Category Archives: Travel & Fishing

back from Kolding – DANISH FLY FESTIVAL – 4. & 5. MARCH 2017 – fly tier pics

A big thanks to the Danish GFF for again organising an impressive event. It was fantastic and we´re already looking forward to the next one.

Konstanse and I had a wonderful time. It was busy, not as busy as the previous one but still very very busy. After 700km of driving from Oslo we arrived Friday night around midnight and slapt in our mini-camper we call “postman”. We just love our little red Kangoo.

Next morning we had break fast on the house. and wondered around a bit. What a show . So many exhibitors and casting pools and flytiers … it is almost too much to take in. After a quick lunch we sat down at the fly tiers tables and started tying. Konstanse got a lot of attention for her semi-realistic nymphs. I on the other hand showed very very simple flies. It was good collaboration and we were able to show the spectrum of complexity in trout flies.

Saturday evening was crowned by a luxurious three course meal sponsored by the organisers of the festival.

On Sunday we continued our tying / tuition work until lunchtime. We had another two hours to wonder about on the show floor and meet and greet some of the nicest people in the trade. Sadly we had to leave by 14:00 on Sunday to catch a ferry. The tri back did not go as smooth as we hit a blizzard in Sweden, which forced us to stay overnight at a parking place besides the highway. However, we made it home save, but tired. Very tough on Konstanse as she had to work on Monday. Never the less we agree that we´d go again to the 2019 festival, should we be invited.

Below a few impressions of all the mad people out there ….

 

the Vosseler factory – visiting the reel man

Visiting the REEL MAN – Ralf Vosseler in Germany

Germany is known for lederhosen, beer, the metric system, football (only Americans call it soccer which is the wrong term), fast roads and a car industry second to none.

But it’s not all beer & technology in Europe’s biggest economy. Germans are and always have been philosophers too. Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kant, Nitzsche and Marx – just to name a few.

lederhosen

funny enough I met these guys shortly after I had left Ralf´s factory.
They were heading to a bear fest and there were hundreds of them.
Here you go … Lederhosen are in fashion

Looking closer at where the hi-tech is coming one finds out that a big part of hi-tech companies are based in the south. These regions are rural areas with fields, forest and small villages. The south Germans are known to be problem solvers. Add the tradition of strong thinkers and a good portion of work ethics you have the soil on which Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche grow.

On the way back from my recent motorcycle and fishing trip through the the southern alps I had a chance to drop by Ralph Vosseler and have a close look at his Reel production.

After a picturesque ride through the Black Forrest I arrived in the little village Talheim. Even though a Saturday I found the man himself at his little factory.

Ralph Vosseler is no exception to above described breed of craftsmen one finds in south Germany. I’d even go as far to call him a classic example of this culture. The father of 4 is a down to earth devoted fisherman and a proud craftsman. He lives an breathes precision in a very positive and charming way. Charming, because he strongly feels that good products should be priced fair and the cost to the end user not inflated by huge marketing and distribution channel cost.

Ralph said that the market for fly fishing products is changing rapidly. A large portion of purchases are made online. In top of this the customer wants unique and high quality products. He recons that customised reel and his ability to deliver fast give him an edge. Direct sales to end users and selected dealers make high end technology affordable, Vosseler ads. A high end boutique product is a good description.

Vosseler Pro-Flyfishing offers a spectrum of different reels – from purist style clicker types to find full blown saltwater models. Besides meticulous precision and smooth drag (sans the click reels) the reels come I many different colours. The housings are all made from high grade aitcraft grade aluminium and cut from massive blocks on high precision CNC machines. The finishes are all anodised.

I was a little nervous of meeting a total technocrat and therefore more than astonished (and quite relieved) when I saw 50 year young Vosseler opening the door himself. He offered me a coffee right away. It actually felt a bit like coming home. We than talked for at least 3hours. About motorcycles, fishing and of course his business. However, the business talk was only a small part. Ralph really lidd up when talking fishing. I’m sure I’ll be back some day fishing with him.

P.S. I could not resist and bought a few goodies too … 😉 I can´t wait to put them in action.
more about the reels on http://www.vosseler.com
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t.z. & Ralf in front of some immensly expensive high tech machineryimages by kind permission of Ralf Vosseler
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The Vosseler mantra: Precision is irreplaceable – except for even higher precision
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the reels are made of a highly clean aluminum alloy which is primarily used in aerospace technology
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The material’s structural homogeneity and the lack of lead additives are advantageous in regard to its corrosion resistance.
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A semi-finished reel part is ready to be fed into the turning lathe or milling machine. Precision already starts here. Only exactly prepared parts find their way into the lathe chuck.
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Only 30 percent of the green body remains to form the final reel. Turning and milling chips of the valuable material will be carefully collected and recycled.
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Working with appropriate machining equipment is not enough. The processing station is equipped with control programs which are adapted to the special needs of the material.
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Experience cannot be substituted. All employees at Vosseler must have a deep understanding for each individual production step. They call it “understanding & breathing precision working”
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the final product
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my very own Vosseler RCL
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Vosseler reel loaded with a Thunderbolt 5 attached to my Sexyloops HT4 

the long haul

The summer fishing season is in full swing up here in the “arctics”. My fly box is full and the trips planned and prepared ……. not – never enough preparation really, but what the heck.I hope you had fun the last fall, winter and spring. I hope you had a chance to fill your flyboxes. Driving abouts. It´s a long haul always here in the north. The map one normally sees is pretty distorted and the distances seem much  shorter … far from it. I am still in Norway, but about 2100km away from Oslo, where I live. Crazy. If I had driven 2100km south from Oslo I´d ended up in Africa.

So I don´t know what Paul is raving about. These distances are almost normal for Scandinavia. 🙂 My GPS looks somthing like this.

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The fly box for that trip – flies-for-norway

where trout live

Why do I love trout-fishing? I think it is because of where these creatures live. Wild trout tend to live in very beautiful places. I actually emigrated from Germany to Norway … following the trout in a way. It´s stunningly beautiful here where I fish. I let the pictures speak for themselves. The shots are from this morning when we came back from fishing.
I am on my way further north. I am torn between joining Paul at the Varzina river and driving up to Finnmark. I think the latter will be the case. I have some time on my hand and a car which works. I think I should use that chance.

last “night” around 3 in the morning … Northern Norway – straight from the iphone, no editing

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some older shots from the same spot …
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Süsswasser Fliegenfischen auf Forellen & Äschen in Norwegen

Norwegen und Schweden werden immer beliebter als Reiseziel für Fliegenfischer aus dem südlicher gelegen Europa. Die Anreise ist in kurzer Zeit machbar und einmal in Schweden angekommen reist es ich deutliche entspannter als auf den überfüllten Strassen der Heimatländer wie z. B. Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien und Spanien.Das Angeln, insbesondere das Fliegenfischen ist ähnlich entspannt. Fast überall gibt es befischbare Gewässer. Wer zudem gut zu Fuss ist une eine kleine Wanderung nicht scheut hat die Chance auf fast «unberührte» Natur zu stossen. Wer zudem das Fischen mit der «Trockenen» liebt kommt hier voll auf seine Kosten. 95% meiner Fischerei in Norwegen und Schweden ist auf Trockenfliegen und Schwimmschnur basiert.

Eine 8 bis 9ft rute in Klasse 4 bis 6 ist wohl die gängigste Wahl. Zielfisch in Norwegen sind vorwiegend Forelle (ørret) und Saibling (røye). Wobei es auch wirklich genügend Möglichkeit gibt auf grosse Äschen (harr) und auch Renken (sik) zu fischen. Eine Renke auf Trockenfliege klingt sicherlich exotisch für einen Angler aus der Alpenregion, ist «hier oben bei uns» aber gar nicht ungewöhnlich.

Neben Flüssen und Bächen sollte man die Seen, insbesondere die kleineren – nicht vernachlässigen. Es gibt fast an allen guten Gewässern Boote zu leihen. Auch hier ist die Fischerei mit der Trockenfliege ein gute Wahl.

Hier meine Fliegenboxen. Wie man sieht ist Rehhaar und natürliche und gedeckte Farben stark vertreten. Als Dubbing verwende ich entweder Seehundfell (lässt sich wunderbar färben) oder Hase.

 

 

Freshwater flyfishing for trout and grayling in Norway

Flyfishing for Trout & Grayling in Norway – Norway as well as Sweden are increasingly popular destinations for Flyfishers coming from the more southern parts of Europe. Travelling is not to complicated and far, and once arrived in Sweden driving is much more relaxed than on the crowded roads of for example Germany, France, Italy or Spain.

Fishing, specially fishing with the fly is likewise relaxed. One finds good Walters pretty much everywhere. The ones not shy of walking a bit into the mountains will find solitude and seeemingly untouched nature. The dry fly lovers are very lucky here too. 95% of my fishing in Norway and Sweden is done with a dry fly and floating lines.

A 8 to 9ft rod for a 4 to 6wt line is the most Como choice. Target fish in Norwegian freshwater are trout( ørret) and arctic char (røye). Not to forget the chance to fish for big grayling (harr) and whitefish (sik). To catch whitefish in dry-fly sound pretty exotic for an angler used to fish in mainland Europe and the Alps, but is absolutely common in «up here».

Besides small creeks and larger rivers one should not forget the lakes. Pretty much all better ones hava boat to rent. And even here the fishing with dryly is very rewarding.

Here´s my fly-boxes. As you can see, I am pretty fond of deer hair and natural, not very bright colors. As dubbing I mostly choose seals fur (can be died in a ll sorts of colors) or hare´s fur.

 

conscious fly fisher

The conscious FlyFisher

 So you caught a fish? What is next? What do you want to do with it? OK, I know – I am opening a can of worms here … but I wanted to share a few points of view on various matters. Water, fish, food .. you know all those things which matter to all of us.Fly Tying is making lures to hunt fish. I think every FlyFisher should tie his own. That is why I keep showing flies which are simple and effective. With a little practice 99% of you folks can tie them. (Paul is a 1%ter)

Making the right flies and the right decision when choosing a fly of fishing requires a deeper understanding of the nature around you and your fishing spots. In the case of a «trout hunter» this is predominantly insects. Water invertebrates are food for fish … and … here comes my main point – also indicators for water quality. Biologists search the water for them and categorize the water quality based on these «biological indicators» 

So a conscious flyfisher should therefore than be able to tell something about the water quality. Water is one of the most valuable resources on our planet. Water is life.

Wild trout were a food resource. They still are, but too much lesser degree. Industry food has taken over. I´d say 95% we eat nowadays is farmed. Farms are not whet they used to be. Meat production has become an industry undertaking of enormous size. Farmed animals – cows, pigs, chicken and salmon for example are held in large numbers in very tight spaces. Thi unnatural habitat leads to deseases and must be heavily medicated. On top the breeds are specificly gained towards meat production. A “meat” chicken” simply does not survive more thna a few month. As an adult it dies of genetically caused obisety.. 

I can´t eat this stuff. My body simply does not want to have it – my tastebuds give me very definite warnings. My body forced me to become pretty much a vegan. 

It all relates to taste. It is safe to conclude that the tastebuds in your mouth are there to protect you from poisonous items and rotten / bad food. This sense is so fine-tuned, it´s unbelievable. However, the industry food has fucked up this otherwise so fine-tuned sensors. So I think it s important to gain back the “sensors”. One way is to catch and eat a wild fish once in a while. 

For my fishing this means that I have to choose the fishing destinations carefully. Ideally a waterway not heavily fished with good stock of wild fish, so taking out a small amount does not hurt the system. No worries, I do not kill the big ones. They go back for two reasons. Reproduction and keeping the gene pool heathy is one, having them as predators feeding on fry and other small fish is the other.

I can understand the desire to catch as many fish as possible, even though they are all returned, but that is not for me. Being by the water and actively observing what is going on is equally enjoyable for me as the very casting a fly and catching a fish. 

 «One should be able to fish without a rod.» I keep telling myself and my friends fishing with me. It opens the eyes – and is more relaxing than trying to get as many fish as possible. But that´s me. I am, very officially, an old, grumpy fart.

So back to C&R … releasing a fish for me is a part of «taking care» of the water. Selecting what is taken and what is set back to reproduce and being a predator. 

So when releasing a fish, I try to make sure it is done as quick as possible. I strive towards handling the fish longer than necessary (a few seconds just to take the barbless hook out) and keep him on the water. 

Personally, I have the feeling that there is enough pictures of fish held up in the air under a cap on the internet. Does one need to join this game? Doesn´t one look the same as everybody else? I think this is not something special any more. Cherish the moment for yourself or tie a waterproof video camera to you knee. (chill – I had mentioned that I`m an grumpy old fart) 

Releasing 1,2 and 3 … thanks to Hein van Aar, Kvennan Flyfishing for the pictures.
Kvennan is a good sportsfishing destination for those who are into C&R. The high fishing pressure af 5000 fishing licenses per season prevents using these waters as a food ressource. I visited Hein and Bernd Ziesche there two weeks ago. I had bit of fishing. No fish taken there.

So next weekend I fish again in one of the less, if at all frequented spots which are distributed all over Scandinavia.

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panic part 2

Following up on last Fridays panic attack – which was not even a made up story – you were witnessing the actual true «action» that Thursday night in real time. This is Sexyloops in a nutshell. I bravely assume that you might want to hear how it went? well – read on

We had planned to hit the road early on Friday, right when Konstanse was allowed to escape the office. Well, let´s say it almost went as planned and with a short delay of, say 2 hours, we hit that northbound road. We won´t go too much into the story behind, but it´s me who is not organized, ready and done to go. Our realtionship is the wrong way arround, according to general percception. SHE is always packed and rigged right on time … when I than start to pack sort of. I think I have to get my act together eventually.

5 hours later, around 8 pm we arrived at the beloved lake in the midth of the Norwegian woods. It is of course a lake X. We do not tell anybody where it is. So do not ask. It´s too precious a place to be shared. http://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/spot-x

The predominant fish in this lake are Grayling of rather good size. They average around 2 pounds with the occasional 3 to 4 pounds. Besides that one can observe pike in the pretty clear water.

Normally we´d fish this lake in fall, but we were too eager to go back. However, night frost gave us the false hope that we might not be hit by the biblical amounts of mozzies found there in summer. We were, as you might have guessed by now – wrong. Anyway – not too big of a problem. We have learned to deal with them damn bloodsuckers. http://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/dont-panic-its-only-mozzies

So we unpacked fishing gear and bellyboats and went for some evening fishing. We – hard to admit – blanked. The lake was dead as dead can be. We headed back to the camper, which we had «parked» on a high bank. The view from our dinner table was lovely. Northern nights are very special.

We went to bed late and slept rather long. Around noon, after a healthy breakfast we went fishing again. There were very few rises that day – but what a day that was. Sunshine and blue sky. Perfect for Grayling. We paddled around about for six or seven hours and had real good fun. A few grayling were caught, of which we kept 3 for food.

Oh right – I almost forgot to mention … which fly did the fish want? Of course the claret (red) “panic” deer hair and seal. I only used that fly and Konstanse used the one she had kept from last year.

There is something about Grayling and red seals fur. Very funny, but not too unknown a «fact» …..

Some images we took with our cellphones.

panicpart2_wide  panaroma shot

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can´t get enough of that view

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camper (get in touch if you are interested in buying a ququq box)

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the fly that worked again – claret red seals fur

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night on lake x

note: Konstanse took this video with her phone. We had not planned on making a movie …
While I was paddeling towards her to see what is going on , another grayling took the claret fly

quick release without even taking the fish out of the water

tire-fixing

t.z. | Friday, 16 October 2015

I should have – as promised – put together the next section of the sexyloops fly tying school, but … well – you know how it goes sometimes. I read Bernd’s page and Paul’s comments … and hey – we are also two which fish together. Heck, we do pretty much everything together. Fish, sleep, eat, ty flies and for next summer riding motorcycle is on the list. … and of course we travel together. So this Fridays article is about my partner.

Travelling is fun and exciting. Putting one self in funky situations and learn how to get out of it. Might it be the Malaysian jungle, or in our case the Swedish country roads.

Last year I had travelled about in northern Norway and Sweden – and on my way back home to Oslo I managed to have two flat tires. Somehow I still managed to get home – which involved stopping every 100k for pumping up the leaking tire.

Konstanse, me and the kids travelled the same roads this summer and … you guess it by now …. we had a flat tire pretty much exactly where I had blown mine the year before. So we had to stop by the road in the middle of Swedish nowhere, unpack the car to get to the spare wheel. You know the deal.

But when I took the spare wheel out of it´s compartment in the boot of the car I heard a funny noise. That kind of high frequency „psssssssss“ – clearly indicating air escaping it´s tight home INSIDE the tube. What the heck was that? The whole scene felt like a big joke. We looked at the tire, at eachother, at the tire. After a few long seconds of this I found the hole. I asked Konstanse to put her thumb on it. While she was stopping the air I looked for the knife and a piece of wood I could carve into a pin to close the hole with. After I managed that we replaced Konstanses finger with that pin. Done. No more „psssssssss“ …

We than analysed the situation and found out that the clever mechanic who had the car for service had managed to drill a screw through the cars floor, and straight into the tire. Brilliant. So Konstanse crawled under the car to get that screw out. It had caused the hole, so it surely must fit into the hole and make the tire airtight again, we thought.

So we split the job. Konstanse set the screw in the tire while I was getting the jack under the car. Both tasks were tricky. Mine involved rocks and a tree as the jack was too high for the car. Konstanse had to take the pin out, the screw back in and hold the tire somehow – not to forget the swiss knife in her forth hand. This involved some secret manoeuvres.

All happened without screaming, panic or hassle. It was fun. The mechanic we met in the next village was a whole different story. We made it home safe and have good stories to tell.

This little incident just enforced what I strongly believe in. It is really important to experience things together. There are too many opportunities and adventures too be missed out. Girls can have quite a spectrum – bush-skill, outdoors and nail polish go together very well. I guess we guys can learn a lot here.

 
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De Nordiske Jakt og Fiskedager, Elverum, Norway – august 6. to 9. 2015


We just returned from the „Nordic Hunting and Fishing Days“ in Elverum, Norway. This show is a versatile family event. The mostly Norwegian visitors come here for several reasons. One thing is buying and selling, but just as important is the exchange of information and talk to professionals and experienced anglers and hunters.

We were invited to participate at the fly tiers board. Even so most of the activities and stands and tents are located on the outdoor facilities of the Norwegian Forestry Museum, the fly tying board is located inside the museum.

Kids do love this too. They really got engaged and added level of complexity to the tying. Having a group of genuinely interested 4 to 8 year olds literally crawling all over you, makes tying even a simple fly a challenge. Definitely an enjoyable moment to remember.

 

Deer hare Caddis #14
Deer Hare Caddis size 14 tied on Partridge-of-Redditch SLD2 barbless
Konstanse was born and raised just outside of Tromsø, right by a Norwegian Fjord. She has been fishing since she was out of her diapers, she says in her unmistakably viking humor.