Final report from the 26th Slovenian Open Fly Tying Championship (2013) & 15th National Fly Tying Championship
Fly-tying creates a bonding element unifying flyfishermen globally. Namely, the ‘fly’ as an object of permanent interest and desire for the fly-nuts out there, has reached a long way from its beginning. Although the primacy of the definition "artificial fly" as an imitation of riverine insect, has long been surpassed, it serves as an descriptor of "food-sources" we try to imitate. Wide spectrum of aquatic and water-related cycles creates a canvas that sets the tiers in front of a number of challenges. Thus some of them have found themselves in more imitative part of the spectrum, others in a more abstract one. On the other hand, some of the tiers swear by the uniqueness of the product, while others express their creativity in mastering the seemingly basic techniques to excellence. Well, for the contest with the tradition, such as the Slovenian Open Fly Tying Championship for the best artificial fly, all this is very important, but a master tier sets him apart by the excellence in all elements.
Slovenian Fishing Association (FAS) this year organized a 26th Slovenian Open Fly Tying Championship for the best artificial fly of the 2013 and 15th National Fly Tying Championship. We received 62 patterns, sent by tiers of eleven (11) countries: Austria, Canada, England, France, Italy, Kosovo, Germany, Serbia, Sweden, the United States of America and Slovenia. The tiers competed in diverse categories such as: dry flies, nymph/wet flies, streamers and realistic imitations.
The work was done in accordance with the Commission's Rules, by the established methodology based on the following tying elements - the symmetry of elements, quality and technical excellence, the adequacy of materials, general impression and innovation. After completing the evaluation, we recalculated the total number of points for each product and ranked them accordingly. Verification of coded flies and mapping the tiers personal data followed the ranking procedure. On this occasion, the jury consisting of Luka Hojnik (President), Bostjan Podbevšek, Denis Obad and MSc. Saša Erlih, would like to thank all participants for the effort and trust, which is essential for keeping this second oldest fly-tying competition in Europe alive.
The jury is proud of the fact that the Slovenian tiers achieved stunning results in a strong international competition, showing a positive trend in the quality of received flies from Slovenia. First and second place in an overall ranking, were achieved by already established Slovenian tiers, as well as some nice results of other Slovenian competitors. The overall winner of this year's competition (and second time in a row) is Mr. Aleš Lukmar, Slovenia, followed by a close second Vladimir Mikec- Miki, also from Slovenia.
We are also pleased by the thickening - growing level of the main field, which further suggests raising level of competition. Enviable quality of the products reappears by tiers from Germany with the winner in the category of larvae, streamers and dry flies as well as second place in the category of dry flies. We are particularly pleased to see a representative of the United States of America, Mr. Mitch Gunner-Svaty being the high second in a category “Nymphs/Wet Flies” and another third place for the tier from neighboring Austria – Mr. Karl Flick, placed third in a category “dry flies”.
"Laški Luci", tied by Aleš Lukmar in the category "Realistic imitations”, won the overall title of this year´s Open Championship, achieving 373 out of 400 points, the runner up was also from the category “Realistic flies” with "Rjavek-The Brownie", tied by Slovenian fly tying veteran Vladimir Mikec - Miki and overall third placed was the imitation "Summertime" by Alfons Schefhold from Germany in a category “Dry flies”.
In “Nymphs/Wet Flies” category Herold Holger from Germany took the first place with the imitation "Caddis pupa", followed by American Mitch Gunner - Svaty with his pattern "Dragnet", third place was taken by Slovenian young gun Simon Urbas with his "Angora green nymph".
In a “Streamers” category Herold Holger, Germany, took the first place with his streamer "Tandem Gelenk Pike Streamer”, with 343 points, followed by Simon Urbas from Slovenia with his "Rižana Steelhead" and the third placed was Italian Davide Sacchi with his creation "Phantom of Skeena".
In the National Fly Tying Championship, we would like to congratulate all new and multiple winners, as well as those who remained close to the podium. This year's prize - giving ceremony, opened for all participants, will be held in June near the one of the most beautiful Slovenian rivers. All participants will be informed about their results and about the details of the prize - giving ceremony by a formal letter, sent by post from the Fishing Association of Slovenia office. Billboards with all participating flies will be on display at the premises, where the ceremony will take place. The awarded flies will find their honorable place in special glass cabinets and join the award winning flies of past competitions.
On behalf of the fly tying jury we would like to thank to all participants and congratulate to the winners. We are proudly looking back on the work that has been accomplished during all 26 years and of course we are looking forward for the years to come.
We would also like to invite you to join the 27th Slovenian Open Fly Tying Championship 2014 – we wish you a warm welcome! And remember - deadline for sending your flies is 31st January 2014.
Report written by:
MSc. Saša Erlih
Member of FAS Fly-tying jury
President of FAS Fly-tying jury