The last Fly Fair? ...we hope not!


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The show
  
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The crowd - The tyer\'s tent was well visited during the Fly Fair 2000. Interested spectators could easily spend hours watching a large number of different World class tyers.
The crowd
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Darwin Atkin and Kim Guilinger - Darwin Atkin (left) keeping a close eye on Kim Guilinger - AKA Damselfly.
Darwin Atkin and Kim Guilinger
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Linda Foote - Linda Foote spent the Fly Fair tying tiny flies - sizes in the upper 20\'s and 30\'s.
Linda Foote
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Pol Demeyer - Belgian Pol Demeyer prefers fishing the warm, tropic waters and ties flies to suit the task - beautiful and durable Crazy Charlies.
Pol Demeyer
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Gaither Sherril - AKA Bucth - Gaither Sherril - by most known as Butch - for once in a serious mood.
Gaither Sherril - AKA Bucth
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Charlie Chute - The size alone is enough to impress you when you look at Charlie Chute\'s full dressed salmon flies.
Charlie Chute
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Preben Torp Jacobsen and Tommy Ohlinson - Danish Preben Torp Jacobsen in conversation with another Dane, Tommy Ohlinson.
Preben Torp Jacobsen and Tommy Ohlinson
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Michael Hayes, Jeff \
Michael Hayes, Jeff "Bear" Andrews and Hans Weilenmann
 
Saturday came and the show could commence. We arrived early to set up, and as usual the first hour or two could be used to say hello to old and new friends. The crowd began flowing in and Irish Peter O'Rielly opened the show. He put in words a lot of the feelings we have for the show and the Dutch hosts and fly tyers. A large choir of pirates continued the festive with some amazing and jolly chants, and the crowd was now tightly packed in both the large tents that house the whole arrangement.
The tyers were cranking away - some followed the motto of the Fair "Back to the (bloody) basics", while others did what they always do. Tying on the show myself I had precious little time to get up and look around, but during a couple of breaks I did manage to take a round or two and see some of the exquisite tying on display. I will mention no one in particular but just let you have the pictures on these pages to engulf in. The list of participants and guests was long and impressive and as Dutch fly tyer Hans Weilenmann put it during the banquet the evening before the show: "If a 747 were to crash on this hotel right now, it would have a major impact on the fly fishing industry."

The Fly Fair auction
The tents were also shelter for the Fly Fair Auction, which took place Saturday evening after the show and after people took dinner different places in Zwolle or Hattem.
The auction is a tradition almost as long as the show itself. It basically aims to raise money and entertain and does both equally well. During the auction a lot of items are sold - both some that are very valuable and some, which could merely pass as pranks. Fly tying materials, framed flies, flies cast in clear plastic, emblems and a ton of old and odd stuff such as special Fly Fair hair tonic (sic!) was auctioned off.
Ad Swier was the auctioneer in the absence of Willem Hofman, who has taken this responsibility all the other years. Unfortunately Willem was taken ill, and could not attend. Ad Swier did a fine job, and the auction was as always a unique show and a hilarious experience.

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Klaus Kristensen - Danish fly tyer Klaus Kristensen concentrated over the vice during Fly Fair 2000 in The Netherlands.
Klaus Kristensen
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Jan Reniers - Dutch fly tyer Jan Reniers always draws a crowd with his amazing prawn and shrimp patterns - some incorporating eel skin.
Jan Reniers
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Kieran Frye - American fly tyer Kieran Frye - sqinting a bit without his trusty glasses.
Kieran Frye
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Edward Thomas - US fly tyer Edward Thomas was one of the many Americans visiting Fly Fair 2000
Edward Thomas
Some of the sights
In spite of the tying obligations I managed to get a good view of some of the happenings in the tents. Watched more than a few tyers do their thing, and I was humbled and awed by most of them. There are so many good tyers out there. I will not name them individually, because I didn't get to see everybody and I would never be able to be fair to those that I did see.
But I was confirmed once again in that being at a show such as this is a learning experience. Just watching and listening during these two days will teach you a dozen new and different ways of doing things. You will also see things you new done with lighter hands and more steadiness than you imagined possible. I divulged in salmon flies, dries, nymphs, pike flies, sea trout flies, flies for bonefish and tarpon and flies for other existing - and a few hardly-existing - species.
An interesting sight was the activities in the center of the tyers tent, where newcomers were taught by experienced Dutch tyers. Next to them a gentleman, whose name I did not register, was demonstrating the process of producing furled leaders on a board much like the one I use. I did not look for long, but noticed that he used an old fashioned hand driven drill - an energy consuming but probably healthy method.
I also took a stroll along the booths of the commercial vendors and was confirmed here too. A dangerous path to troth. There is soooo much gear that I just need to have. Paul Morgan's book shop Coch-y-bonddu is one of my bad habits, and I could not resist his booth this time either, but just had to bring back a couple of books.

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Mike Martinek and Chuck Echer - Mike Martinek and Chuck Echer - both American fly tyers - during the Dutch Fly Fair 2000 show.
Mike Martinek and Chuck Echer
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Henk Verhaar - Dutch fly tier Henk Verhaar who followed the Fair\'s motto \
Henk Verhaar
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Diny and Bas Verschoor - Diny Verschoor and her husband Bas - hosts for many a foreign tyer and ever hard working organizers of the tour after the Fair
Diny and Bas Verschoor
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Kim Rasmussen - Danish fly tyer Kim Rasmussen, owner of the shop Salmon Fly ties in silence as usual. He produces some extremely beautiful full dressed salmon flies.
Kim Rasmussen
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Ari t\'Hart reels - I feel for Ari t\'Hart\'s reels like I feel for Bang & Olufsen stereos: they sure look nice, but I would probably never buy one.
Ari t'Hart reels
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Paul Morgan - Paul Morgan and his wife in the booth of his Welsh book shop Coch-y-bonddu  - a dangerous and expensive place to put on a fly show.
Paul Morgan
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Ulf Pierrou - Swedish fly tyer Ulf Pierrou. Notice the \
Ulf Pierrou
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Paul Slaney - Welsh fly tyer Paul Slaney doing his small Float Fry patterns made out of foam and superglue.
Paul Slaney
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Marijke Roos - Dutch fly tyer Marijke Roos enthusiastically explaining a tying step to a bystander.
Marijke Roos
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Rick Ross - Rick Ross had a bit of lamp fever before his first tying session, but managed to forget time and space while entertaining and educating the interested audience.
Rick Ross
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Harry Schoel - Dutch fly tier Harry Schoel whose beautiful fly plates were sold at the famed Fly Fair Auction Saturday night. Harry by the way ties on a motorized Renzetti vice of his own make.
Harry Schoel
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Kes Pootjes - Kes Pootjes explains a detail to a spectator. Kes is one of the many skilled Dutch fly tiers who appears on many international shows.
Kes Pootjes
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Kim Guilinger - American fly tier Kim Gulinger - also known as Damselfly - tries to stuff all that tying material into a bag after the show.
Kim Guilinger
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Rick Ross and Paul Slaney - Two happy boys in front of the Fly Fair tent. American Rick Ross and Welsh Paul Slaney will not have to crawl under the canvas - they both appeared as tyers in the show.
Rick Ross and Paul Slaney
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Charlie Hune - US fly tyer Charlie Hune doing his tying demonstration during the Fly Fair 2000 in Zwolle in The Netherlands.
Charlie Hune
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Hans\' sign - Some tyers have to be special. Hans Weilenmann could not do with the same cardboard sign as the rest of us, but brought a wooden luxury sign.
Hans' sign
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Steve Parton and Roger Loodmer - Steve Parton happy as can be flanked by Roger Loodmer - both from the UK.
Steve Parton and Roger Loodmer
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Olav Koster and Herman Broers - Two very skilled Dutch fly tyers: Olav Koster and Herman Broers.
Olav Koster and Herman Broers
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Marvin Nolte - Marvin Nolte did tie salmon flies at the Fly Fair. Usually he demontrates his skills with other types of flies.
Marvin Nolte
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Herman Broers - The smile might be a little stiff after all the exposure. Dutch Herman Broers impressed the audience with his unusually large pike flies.
Herman Broers
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Theo, Steve and Roger - Dutch Theo Barkelaar - AKA Mr. Goldbead - watching over British Steve Parton and Roger Loodmer.
Theo, Steve and Roger
The flies
As always on these occasions there is a generous exchange of flies between the tyers - on top of all the flies that are given away to the spectators during the show. Anybody showing enough interest will usually earn a fly from the tyer. Some of the tyers, who tie expensive or very complex flies do
  
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Mayfly - Smallest fly I brought home: Olav Koster\\\'s mayfly is probably a 26 or smaller (Olav told me it\\\'s 32!). It sports the most fantastic extended, braided body.
Mayfly
 
of course not do this. A few of the pros sell flies, but most of the tyers are happy amateurs and would never charge money for a fly. On many occasions during a tying session kids wearing caps filled with flies will step up to the table and look at you with big, wet Bambian eyes. The signal is obvious and a fly has to change owner. Marvin Nolte - who ties full dressed salmon flies professionally - taught me a neat little trick. In stead of giving away your most precious creations to a fate unknown, bring a box of simple, colorful flies and let the kids choose a fly themselves.
As usual I brought home a bunch of flies myself - Bambian eyes strike again. On this page you see a very small selection of them.

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Shrimp fly - Most amazing fly I brought home: Jean-Pierre Lagathu\\\'s shrimp is as close to the natural as I have ever seen a shrimp fly.
Shrimp fly
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Rabbit fry - Cutest fly I brought home: Paul Slaney\\\'s rabbit fry pattern in a trendy color
Rabbit fry
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Float Fry - side view - The most crazy fly I brought home: Welsh Paul Slaney makes this amazing fry pattern with one material and colored markers.
Float Fry - side view
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Float Fry - top view - The most crazy fly I brought home: Paul Slaney\\\'s Float Fry made from foam and superglue. The hook is attached with glue in a groove in the foam.
Float Fry - top view
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