A Digital Book.
ClassicFlyTying.net is the Reference Guide for Traditional Salmon Fly Tying. A digital book, categorised and maintained in a magazine style fashion, always up to date with new discoveries, interpretations and finds. When you are a subscriber, you will always be up to date with the latest ‘edition’.
We are Not Purists.
Almost everything we do in modern times, has roots in the past. In this versatile salmon fly world, the lines between traditional, modern and artistic, are very thin. We like to explore the ways of old, and they are many, while we appreciate the modern ways as well. We feel that it is important to understand the difference between modern and traditional, because such clarity helps define where history ends and development begins.
What Do We Offer?
This website offers verified pattern descriptions, depictions of old plates for reference, an antique fly gallery, original Fishing Gazette and Land & Water articles with high resolution plates, tutorials and step-by-step guides on various tying techniques, articles on a huge variety of subjects, materials guides and much, much more.
Every single page is added with great care, with the intention to provide a service that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the web.
We are unique, and if you join us, you’ll never need to open another old book and wonder what the correct description or interpretation is. We’ve done that for you, sorted it out, verified it, so you can sit back, relax and tie flies. All information is exactly as per the original writings, sometimes with notes to explain our interpretation or thoughts.
To give an idea of the quality of this website’s content, here are a few pages that are available for free viewing:
- Ghost Fly #2 – Step by Step Tutorial
- D.P. Blaine – Fly Patterns and Plates
- Ariel Toucan – Illustrated Birds
- Bluebell – Original Fishing Gazette Article and Plate
- Making Indian Crow Substitutes – Step by Step Tutorial
Everything is questionable, and everything is up for debate. We have an online community on Facebook, where we inspire each other to tie to the best of our ability, and help new guys get started. You can post your flies to look for guidance and improvement, or you can post questions that you may have. Click on the social media icon in the header, or simply select Facebook from the main portal of this website.
So, Who Am I?
My name is Robert Verkerk. I live in Trondheim, just 10 minutes from the river Gaula and 30 minutes from the river Orkla. I am originally from Amsterdam, but have been living in Norway for as long as I can remember. I was captivated by fly fishing, early on. I found it magnificent, that you could choose between a variety of lines, to balance the force of the current, and control the depth of your fly. But also simply because casting and presentation are such a big part of the hobby.
Commercial flies soon bored me. I had envisioned a fly design, based on my experience in the river. But whatever I found in stores or online, nothing looked even remotely close to what I had thought up. So I bought a few materials and tied a few very simple, yet elegant flies that would prove to be very successful. Looking for tutorials to improve my tying, I discovered classic salmon flies.
Digging through decades of history, I found that old masters’ instructions on fishing for salmon, were a close match to many of the approaches and methods that I had learned and adapted myself. I became obsessed with research, in order to try and improve my fishing and to explore traditional experience and knowledge, long since clouded by commercial intent.
The internet is full of contradictory information, so I felt the need to have my personal notes on hand. This is why I started the first version of this website. A digital notebook for my own, personal use, to have a collection of information at hand, that is verified to be historically correct. Ever lost in research, I kept on building, until it grew to what it is today: the Reference Guide for Traditional Salmon Fly Tying.
I hope you’ll enjoy my work, and I thank you for visiting. Please, stay a while 🙂