Born in 1959 in the Banater Bergland, but with Styrian roots, I started my fly fishing and fly tying career very early. Since a river (the Bersau) crossed my birthplace and I spent a lot of free time on its banks, the tendency to fish was there very soon. At that time there was no internet and only one TV channel. As a child and later as a teenager, I looked for something to do in my free time. Somehow it was nature that was magical for me. My grandfather and my father, both very close to nature, contributed a lot to me spending a lot of time in nature.
The fishing thing came kind of naturally: Together with other young people, I fished with natural lures. I came to fly fishing by chance and also out of need and lack of natural lures. A friend of my father’s, who was familiar with fly tying and fly fishing and whom we once met on the water, introduced me to this “new” world. As an 11-year-old at that time, I was already enthusiastic about it. It was not difficult either. Fly tying came very easily to me. Apparently, I had inherited some craftsmanship from the family, as most of them had a handicraft trade. The long summer holidays also came in handy, with plenty of time for fly tying and fishing. In the beginning I didn’t have any tools for it and had to hold the hook in my left hand to make the fly. Materials, catalogues and everything you know today were not available back then. Grandmother’s sewing box and the own poultry farm were the sources of materials. Trade magazines and instructions did not exist at that time. Despite all the obstacles, I have remained faithful to fly fishing and this wonderful creature, the fish, to this day.
Also in my home of choice, Bavaria, where I moved in 1990, I have never stopped fishing and tying, and I have not forgotten everything I learned as a child. It still works today, despite new tying techniques and materials. Grey and black patterns and the wet fly never let you down. Having moved to Karlsfeld for work, I enjoy fly fishing in the stream on my doorstep (in the Würm) but also in other waters. I mainly fish for trout and grayling and have also pulled the odd pike out of the water. However, I prefer fishing in the mountain waters (both in Bavaria and Austria), where fly fishing is a challenge and a lot of tact and experience is required in the torrential streams.
My motto: “There is no such thing as a bad fly” is something I try to convey to every fly fisherman. The best fly – visually speaking – without a suitable guide is not worth much. You just have to keep at it and, more importantly, stay original. Fly tying is, in my opinion, a creative and wonderful hobby.