Hans Van Klinken

Who introduced you to fly fishing?

Started all by myself at the age of 15 in Norway in 1971 when fishing the river Lagen.

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

In my home country there are no wild salmonides so the real fly fishing fanatics mainly fish for coarse fish with fly. My most favorite river is the river "Rijn" a huge river where it's possible to catch 9 different species of coarse fish in 1 day when lucky. The closest fishing for trout and grayling is 450km for me so I usually go abroad when I want to fish for salmonides. Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Bosnia and Italia are my favorites spots to go out for a week of fishing.

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

Since retirement, there hardly is a peak of the season for me anymore. I am now usually away from mid April till the end of October for workshops, classes, seminars, lectures, demonstrations and fishing. My favorite times for the northern hemisphere are May-June and September October. For tropical saltwater January and February and for tropical freshwater October.

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

Most favorite: Newfoundland and Labrador, Iceland Norway, Lapland, Malaysia, Cuba, Maldives, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Slovenia, Bosnia and Denmark. On my Bucket list: Lewis river Labrador, New Zealand, Patagonia and Amazone.

What you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

I love their durability and the low risk of breakage the most of any rod. Their enormous power and abilkity to land huge fish with light rods. I love the Helix most of all rods in the world and in my noble oppinion I think they were the best rods ever made on the globe. I fish 3 till 10 weight but most frequently I use weight 4 and 6. I fish all of them depending where I go. Most rod in use in order of importants to me: Helix, TNT, Horizon 2, Horizon, Apex, SC, Paradigm, LP and Vector.

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

I only have fly fishing tackle and equipment. It all depends where I am going. Waders not needed in tropical waters but indispendable in the arctic regions. Theer are too many little things that are extremely important to have with me when traveling and fishin. That's why I never will go without the materials listed in my special check lists for my most favorite locations. I have a list for each location I visit more frequently.

My favorite thing about guiding is:

I just do guiding by heart. True guiding is a natural gift. For me guiding has nothing to do with money but all about happiness and my eager to share knowledge and skill with other people and it doesn’t matter about people’s age and what I share with people doesn’t have to be about fly fishing too. Because what is wrong explaining people about the mystical call of the loon or share your secrets how to get real close with moose. Or telling people why moose and caribou swim across lakes and ponds or why you never hear an owl flying. Sharing knowledge about what fruit and plants are eatable and which you should avoid. It are the good lessons learned during all my army survival trainings too. For me guiding is a huge privilege and a clever way to be able to try bring people close with the wild again.

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

Saving time, making new friends, learning from other guides.

What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...

For me serious guiding first started after I had discovered to feel the same happiness or even more as the client who play and catch the fish. It’s a learning process that takes many years and a lot of time and that’s why my fly fishing attitude sometimes is hard to understand for those who just starting or still need their catches to prove themselves and building up skill. Helping a young kid to catch his first salmon or trout made me happier then catching one myself and it really makes my day. For me fly fishing also is having a nice shore lunch on the banks of the river and meet new friends and share your tales. Fly fishing can be anything as long you can feel the perfect harmony with the river, nature and wildlife.

What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

What I usually do is trying to find out a clients most favorite meal of all and then try to offer that as shore lunch. I pack everything that can prevent a terrible day for my client. (spare rod, lines, backing, lots flies, extra waterproof bags, leader kids, anything what can be helpful and useful when a client break a rod, lost a line etc...

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

At home, writing stories and articles, editing pictures and designing new flies and equipment for upcoming seasons.

Popular trip destinations:

Hans Van Klinken has been an innovative tyer since the 1970's. His best-known patterns are the large L.T. series, developed in Norway in the early eighties, these include the Klinkhåmer Special and ParaPoly Sedge.