We’re excited to introduce you to another one of our newest fly designers, Onno Wieringa. Nearly 23 years old, Onno is just a baby, but is wildly fish-wise beyond his years and has been around the industry all his life. He has been a fishing guide and at Glacier Anglers since he was a teenager, showing clients from all over the world a good time at the Crown of the Continent. When he’s not on the water, he’s at the lab (his tying bench), stalking elk with his bow, skiing steep powder lines and reading his fan mail. (And studying global multicultural liberal studies and entrepreneurism at Montana State University in Bozeman when the weather’s bad.)
Onno says, “Most people start laughing when they see my room because there are hundreds of fly patterns hanging up on strings in plain view that I use for inspiration. For me, fly tying is a lifestyle and one of the most rewarding arts I have ever found. There is nothing more rewarding than tying up a hot new pattern and putting it to the test on some of the trickiest trout around.”
Onno’s most coveted pattern is the Rocky Mountain Bait Fish streamer. It’s so filthy we can’t show it here because it will break the Internet. (The truth is, we don’t want to reveal it until it’s actually in stores–it’s simply that insane.) We’ll tell you a bit about it, though. It’s a wounded minnow with realistic eyes, and a size that not only attracts big fish, but stimulates the smaller ambitious predators. Onno developed it over more than five years and it’s been proven time and again on sweeping tail waters like the Mighty Mo to Glacier Country’s cold freestones. The pattern is versatile enough to fish it under an indicator trailing a nymph or stonefly and it will bounce bottom in the fishy zone without hooking rocks. Plus, it’s lightweight and doesn’t hold too much water, so you’re not throwing a sponge.
Onno is also proud of his Playgirl minnow pattern. It is copper in color and has a unique stinger hook with a jig eyelet hole. Channel lead in the belly allows it to achieve depth without using a heavy sink tip. It’s Onno’s go-to fly for the fall and it drives the brown trout crazy. He says, “I feel that the Playgirl will soon become a favorite with guides in the West because of its ability to be easily thrown by clients without getting lost on the bottom and it rarely fails to roll big fish.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the Playgirl. Let’s slow clap her in.
We love helping these young designers get their start. With so much passion, time on the water and at the bench, we’re thrilled to see the positive influence many of these guys and gals have on the industry. We also appreciate their attention to conservation, river ethics willingness to listen and learn from the old school, and their dedication to keeping fly fishing strong well into the future. Onno is the exact representation of these things, and we hope you’ll get the chance to meet up with him out on the river some day.