Published Jan 1. 2001

Henk Verhaar, the Netherlands

From the Netherlands

Articles by Henk:
Henk's linked pike streamer
Deep in my heart
Dyeing with picric acid
Making your own furled leaders

Henk Verhaar was born in 1960, into a non-fishing family.

He was trained as a chemist and currently works as an environmental toxicology researcher at Utrecht University.

His first steps as an angler were set in downtown Leidschendam, at the ripe old age of 6, where he fished for small roach and rudd with a 3 piece, 10 foot cheap bamboo pole with float (bobber) and pieces of bread. This was after passing my first swimming test... Holland has enough water that swimming lessons are an integral part of Dutch upbringing. At the age of 12 he first learned about spinning gear, by reading fishing books, and quickly adopted spinning tackle and lures for pike and perch over other fishing techniques. And this while living in 'Limburg', where at the time almost no spinfishing expertise was to be found. Progress therefore was slow and tedious, as he had to reinvent many wheels himself. Not that he was very good at that, too. Reading yet another fishing book first brought him into contact with flyfishing for trout and other species. When he visited England on a family holiday and actually saw someone fly fishing for trout (in a small town called Bourne-on-the-Water) he was sold. Shortly thereafter in 1977, he acquired his first flyrod -- a lemon if ever there was one.
Apparently the tackle shop owner knew about as much about flyfishing as Henk did at that time, since he was sold an 8 foot, 7/8 weight glass ABU Lapplandia Zoom rod, coupled with cheap japanese Hardy-imitation reel and a 6 weight line. All this for Dutch types of flyfishing, which usually (he now knows) call for 9-10 foot #4 rods. Between 1977 and 1990 he tried to develop his flyfishing and flytying skills without much success (acquiring two other rods, a 7' #4 glass rod and a 7'6" 5/6 fibatube rod, both as kits; in hindsight these weren't the right rods either, but he now is happy he still has them; also acquiring a flytying kit that hindered more than helped). His advice, learned the hard way, is to never ever try to teach yourself flytying from a book, especially a bad book!

In 1991 he finally smartened up and joined a local flyfishing club. This was the wisest decision he ever made during his whole fishing career (and probably the most costly as well...). There's nothing like hands on tuition for learning flyfishing and flytying. He currently has more rods and reels, tying vices, fur and feather material and flies than he's willing to acknowledge. Being the inhouse computer 'expert' at a toxicology research institute, he also quickly found out the opportunities the Internet holds for flyfishers, spending countless hours on mailing lists, checking out web sites and chatting away in chatrooms...

He currently lives in Ankeveen, in the central part of the Netherlands (close to Amsterdam and Utrecht), right in the middle of some of the better 'polder' and fen water systems that offer excellent fly fishing for rietvoorn (rudd, Rotfeder, rotengle) and snoek (pike, Hecht, brochet).



Hello Hank,

Found you searching for some fly-fishing action near Utrecht,place where my daughter lives.February I'll be a granpa from her and for sure will stay a couple months then and after that probably twice a year.I love fly fishing but know nothing about this practice there.
My pasion and also way of living is being a Hunting and Fishing guide in URUGUAY ,so I can host- as guests - to pay back favors any New Dutch Fly fishing friends here to catch the "Dinosaurs" Hopplias and the Golden Dorado.
Please "route me on how can I get to fish while there, Pike is my pasion!!!!
Wait for your reply,and also any of you to try our fish.
Your friend

Hector Sarasola

Hello Henk,
Great article on twined/furled leaders. It works great with some of the braids like spiderwire fusion as well. The specific density is around .95 (which keeps it afloat a long time). I also like the stiffness of the furled braids because of the very positive energy transfer for hooks, curves, etc.. in casting. They help to eliminate micro drag too because of the stiffness. I used to to do several using uni threads which are great for the right circumstances. Just curious if you or many around you are playing around with spectra, dyneema, or kevlar braids? Thanks in advance. Mac

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