In 2008 the first German Fly Festival was held at the amazingly beautiful and picturesque Schloss Wotersen. There was lots of fly tying and casting demos as well as international speakers and this is where Mel Krieger held his last casting demo.
Skip forward six years and finally the next German Fly Festival could be organised by Bernd Ziesche, Alexander Knecht and their friends. The 2014 festival was held last weekend over the 17th and 18th of May. This years programme wasn't short of being impressive and visitors could see demonstrations of fly casters and fly tyers from all over the world.
Three members of the Partridge Pro team attended the show and were amongst the fly tiers there showcasing their work:
Andreas Andersson (Sweden) - showed his amazing deer hair flies. A true master to watch in a very specialised field of flytying.
André Miegies (Netherlands) - presented his best salmon flies and large streamers and got much attention from the visitors.
Thomas Züllich (Norway) - showcased his simple yet effective dry fly patterns based on arctic hare fur as the key material.
Thomas said of the show, "The level of tying and casting I had the chance to see was stunning. I was amazed by the variety of tying on display. Salmon classics, pike flies, sea trout specials and the tiny creations on the smallest of hooks.
I really would have wished for more time to see the colleagues, but we were all constantly busy. The visitors took a very big interest in the details of our work. I had so much fishing talk that my head literally swirled after the long days. However, I was sad when it ended after two days and I´d say all are looking very much forward to the next show"
For Andreas it was the first time he had visited Germany so accepting the invitation to demonstrate his deerhair flytying at the festival was an easy decision. He flew to Hamburg a day early and after some flytying in his hotel room, met with two other fly tyers including our own Pro team member, André Miegies.
"Saturday morning we arrived early at the location which was Castle Wotersen just a short drive from Hamburg. A big yellow baroque castle with big lawns and a big square pond made a truly beautiful setting... perfect blue skies did not hurt either!
I set up my tying area right away and was happy to find out that for once i had not forgotten anything. I tied a number of flies throughout the weekend. Colourful deerhair divers on the Absolute Predator X and the Attitude Extra, mouse patterns on the Universal Predator and more.
The German crowd was very thoughtful, polite and asked a lot of questions. My style of flytying is time consuming yet I still had many people staying for well over an hour at my tyingstation on several occasions during the weekend - that kind of interest in my work makes me feel so thankful and happy.
I did at a few times manage to sneak away from the vise to watch the other tyers and casting instructors. There where just so many highly skilled and talented people in the same place that i wished i would have had more time to see them all.
The festival organisers Bernd Ziesche and Alex Knecht did a great job. My feeling sitting on the plane back home was that i learned a lot, made a lot of new friends and sure hope to come back next time.
Now its time for me to get back to my tyingdesk at home."
Images curtesy of Hans Weilenmann, Bernd Ziesche and Andreas Andersson.