How did you get into tying flies?
My journey into fly tying was an organic evolution that occurred after I fell in love with the art of fly casting and fly fishing. I wanted to be involved in every aspect of the angling experience, from designing the fly to the moment of a strike. Fly tying allowed me to be a creator, to translate my ideas into meticulously crafted flies. It added an artistic dimension to the sport and provided an avenue for personal expression. Determined to embark on my journey into fly tying, I initially began by delving into books and online resources. However, the pivotal moments were shaped by the kindness of a few key individuals who were willing to share their wisdom and expertise, demonstrate techniques, and offer valuable insights into the world of fly tying. Their guidance and mentorship not only jump-started my journey into fly tying but also exemplified the genuine sense of community and shared passion that defines the world of fly fishing. This journey continues to be an incredible adventure, one that is marked by both the art of creation and the connections forged with fellow anglers along the way.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Species: Marble Trout
Follow Shane on Instagram @fur_flies
Marko Milosevic was born and raised in the heart of Serbia. “Due to a career as a professional volleyball player and coach, I ended up in Oslo, Norway, and that has been my home for the last 17 years, where I've built a life with my wife and two incredible daughters.” Marko can often be found exploring the local fjords and rivers in pursuit of seatrout, brown trout, grayling, and salmon. “I like to think of myself as an all-around fly angler. From euro nymphing to delicately presenting dry flies, and then switching gears to the excitement of streamer fishing and swinging tube flies for salmon - I've got my hands in all the pots.” Marko describes his fly tying as a blend of tradition and innovation, “a style that pays homage to my Balkan roots while embracing the vibes and inspirations from the Nordic fly tying scene. It's a journey I cherish, appreciating the best of both scenes with every wrap of the thread.”
Why do you enjoy tying flies?
Fly tying is my place of meditation, where I find relaxation and mindfulness. The process of crafting each fly allows me to escape the stresses of daily life. It's also where I nurture my hopes for the fishing season by creating flies that are perfectly suited to my needs. I like to think that each fly I tie is a promise of adventure, a beacon of hope that will bring unforgettable moments. I can't help but picture the exhilarating moments I'll experience when these flies finally hit the water. I also enjoy the fact that fly tying involves a constant learning process. The world of fly tying is an ever evolving one, with new techniques, tools, materials, and patterns continuously emerging. The ability to personalize each fly, coupled with the craftsmanship and creativity involved, makes fly tying deeply enjoyable and fulfilling. The fly tying community is an invaluable component of my enjoyment. It's not only providing opportunities for learning but also serves as a wellspring of knowledge and expertise. Engaging with experienced fly tiers, while at the same time helping beginners, is a truly wonderful aspect of this hobby. In essence, fly tying is my sanctuary where meditation, hope, creativity, learning, and the fly tying community converge.
How did you get into tying flies?
Any big inspirations or fly tiers you admire?
The roots of my love for fishing go deep, nurtured by the passion of my mom and uncle, who instilled in me the joy and wonder of casting lines into the water. As for fly tying, numerous figures have played a crucial role in shaping my style.
Rasmus Ovesen is another figure who has been a constant source of inspiration. His extensive fishing experiences around the world and his key role in In the Loop Magazine make him a truly captivating personality. The global perspective he brings to the art of fly tying has broadened my horizons and encouraged me to explore diverse techniques.
Jure Ramovz holds a special place in my heart as “my streamer guy”. His expertise with streamers and ridiculously good casting skills has been a guiding light, influencing not only my patterns but also enhancing my overall approach to fly tying and fly casting. Runar Kabbe and Eivind Berlufsen, the local seatrout gurus, have been a great inspiration as well. Their insights into targeting seatrout in Norwegian waters have enriched my knowledge and contributed to the success of my patterns in the local fjords.
Matt Callies, whose approach to fly tying resonates deeply with me, has also been a huge inspiration to me. His emphasis on creativity has fueled my own desire to inject personality into every fly I tie. His innovative spirit has encouraged me to think outside the box and push the boundaries.
And then there's Savo Martinovic, a true legend in the Balkan fly fishing community at 90 years old. His wisdom and experience have not only deepened my connection to my Balkan roots but have also instilled a sense of tradition and authenticity in my flies.
These individuals, each a luminary in their own right, continue to inspire and guide me through every chapter of my fly tying story. Their wisdom, creativity, and deep passion for the sport have not only defined my style but have also fueled a deep appreciation for the diverse and vibrant community that surrounds fly fishing.
Any advice for new fly tyers?
First of all, don't hesitate to reach out to experienced fly tyers via social media platforms and online forums. The fly tying community is incredibly welcoming and supportive. It's a fantastic way to connect with experienced tyers who are often more than willing to share their knowledge and insights (sometimes even materials). Networking with fellow fly tyers can be an invaluable source of guidance and inspiration. It's essential to decide what type of flies you want to tie. Understand your fly tying goals and the specific patterns you'd like to create. This will help you focus your efforts and resources more effectively. For instance, check out CDC (Cul de Canard) feathers. CDC is a fantastic choice due to their versatility. These feathers offer a wide array of options, allowing you to tie everything from delicate nymphs, lifelike adult mayfly imitations, and robust caddis flies to small streamers. For me, personally, it was important to invest in proper tools. Having the right equipment makes the process more enjoyable. Good vise, sharp scissors, a reliable bobbin, and other essential tools should not only meet your needs but also inspire you to use them repeatedly. Think of them as the cornerstone of your work, making up a considerable part of the success in crafting flies you're proud of. Tie flies, eat, sleep – repeat!
Your fly tying photos are some of the best in the industry, any advice to fly tyers who are interested in leveling up their photography game?
Thank you for the compliment. For me it is all about exploration, experimentation, and very much learning from failures. I was fortunate to receive some tips along the way, but much of it was a DIY experience. The best advice I can offer to fellow fly tyers looking to level up their photography game is to be open to trying new things. Don't be afraid to set up your own shots with different lighting conditions, angles, and backgrounds. This hands-on approach can lead to discoveries and techniques that work optimally for your specific needs. Whether you're using natural light, artificial lighting, or a combination of both, each setup can create unique effects. So, don't hesitate to step out of your comfort zone, explore different options, or turn to the possibilities offered by post-processing tools to enhance your images further. Photography, like fly tying, continuously evolves, and there's always room for improvement. So, keep an open mind, never stop exploring, and enjoy the process of learning.
What is your favorite species to chase and why?
That's a tough question. I truly enjoy a variety of fishing experiences throughout the year, and each season offers unique opportunities. From October to April, I find myself drawn to the thrill of chasing seatrout in the local fjords. As the season transitions to May through October, my focus shifts towards river environments. During this time, I have a chance to target a diverse range of species, including brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and grayling. Each of these fish represents its own set of challenges and rewards. Yet, if I were to select one species as my absolute favorite, it would undoubtedly be the marble trout. The marble trout's unique and striking appearance, its elusiveness, and the stunning alpine landscapes in Slovenia, where they are found, make it a truly special species to target. The opportunity to navigate its habitat, understand its behavior, and strategically fly fish for this remarkable species keeps me constantly engaged and eager to learn more.
What is your favorite piece of water to fish and why?
It has to be the beautiful, turquoise River Idrijca in Slovenia. It holds a special place in my heart for several reasons. First and foremost, the River Idrijca is an absolute gem when it comes to fishing opportunities. The river offers a diverse range of fishing possibilities that cater to various preferences and techniques. Whether it's fly fishing for big marble trout, brown trout, grayling or rainbow trout, the River Idrijca provides an array of exciting challenges. And the fact that the water is crystalline and clear sets the stage for an extremely visual fishery where stealth, precision, and calm-nerves are required to succeed. Idrijca´s breathtaking natural surroundings, and the crystal-clear emerald waters that flow through serene valleys and lush forests, create an ambiance that feels almost surreal.
What are some of the challenges our fisheries face that are important to you?
Our fisheries are facing threats on multiple different fronts – from pollution, habitat degradation, and overfishing to microplastics, energy appropriation and climate change. Locally, the fjords (and their stocks of anadromous salmonids) are struggling from pollution, overfishing, and the loss of spawning habitat. For decades one creek, tributary, and river after the other have been sacrificed in order to expand infrastructure and pave the road for industrialism. This seriously affects the proliferation of local trout and salmon populations, which are dependent on free passage to suitable spawning habitat.
In Norway, hydro power – especially small-scale hydro power, which, tragically, only accounts for a slight fraction of the collective energy production – poses a great threat to anadromous fish stocks. They simply create impassable barriers that prevent the fish from reaching the most productive spawning habitat.
However, the main threat to anadromous fish populations in Norway is open net-pen salmon farming. These fish farms are sea-lice proliferators, and – being placed in the fjords – local sea trout and salmon fry have to pass them to get to sea. In doing so, they get infested and eaten up by sea-lice. Furthermore, the open-pen salmon farms seriously degrade the marine aquatic environments by polluting the sea floor and oozing chemicals, pesticides, and medicines into the fjords. Lastly, genetically manipulated escapee salmon from these open net-pen salmon farms threaten to dilute the genetically pure strains of salmon, which have carefully evolved through selective processes over hundreds of thousands of years to become perfectly adapted to local environments and river habitats. The result is unfit salmon stocks that are less likely to survive and thrive in the wild.
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