Published May 5. 2014

The Munker

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

Variations - The combinations are endless, and if you adhere to the basic pattern, most combos will yield excellent fishing flies
On a bottle - The Munker fly can be tied on a brass bottle for even more weight
Olive, orange and yellow - Another Munker variation

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.

Job well done - A wet Munker after a dive. It keeps its shape very well due to the large deer hair head
Olive and white - Another color combination for the Munker
Red Munker - Almost all colors work for the Munker. Notice how the double hook is mounted points up, a very common way of rigging tubes for salmon in Scandinavia.
Pink version - The bright colors can sometimes trigger slow fish
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.

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?

The materials - Various materials for the Munker - the zonker strip, Jungle Cock, the hackles and the deer hair being the character materials. The tube and the bead forms the base and flash, rubber legs and other effects can be added as you desire.

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

Pattern type: 
Tube fly
Kim Sorensen and Frank Thornild
Guideline FITS medium
One or two, aluminum, brass or tungsten to fit snuggly over tube, color to suit fly
Tying thread
Veevus 14/0, color to suit materials
Short zonker strip, rabbit, opossum or other skins depending on fly size
Angel Hair or Ice dubbing to, color to suit fly (optional)
One light and one dark to suite color of fly
Rubber legs
Round, color to suit fly (optional)
Jungle Cock (optional)
Deer hair, color to suit fly
Melt a collar on the rear of the plastic tube
Slite one or two beads over the tube and glue them against the collar
Tie in the zonker wing in front of the beads, letting the bead lift it slightly
Trim off remaining skin
Tie in flash
Tie in and wrap one or two soft hackles in front of the wing
Tie in rubber legs over the hackle base, pointing along the tube
Tie in Jungle Cock eyes, one on each side of the fly
Bend back rubber legs and tie down
Trim the tube, leaving room for the muddler head
Burn a collar in the front of the tube
Spin a couple of small bunches of deer hair to form a wide and flat head
Half hitch or whip finish, trim thread and varnish
Trim the head flat and wide
Kim's fly box - A rich assortment of Munkers of course, but also Francis flies and other salmon flies
Hooks and other hardware - Various hooks - singles, doubles and trebles - some with hot spots - and junction tubes as well as some disks and propellers to mount in front of the fly for action and even more turbulence.
Compact Munkers - Kim has been tying some smaller, lighter and more compact Munkers lately
Flies and hooks

Frank Thornild - The Munker co-creator Frank Thornild with a very decent salmon
Frank Thornild
Kim fishing - The author with his preferred tool: the two hand rod
Kim tying - Kim Soerensen often does tying demos as a part of his membership of the Guideline Power Team
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 fish - A large salmon ready for release, the Munker visible in its mouth
A Munker at work - Like most tube flies the Munker will disengage from the hook, and you then avoid the fly working as a lever, loosening the hook. Here the loose fly is clearly seen in a violent splash that could easily have lead to a lost fish. The fish is still well hooked.
Munker salmon


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

Great articel, and beautiful flies... Niels Have

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

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

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