About Me

My name is Robert Verkerk. I was born in Amsterdam, in 1969. The first time I went fishing, was with my grandfather. During my childhood, I basically fished each and every day. I had heard of fly fishing at the time, but it wasn’t until I moved to Norway, before I tried it myself. I was intrigued by this hobby. 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. Almost as if presentation was reduced to an accurate science, whereas the lures I used before, were just a mechanical repetition of the same motion. I was hooked, and it wasn’t long before I had caught my first salmon, a beautiful, fresh, 7lb female on a Thunder and Lightning, size 4.

Fighting a nice fish in the Orkla river in 2013...

Running a nice fish in the Orkla river in 2013…

A few years, and many trips later, I started to get bored with the available commercial flies. I had started to envision a specific type of fly, 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 succesful, that same year. This is more or less how I started on a mission, that took me through a world of tube flies to the world of the classic salmon fly.

A beautiful female, 9.7Kg. River Olden, Norway 2012...

Female salmon, 9.7Kg. Olden, Norway 2012…

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, with the ultimate goal, to improve my fishing and to get closer to the traditions.

A "kill" with a size 1 Major. Gaula River 2014...

A “kill” with a size 1 Major. Gaula River 2014…

I tie my flies with a lot of devotion, attention to detail and full of anticipation of the coming season. Depending on the fly, it takes up to 5 hours to complete one. When a salmon takes, it is a rewarding feeling, a conclusion of a long process. It makes me feel connected to the traditions of my people, to the masters of old.

Releasing a beautiful male Salmon. Orkla River, 2015..

Releasing a beautiful male Salmon. Orkla River, 2015..

This website started as a digital notebook for my personal use, as a collection of information, verified to be historically correct. From there, it grew to what it is today: the reference guide for traditional salmon fly tying!

I hope you’ll enjoy my work. Thank you for visiting.

Robert Verkerk

9 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Jimmy 10

    Hi Robert, I have just joined up on your web-site, and it looks to be well worth the 12 dollars subscription. Once I get used to the site I will throw a few topics into the pot!


  2. azmoghal

    Hi Robert

    This new format looks fantastic!
    Even your old(er) website was really helpful when I got into Classics 2 years, but this new layout makes it a lot easier to find my way – and I’m happy to pay the subscription fee, given the quality output here and without being swarmed by ads!!
    Good luck going forward!


  3. MaighstirMaighstir

    Hey Robert,

    Absolutely fantastic reference site. Great to have so much beatiful information in one place. A lot of hard work and collecting. Thanks.


  4. FrankDL

    Hi Robert: I joined a few weeks ago and must admit I’m very impressed with your site and the detail within. I have a question that may seem obvious, but what would you consider a Classic Fly, and what isn’t. I started tying over 50 years ago and have continued to this day. Unfortunately, I let my practise for Classics lapse in favour of the more utiltarian steelhead flies that most of us on Vancouver Island use. For example do you consider old Spey and Dee flies (tied as per instructions in older books) as Classics? These are still excellent patterns in my local rivers (eg. Lady Caroline), or is this group more interested in fancier flies as per Blacker, Kelson, and many other authors of that era.
    One other quick question; my goal is to enter your tying competetion next year. What sort of patterns should I be tying to practise? Would it always be one mixed wing and one built wing?

    Thanks! Sorry about the long post. Frank

    1. Robert VerkerkRobert Verkerk Post author

      Dear Frank, thank you for your kind words. To answer your question, Dee’s and Spey flies are also classics. For the competition next year, we may consider to add additional categories, as Spey/Dee flies require a skill set of their own. We’ll decide in due time. A ‘classic’ salmon fly, as per this website’s focus, is an Atlantic salmon pattern, usually created in the UK or Europe, before 1940.

      Lets continue this discussion on Facebook, I know you are a member of the group 🙂

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