Hans van Klinken
by Paul Marriner
| Hans van
Klinken and his wife Ina live in Harskamp, a little village in the centre of Holland. He
is forty-two years old and works for the Dutch army commanding a large simulation system.
Hans and Ina have no children.
Hans began bait angling at the age of six in a nearby lowland brook. Seven years later, during a family holiday in Norway and while using a spoon, came his first salmon (9 kg). In 1971 he began fly-fishing for Arctic char and Atlantic salmon using his father's cane rod and by age sixteen he was travelling alone to fish in Scandinavia. As a schoolboy with plenty of spare time, Hans spent most of it in the northern part of Norway, Sweden and Finland and developed an addiction for the outdoor life. His greatest outdoor experience was during 1975 when he stayed for almost four months in the wilderness of Northern Lapland. Here he learned how to survive in the forest and on the tundra. His teacher was an old Lap and they communicated with their hands and feet.
Hans began fly-tying in 1976. By the early eighties he was creating his own designs, mostly parachutes. This preference eventually led to several unusual patterns and tying techniques. It would be another four years before he fully recognized the value of other flies, like nymphs, streamers and emergers. Unlike most European fly-fishers, Hans' first salmon and sea trout were caught on dry flies. Thus, he was forced to go his own way, and he credits his twenty-six years of Scandinavian experience for much of his fly-fishing and fly-tying skills.
After nearly ten years of fishing in Scandinavia, Hans began travelling to other European countries such as Ireland, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland. The success of the large patterns developed for Scandinavian fishing was immediate. In 1981 he married Ina and moved for five years to the north of Germany. Now even closer to Scandinavia more time on the water was possible and fly-fishing became an obsession. A result of this additional experience was involvement in writing about flies and his travels. Then, Hans became a member of the editorial staff of the Dutch Fly fishing magazine and Dutch-area secretary of the Grayling Society and started giving lectures, tying demonstrations and workshops. For the last two years he has travelled to Canada to test his patterns on Canadian Atlantic salmon, trout, shad and smallmouth bass.
Hans' favourite patterns are parachutes, emergers and realistic nymphs. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about fly-fishing and fly-tying and is particularly skilled in the taking of Atlantic salmon and grayling on dry flies. Although having dabbled in the classic salmon fly world, by 1990 he was concentrating on workshops for river fishing and tying classes for realistic and effective fishing patterns. Since then, Hans has given several classes in the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Canada, and U.S.A.
He has written for several international and club magazines as well as contributing to several books by his friends, such as The World's Best Trout Flies by John Roberts, Fly Tyers Masterclass by Oliver Edwards and Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies by Paul Marriner. Hans van Klinken's best-known known patterns are the L.T series, the Klinkhamer Special, Leadhead grayling bugs, the Caseless Caddis, the Remerger, the Para-poly sedge, the Baetis nymph, the Once and Away, and the Culard series. Less well known are his productive series of salmon patterns, of which many are dries.
Text by Paul Marriner and photos by Ina van Klinken
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