I am 47 years old, live in Hamburg, I'm married, and have two very lively daughters.
I have been fly fishing for about 32 years and have tied flies for more than 30 years simply because I enjoy it. Fly tying is, for me, a pathway to creativity.
In my view, there are three types of fly patterns. First are those that are tied simply to catch fish. It is unimportant if the head is well-finished or if every wrap lies perfectly. The jury for these patterns is under water and decides, on its own, about the success of the pattern. I love these patterns because you get honest feedback from the fish as to whether or not your idea at the tying vise is successful in the real world.
The second pattern type is for fly-tying competitions. This is a very fascinating way to compare yourself with fly tyers around the world and for all to learn from each other. I also really like this type of fly tying.
The uncertainty of an independent jury’s reaction to, and their evaluation of, my flies is thrilling and exciting.
The third type is what I like the best Creative fly tying, using new or well-known materials to develop new or to re-interpret traditional patterns, observing how a pattern behaves in the water, and seeing what can be improved. This “evolutionary” type of fly tying reveals my deep-seated enthusiasm and stimulates my emotions.
In my fly-tying classes and presentations, I have no desire to tell others what is correct or incorrect in fly tying. Winning a few fly-tying competitions does not make me a better fly tyer. Primarily, I want to make people enthusiastic about, and to support their interest in, this part of fly fishing so that they can enjoy the fun and pleasure it brings. My goal is to inspire people and to show that there is no magic to fly tying, but that it is just a chain of simple steps.