Hans, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a “why” person. I like to understand what makes things work, what makes people work. And, I am always looking for the better mouse trap. A way to improve what is already working, but which I believe can be made to work better, more elegant, more effective. This drives, in part, my enjoyment in both flytying and flyfishing.
I like simplicity and elegance in flies. Both in the final product, the fly itself, but also in the steps to get from a bare hook to the finished pattern. Each turn of thread should serve a purpose. If you cannot explain why it is there, most likely it shouldn’t be there to begin with.
What is your favourite type of fishing?
My favorite type of fishing is prospecting a medium size stream or river for trout and grayling. I am a running water addict, who lives in a country without gradient. This both means I do not get to enjoy river fishing as often as I would like, as it typically involves travel, but it also makes for absolute focus and dedication when I am on a fishing trip. There is always a river somewhere…
When did you start flyfishing?
I have been a keen angler from the age of six, but flyfishing came later, at 18. To fast track I joined the Casting Club of Amsterdam to get familiar and more comfortable, and to explore, the ways of the flyrod and line.
How long do you tie flies?
*smile* At times it feels like I have been tying forever, and other times I sit down to tie like an eager freshman. It really never gets tired. I am into my fifth decade of tying as we type.
Who are you influences?
That is not an easy question to answer, and at the same time it is. I will start with the latter – the fish and the materials are my influences, each invite me to expand, innovate, refine and refresh.
This is not, however, how you intended your question – so I shall try to address it as you meant it. Flytiers the world over, past and present, have influenced and inspired my tying over the years, often in small and subtle ways – and I am grateful to all out there. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, past and present, and continue to walk in their footsteps.