pm from Frankfurt.
I will also be tying at the show in Kolding! This time I'll be better prepared for it ;-)
Looking forward to wet my line at your waters and 'specially at the sea!
At the moment I am tying some secret weapons and building some rods for people here.
Greetings from Ljubljana
To top the whole arrangement, we had a phone call from Welsh Paul Slaney, who was invited to tie at the show, and would arrive in Copenhagen before the show to drive with us from Sjælland to Jylland and Kolding where the show took place. Altogether a potentially very enjoyable, International gathering in Brønshøj.
Tomaz was the first to land in Denmark. I picked him up in the airport as scheduled and we went back home to the residence in the suburbs. Tomaz brought gifts for the family and a nice book about his home waters - the gin clear streams of Slovenia. We caught up on the talking and Tomaz had the first of many cups of coffee during his stay in Denmark.
The two Dutchmen arrived as planned just before dinner. I had pinned out an exact route for them, and flying low over Europe, Bart's large Citroën XM zoomed towards Brønshøj. Bas and Bart arrived safely and were greeted by the Brønshøj family and Tomaz at the garden fence.
Dinner was served - a Danish lasagna - which obviously left an impression, especially with Tomaz, who wrote this after he returned:
And yes, seatrout were caught. Already the next day was planned to be fishing day - and so was actually every single day from Sunday the 22nd to Friday the 27th.
The first trout
We were lucky with the weather already the first day. Later that week it was going to show itself from all the nice and nasty sides the Danish spring weather can mobilize.
The first day was nice though, and we fished one of my favorite spots with some luck. Both Bart and Tomaz got onto fish, and we all had a very nice day on the coast.
The guests were learning to fish the Danish way.
The ocean is large and intimidating to most fly fishers, because it is so wide stretched and seemingly eternal. But as the visitors would learn, there are fish within casting distance and there are structures to focus on and features to look for... as well as visible fish to fish for.
They also learned that a seatrout can be a hard-earned prize for many hours of work. Often we had to fare the raw Danish way and fish off vast stretches of water expanse to locate the fish. We also had to endure some really nasty Danish weather with wind and rain. But determined as we were, we fished through the raging of the elements.
Bas Verschoor was the only unlucky guest. In spite of an energetic and weeklong effort over some very promising spots, I did not manage to put him onto a fish. But it was a great pleasure for me to set all the visitors onto some fish.
For his comfort I have made a little series of pictures.:
After our succesful days of fishing we set the direction towards the main course - The Danish Fly Festival. As always this event was a pleasure to take part in. The show is very professionally arranged, offers a lot to see and usually attracts a huge crowd.
This year was no exception. The show was great fun, and to many of the visitors meeting old a new friends is the main purpose of participating. I enjoyed meeting many good friends from all over the world - none mentioned, none forgotten. Strolling around the floor of the exhibit revealed a wealth of inspiring tying and many new methods and materials. The shops were well visitid and as always you need to guard your wallet as it seems to get a life of its own, constantly bouncing into your hands and offering itself to more than helpful sales clerks. I managed to avoid the worst temptations even though my visit with Paul Morgan in the Coch-y-Bondhu as always cost me a bit.
I spent some time tying in the booth of Kim Rasmussen's shop Salmon Fly, which was quite well visited. I tied my usual Danish coastal flies - some for the tyers who were going fishing during the show. I did actaully 'invent' a new pattern during my tying sessions, which I dubbed 'As little as possible'. When asked what I was tying I found great fun in replying "As little as possible". The fly was tied utilizing some neat cross cut fur strips, which Kim sold in the booth.
During the Sunday - the last day of the show - I was apporached by my friend Søren Glerup. He wanted to know whether I could help set up some acommodation for AK Best and his wife Jan.
I actually ended up offering our guest room to AK and Jan, and before I knew I was setting up return trips for the two, myself and Welsh Paul Slaney. We returned Sunday night where my darling wife Birgitte awaited us with a luxurious meal and the cozy comfort of nicely made beds.
The following days just emphasized the fact that hosting foreign fly fishers and fly tyers is a joy. Many glasses were emptied and many cigars were smoked. Flies were tied and fish were caught.
I can only repreat myself: Is there anything better than to invite fellow fly fishers into you country and your home? Well, OK... there may be... but it sure is great fun no matter how! Thomaz' mail says it all clearly:
I want to say that you have probably no idea how much all that you've done for me while I was in Denmark really mean to me!
I want to say thank you again, but it is only two words in just another foreign language. We here have our ways of explaining, but you will not be able to understand them.
best that I had ever on my fishing WWWtrips EVER - (which puts you just in the league our friend from Wales)
That goes also for Bart and Bas for all the driving thay did for me.
I will also ask you here to say thank you to all your friends especially Ken and Henning for letting me fish the best spots in front of them and all the small things that only you guys know you did for me!!!!!
Greetings from my part of the world
Any time, guys... any time!