The Munker

Published Jun 18th 2014

A very successful muddler tube fly for salmon and sea trout, particularly suited for slow water



Danish fly angler and fly-tyer Kim Sorensen is "a Guideline man" as he says, meaning that he is on Swedish Guideline's team of anglers and fly-tyers - what Guideline refers to as their Power Team. You can also find Kim on Facebook.

In that role Kim was fishing in the Swedish river Mörrum in 2011, and "no one was really catching anything" as he says.
At one point on of their Swedish hosts, Allan Bloch of the flyshop Fiskeshopen in Mörrum said:
"Now is it!"
He took them down to Mörrum's Pool 15 and showed the Danes how to fish in a way they hadn't fished before. The flies used were large and bushy, and according to traditional Danish thinking large and bushy flies for salmon and sea trout are fished in the surface.
Not so the flies that Allan used.
Large and bushy maybe, but weighted and fishing deep. They were different large volume hair winged flies tied on long tubes with trailing hooks, and they produced!
Salmon were caught after several skunked days.

Munker variations

This experience left an impression with Kim, and during the tying season 2012 he and his fishing buddy Frank Thornild decided to create a sinking, bushy fly for their home water, the Danish Storaaen (literally The Large Stream), which runs in their backyard as >Kim puts it.
Storaaen is a fairly slow flowing river compared to the sometimes frothy and wild Mörrum and in Kim's and Frank's eyes that called for a fly, which was a bit different from the ones originated by Swedes such as Ulf Sill and others.
Kim and Frank opted for a shorter tube, weighted it with beads and tied the wing using a soft zonker strip rather than loose Arctic fox hairs as used in many salmon flies. The Zonker strip is generally much more mobile than the stiffer hair, and zonker flies work very well in slow water. To some flies they added some rubber legs just to give the fly even more life, while others got some flash for more visibility.
Tying steps
All flies were finished with a couple of Jungle Cock eyes and a wide and bushy muddler head, trimmed fairly flat in the front. The result wasn't as much a specific pattern as it was a basic principle for a fly that would show itself to work really well.
During the season of 2012 the yet unnamed fly was fished by Kim and Frank.
And it worked.

On one fantastic day it produced 7 salmon between the two of them. Now to set things in perspective, 7 salmon during a whole season would have most Danish salmon anglers running on the ceiling the whole following winter, so catching this number in a day is any Danish salmon angler's dream.
So the fly earned it's wings and was baptized The Munker by Frank. As he said: "Muddler and Zonker. What can that become other than Munker?"

Muddler and Zonker.
What can that become other than Munker?


And since its premiere season the Munker has become a very popular fly and has seen the light of day in all kinds of disguises combining different colors, with and without Jungle Cock, flash and rubber legs. Tied on various tubes, adding weight, but still maintaining the typical profile: compact, heavy and pretty chubby, moving a lot of water in the murky depths of the often slow Danish salmon streams.

Kim ties a handful of different variations, but basically uses the Guideline FITS plastic tubes and one or two beads - aluminum, brass or tungsten depending on desired weight. The bead(s) get slipped on the tube and glued to the rear after a small collar has been melted and the tube is then mounted on a tube needle as and the tying can commence.
Kim prefers to use materials from Danish Futurefly who has a large selection of quality hair and skins in particular.

The Munker
TypeTube fly
Kim Sorensen and Frank Thornild
Year of origin

TubeGuideline FITS medium
Bead(s)One or two, aluminum, brass or tungsten to fit snuggly over tube, color to suit fly
Tying threadVeevus 14/0, color to suit materials
WingShort zonker strip, rabbit, opossum or other skins depending on fly size
FlashAngel Hair or Ice dubbing to, color to suit fly (optional)
Hackle(s)One light and one dark to suite color of fly
Rubber legsRound, color to suit fly (optional)
EyesJungle Cock (optional)
HeadDeer hair, color to suit fly

Tying instructions
  1. Melt a collar on the rear of the plastic tube
  2. Slite one or two beads over the tube and glue them against the collar
  3. Tie in the zonker wing in front of the beads, letting the bead lift it slightly
  4. Trim off remaining skin
  5. Tie in flash
  6. Tie in and wrap one or two soft hackles in front of the wing
  7. Tie in rubber legs over the hackle base, pointing along the tube
  8. Tie in Jungle Cock eyes, one on each side of the fly
  9. Bend back rubber legs and tie down
  10. Trim the tube, leaving room for the muddler head
  11. Burn a collar in the front of the tube
  12. Spin a couple of small bunches of deer hair to form a wide and flat head
  13. Half hitch or whip finish, trim thread and varnish
  14. Trim the head flat and wide

Flies and hooks

Frank Thornild

Kim Sorensen fishing and tying

A video by Kim Sorensen showing the Munker in action on the slow flowing Storaaen in Denmark, a river that calls for mobile flies and where the Munker has done very well.

Munker salmon

User comments
From: Kim Sørensen   Link
Submitted November 17th 2014

Yes. I am using sinking line when fishing with that type of flies......... Kim

From: Niels Have · nielshaveholding·at·  Link
Submitted August 4th 2014

Great articel, and beautiful flies... Niels Have

From: Rink - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted August 2nd 2014

Looks great ! Is this fly fished on a sinking line ?

From: Stuart Anderson · canadiantubeflies·at·  Link
Submitted June 21st 2014

What a fantastic pattern.......... beautiful!

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