Franz Xaver Ortner, Austria

Franz Xaver Ortner, Austria

My first contact with fly fishing was as a young boy watching, on the Mühlheimer Ache in Austria, American troops swinging their rods and catching fish which they had us bring to shore. A few years later, following less-than-legal fishing activities typical of adolescent boys, fishing was forgotten. Many years later, I began seriously fishing for everything with fins. Tying my first nymphs for char and whitefish led to my first contact with tying dry flies and fly fishing. Since then, I have tested with abandon everything which might be used as tying material. Extending further afield brought me to many Austrian fly-fishing waters.

For about 30 years, I have been demonstrating fly tying at exhibitions and shows and have managed to gain first and other placings at international fly tying contests.

My initial attempts at scanning natural insect wings, developing the images on film, cutting them out, and incorporating them into flies brought surprising success at international tying competitions for realistic flies. Otherwise, my palette of tied flies ranges from size 28 midges to jointed streamers 25 cm long.
Occasionally I tie, for illustrations, flies (with V-wings!) on the smallest hooks (size 36) made by Mustad.
My quickest-to-tie fly, the Schlitter sedge “(Fast Food)” took me only 76 seconds to tie in a test in front of witnesses.

In addition to the restoration and repair of rods and reels of all kinds, picture painting (mostly hobby-related, of fish, salmon flies, etc.) in various media, I have led, for more than 25 years, the Salzburg Fly Tying Club, where, to my great pleasure, fly tyers just out of the sub-imago stage make their way from table to table to become fully fly-tying imagos.

My generosity in help and deed not just in fishing, but also in added humor along the way, have gained me the reputation of a fly-tying entertainer among colleagues and friends.