Hans Weilenmann

   Born on 18 June 1954 in Winterthur, Switzerland he subsequently moved
at an early age to the Netherlands where he currently resides in
Amstelveen, The Netherlands.  He is husband to Samina and father to
Mikhail, with a second child due July 1996.  When not flyfishing or tying
he works as a computer specialist at Elsevier Science b.v., a scientific
publishing house, where he actually gets paid for spending time on another
hobby: computers and networks.

   He took up fishing early at he age of six conquering carp and pike in
the native water of the Netherlands. At eighteen he decided to take up
flyfishing. In order to learn to cast "properly" with a flyrod, he joined
Casting Club of Amsterdam. This lead to participation in national and
international casting tournaments. As a member of the Dutch casting team
he has participated in European and World Championships. While no
longer active in tournaments, Hans still teaches flycasting and the
techniques and styles of casting remain a strong area of interest for him.

   For his flyfishing he mostly travels to Germany or the British Isles,
while longer fishing trips have taken him to the rivers and streams in
other parts of Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand.  While he enjoys
fishing with his bamboo rods, a trip to New Zealand has made him a
convinced convert to the practical advantages of travelling/fishing with
pack rods.

   He began tying flies in 1972, trying out many techniques and styles. The
number of flyboxes in his vest steadily grew. As a result the weight of his
vest acquired semi-legendary status among his friends and became a
source of concern for many of the major airlines. One story goes that a
fellow angler short of flies removed half of Hans' flies surreptitiously
and Hans was none the wiser.  Only after years of guilt was this revealed
to Hans who expressed surprize at this undetected loss.  

   After those frantic early no-holds-barred years he decided to focus his
tying skills and concentrate on producing flies that catch fish under a
wide range of conditions and were uncomplicated yet elegant. In his words:
Flies to catch fish, not fishermen.His tying is based on a few simple rules
which his fishing flies have to meet:
1. Quick and easy to tie. (No point in spending half an hour making a
troutfly, only to loose it in seconds to a branch or rock)
2. To use only (good quality) materials which are inexpensive and easily
obtained. (Patterns which specify the use of whiskers of a muskrat simply
don't cut it)
3. Balanced, well proportioned appearance. (Behave well during casting and
4. Suggest something of sufficient protein content to interest a fish. The
key word here is  suggest'.  (The fish has to take the fly before you can
hook it)
5. Durable.  (Flies put together should stay together)
6. If a dry fly, it should float well. If a wet, nymph or streamer, it
cut through the surface film cleanly.  (Make sure the design and choice of
materials is suited to the task)

   He has found kindred spirits in the Dutch American Association of Fly
Tiers (D.A.A.F.T.), a dedicated group of flytiers with a sense of humour.  
One annual D.A.A.F.T. tying event Hans has really enjoyed the last few
years would be when Leo Lambrichs, the past proprietor of the Kelson
Collection of rare bird feathers would bring unusual selections of feathers
for the tiers to use in creating new patterns. Sadly Leo died unexpectedly
late 1995 and the "Crazy Feather Day" may be a thing of the past.

   Hans places his tying firmly in the impressionistic corner, wondering
how tiers  who tie super-realistic patterns imitating naturals as closely
as they possibly can, manage to reason away this strange bit of curved
protruding from the back of their creations.  His flies utilize almost
exclusively natural materials, as he prefers the variegated colors and
structures found in nature over the mostly uniform color and structure of
synthetics. There are very few insects of a solid color, so why  not copy
this mix of colors in your imitations. This does not mean that synthetics
are never used, because they may have other properties which are desirable,
but natural materials are the bread and butter in his tying. The natural
materials are used both "as is" and dyed. Hans is particularly fond of the
beautiful olive color which is the result of using picric acid as the dye.
Olive dyed partridge, pine squirrel, hare, rabbit and mole are used

   He has been teaching tying classes for many years now and finds teaching
flytying not only enjoyable to do, but it also yields benefits for his own
tying.  In his words " It forces one to examine and re-examine the reasons
why one prefers one method or technique over an other. If you cannot
explain why to yourself, then how can you expect to convince somebody

   When asked about the way in which he learned to tie flies he explains
that he is mostly self taught. In the early seventies books on flytying
scarce in Holland, and those which were available were pretty basic.
Flytying videos completely unheard of. Later on, as a flood of flytying
books became available and contact with other tiers (domestic and
international) became more frequent, different styles and techniques were
observed, and where appropriate, taken on board. 

   He has demonstrated at a number of shows in Europe, including all the
FlyFairs. (The FlyFair is Europe's largest international outdoor flyfishing
show) In the US he has been a tier at several of the FFF national conclaves
and the International Fly Tyers Symposiums.

   His articles and flies have appeared in several English, German and US
magazines. Six of his favorite flies can be found in his chapter in The
Worlds's Best Trout Flies, edited by John Roberts.

Using good quality materials make tying neat flies easier. Likewise, good
tools make for a more enjoyable (and more productive) session at the tying
bench. Hans cites a good chair,  light, vise, scissors and hackle pliers as
essential tools which should be the best one can afford. He calls himself
sometimes the Man of Many Vices (the English spelling being preferred
because it has more  room to manoeuvre'.   He has bought and used over the
years many a vise, looking for the ultimate tying tool. He believes he has
found it in the British made LAW vise. Hans collaborated with the maker,
Lawrence A. Waldron, in developing the vise and both men have been very
pleased with the result.

Pet peeve: Tiers who take themselves and their tying too seriously. 
Favorite place to fish: New Zealand's South Island.  Other interests
include reading, listening to music, (macro) photograpy and eating ice

   A design which has become a signature fly for him is the CDC and Elk, a
fly patterned after the Elk Hair Caddis.  It incorporates a whole CDC
feather, including the stem into the body and hackle. Not so much to
enhance floatation, although it does that also, but more to increase the
like action of the fly with the wispy CDC ends.

                                The CDC & Elk

The required list of materials is pretty short: standard dry-fly hook,
thread, CDC feather (natural or dyed) and fine-tipped deer hair.

Tying instructions:

+   Attach the thread halfway down the hook shank and run
     backwards to the bend.
+   Select a CDC feather of the required color and size. (The
     longest barbule approx. 2 times shank-length) Hold the CDC
     feather at the butt and, by stroking the feather between
     thumb and index finger towards the tip, bunch the tips
+   Tie in the bunch, butt pointing backwards. Tie down with
     two turns, then slip a third turn under the tips and a
     fourth turn over the barbules, just forward of the third.
     This will lock the CDC barbules in place and prevent them
     from coming loose. Spiral thread forward to eye, then back
     one turn.
+   Clamp butt with hackle pliers and wind the CDC feather
     towards the eye in touching turns. You will find that the
     rear half of the body will resemble a dubbed one, but as
     you progress towards the eye, more and more free barbules
     appear. Stroke these backwards with each turn. A little
     practice will enable you to arrive at the eye with only the
     bare part of the stem left.
+   Tie off with one tight turn of thread, unclip the hackle
     but do not trim yet. Tighten with a second and third turn
     of thread. You will see that the CDC butt will move with
     the thread, securing the tie-off point. Clip the CDC butt.
+   Finish off as a regular EHC. I like to trim the deer-hair
     to the required length before tying it in. Your mileage may

His favorite flies include the following and they are suitable for all
of moving water.

CDC&Elk   (Hans Weilenmann)
CDC Micro Caddis   (Ronald Leyzen)
#12 Sparrow (Jack Gartside pattern)
#15 Baloon Emerger (Roman Moser pattern)
#14 March Brown Spider (Traditional pattern)
#14 Partridge and Orange Spider (Semi-traditional pattern)
#12 Partridge and Olive Emerger (Semi-traditional pattern)
Olive GRHE Nymph   (Semi traditional)
#15 Hairwing Dun (Rene Harrop pattern)
#15 Snowflake Dun (Roman Moser pattern)
#28 Pheasant Tail nymph (Frank Sawyer pattern)
#12 Grizzly Sledgehammer  (Hans Weilenmann)
Pale Watery Thoraxfly   (Hans Weilenmann)
Dark Kyll   (Hans Weilenmann)
Jakobpattern   (Jaap van der Heijden)
Westward Bug   (Bob Church)
Scampi   (Hans Weilenmann)
Edie   (Hans Weilenmann)
R.S. Emerger   (Hans Weilenmann)
Muddler Minnow   (Don Gapen)

Here are a few of Hans' patterns in more detail:
                                Dark Kyll

 He first tied these up in the late seventies to imitate perhaps the most
important early season mayfly in western Europe, the Large Dark Olive
(Baetis Rhodani) The name is derived from the river he fished it the first
time.  The Kyll is a smallish rain-fed river in the western part of
Germany, not too far from Luxembourg. Through the years it has proved
to be a reliable producer.

Hook              TMC 102Y #11
Thread:      Brown
Tails:       4 Moose body hair strands, tied in split style - two on each
Body:        Dark brown dubbing
Hackle:      Brown, wound in open spiral over the front half of the
             dubbed body
Wing:        Single upright clump of lemon woodduck

After finishing the fly, the hackle is trimmed underneath the hookshank, as
is customary for a Thorax style dry fly.

                                 Pale Watery

Hook:        #14-#16 (Suggested hook for this fly: a nickel plated ring
             eye dry fly hook, made by Sprite, Redditch, UK)
Thread:      Primrose 6/0 or 8/0
Wing:        Doubled section of light grey turkey 'flat', tied upright as a
             single wing at about one-third of the shank
Tails:       4 Moose body hair strands, tied in split style - two on each
Body              Pale cream dubbing, with a faint yellowish-olive cast
Hackle:      Sandy dun, wound in open turns back and front of the wing. 

After finishing the fly, the hackle is trimmed underneath the hookshank, as
is customary for a Thorax style dry fly.
   This article was written by L. Grandison, Highland Park ,N.J. with the
consent and cooperation of Hans Weilenmann 5/21/96.  This article may be
freely copied and distributed with acknowledgement of it source.
Lindsey Grandison                Internet: grandiso@umdnj.edu
Physiology & Biophysics                    Voice: (908) 235-4603
UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School  FAX:   (908) 235-5038    
675 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-5635