Danish Fly Festival 2001... and much more
Dutch Bas Verschoor tells his story of the days before, during and after the Danish Fly Festival 2001.
By Bas Verschoor
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 CitroŽn 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 Sjślland 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 Sjślland" 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 Sjślland 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 Sjślland 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...
Denmark is actually smaller and greater than factual globes allow:
All in all, a most interesting learning experience to be repeated in a hopefully not too distant future.
They have no raw materials, they have now power... they have k n o w h o w.
The Danish Fly Festival. A friendly show organized by the Danish Federation of Flyfishers. A great compliment goes out to Soren and Birthe KlŁnder, 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 Helťn 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