donderdag 26 februari 2009


There are plenty lean and mean Bonefish shrimp patterns out there in the world of fly tying.
You have swimming shrimp, classy bitters with their epoxy body and rubber legs, mini puffs that just seem to imitate tiny critters that dwell on the surf's floor, Ruoffs Absolute Flea that has become somewhat of a legend in the Keys and McQuades Banded Shrimp, a truely lifelike looking pattern that confuses Permit and Bones alike in Mexico and Belize.

Tied them all and more, but after five neat and disciplined copies of one pattern I like to to tie something that is more or less mine and that just might work. I will get my chance to prove it come April when I will be teasing the bones on Eleuthera's shores in the Bahamas. So here is the Esox Boneshrimp. Fingers crossed and blessed be.

I once did an article on a suspending shrimp pattern tied on a circle hook. The floating shrimp would be fished on a sinking line, with a small amount of tungsten putty on the tippet. Just so that the shrimp would hover right above the ground. It proved to be a very effective way to entice fish. The circle hook will ensure the fish hooking itself once it takes of with the shrimp.

[Below] In the schedule of this particular pattern 'H' would be a piece of high boyant pinkish foam that would ensure the final shrimp pattern to float like cork. One would need to be sparse on the epoxy coating as that material, however nice the finish, will make a fly sink.
The arsenal of course has a lot more in the box than crabs and shrimps alone. Although I do mean to go into the whole 'shrimping business' with my buddy Bubba...

Common prawn - Palaemon serratus

woensdag 25 februari 2009


An evening in my 'outdoor office' flyfishing with my buddy Bert for Bream and Ide in the great Haringvliet in the Netherlands. Bert, member of the Dutch Flyfishing Team, is a power caster. Here he is holding the better part of twenty meters of flyline in the air, ready to haul on his forward cast and shoot line.

My biggest Ide (Leuciscus idus or Winde in Dutch, Aland in German, Ide mélanote en Français) on the fly to date. A very heavy fish of 55 cm caught on a #4 flyroad and a tiny silverhead and black nymph.

After such a catch you sit yourself down and just gaze around awhile, utterly satisfied. The fish swims again unharmed.

Bert showing a smaller Ide.

Ides are of the family of Cyprinidae and live in small schools in the freshwater parts of the great Haringvliet in the Netherlands. They are predatory and feed on crustaceans, insects and small minnows. We were flyfishing for Bream and Rudd along the shores of the Haringvliet. Like Ide April and May is their time to appear in the shallows along the reeds to spawn. It is the most prolific period to flyfish for these species.

One has to make do on days when one is fishing alone. 'Faire tableau' is the French term used in hunting to display a day's 'harvest'. The fish displayed here swim again with no harm done whatsoever. An hour's catch in the late evening along the shores of the great Haringvliet in the Netherlands.

In the evening sun the golden bream (Abramis brama or Brasem in Dutch) does its name proud.

A barbless goldheaded, green fluorescent nymph (left one) caught these three.


PUT YOUR MONEY ON THE BANK, BUT DON’T BANK ON IT!The fall of 2008: brittle bills in autumnal colours present zero value

People lost vast sums of money in what will be known as the American banking crisis of 2008, now a full blown monetary depression in the whole of the Western economy, including China. Example: a friend of mine lost 90.000,00 Euros (126.130,45 USDollars) in stocks over a period of five months. This was no wealthy juppy trader for who such a bleeding presented just a minor scratch. This friend now has no pension left whatsoever. His stocks will not go up again in tread with the ups and downs of the illusive trading market, as we are led to believe. No, his stocks are no more, they are ex-stocks, his stocks have gone to meet their maker. Vanished, gone with the wind.

Many (Dutch) pensionfunds, once considered the pillars of finance and wealthy beyond belief, are now in serious debt, not able to match the pensions of those who contributed to their expansion with a sense of trust and comfort about their future finances. Those contributors were robbed out of a secure old age. And those who did the robbing are not being held accountable. In the world of flawed accountancy the real culprits remain at large, flying business class.

European IceSave adventurers will, in the majority of the cases (the fortunate cases), only see up to 100.000,00 Euros of their lost savings refunded. A Dutch saver will receive 20.000,00 Euros from the Iceland government and 80.000,00 Euros from the Dutch government. If you were unlucky enough to have trusted this frigid bank with more than 100.000,00 Euros, it’s adios, adios my little darlings. Gone with the northern winds.

All over the Netherlands large banks are battling each other to the death over the meagre savings of the Dutch. As current interest rates are poor, many choose to cash in stocks, deplete bank accounts and go back to that traditional nest-egg in the form of a knitted sock or two filled to the rim, stacked away in impossible places.
‘Come save with me’, that merry banking tune has lost much of its appeal. The large financial institutes have major repairs to do before any sucker will do a deposit worth mentioning again.

Have a safe year. With lots of interest.

zaterdag 21 februari 2009


The lack of a comprehensible 'back door policy' in Holland's controversial stand on the purchase of soft drugs no longer divides the majority of Dutch mayors.

Rob van Gijzel, the Mayor of Eindhoven, launched his plan to legalize cannabis supply to so called coffee shops in the Netherlands. He did so at a recent mayor’s summit in the city of Almere in the Netherlands. The ‘Weed Summit’ in Almere was organized by the local authorities association and the city of Maastricht to discuss the Netherlands’ current policy of turning a blind eye to the sale of small quantities of marijuana in licenced cafes known as coffee shops.

The 'Weed Summit' was called after borderline cities such as Roosendaal, Maastricht and Bergen op Zoom announced plans to shut all their coffee shops in the next two years to combat drugs tourism and criminal activity. They complain that the legions of French and Belgians who come every year for a puff of weed or dash of hash are often badly behaved. Worse still, they are targeted by ‘drugs runners’ who lure them away from legal outlets to back-door suppliers that offer harder, illegal drugs.

Health minister Ab Klink has stated that an experiment with licenced cannabis growers in Eindhoven would conflict with the Dutch coalition agreement but that he is prepared to look more closely at the plan and discuss it with the rest of the cabinet.
Closing down Dutch coffee shops is not a solution to drugs tourism and will not change the fact that most marijuana is supplied by criminal gangs, the mayors in their summit concluded. ‘It will only lead to more crime,’ says Maastricht mayor Gerd Leers. ‘And I do not believe that it will mean that people smoke less (pot).’

Amsterdam's mayor, Job Cohen, remains in favour of permitting the sale of soft drugs. ‘There should be a controlled system in which it is clear where soft drugs come from’, he said. Many Dutch also want the tolerant approach to remain in place, with a newspaper poll this week showing 80 per cent of Dutch opposing coffee shop closures. Experts agree that a ban is not the answer. ‘A ban is even more dangerous than the grass itself because consumers will turn to illegal circuits and criminality will explode’, said Tim Boekhout, a criminologist.

[source: NRC Handelsblad/]