This is my portrait of the late great Norwegian fly tyer, Erling Sand at his tying bench in his fly shop. He spent many hours each day tying flies to order, and building up his shop stock, if you look carefully at the photo you can see his own designed arm supports hanging from the ceiling, one each side of his vice. He would tie with his elbows resting in the elasticated supports to make tying for hours more comfortable. Erling Sand is responsible for many of the classic Norwegian fly patterns and along with his farther Jon Sand are now Norwegian fly tying legends. Without doubt his most famous pattern is ‘Verre enn minken’ translated, ‘Worse than a mink’ The story goes… The first day this fly was made, it was tried by Erling in his local river åa, one evening. He caught a fish immediately and fish followed fish! A little down stream from him stood a ‘Towny’ who for several hours had been casting to a large rising trout, that wouldn’t take anything he offered, be it wet or dry. Seeing how effective the man upstream was fishing, he asked Erling if he would like to try a cast to the rising leviathan. The fish took his new fly on the first cast, where on, the ‘towny’ let out an enthusiastic, ‘That fly is worse than a mink’. And thats how it got it’s name…
- Hook: Mustad R30U # 16-12
- Tail: Dark brown cock hackle fibres
- Body: Mustard yellow dyed condor quill (goose or turkey sub)
- Hackle: Darkest possible brown cock hackle
- Wing: Brown duck lighter than hackle
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