Preben Torp Jacobsen

Flies from the Flyleaves of my Diaries

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

Date: May 27th 1997

  • Preben Torp Jacobsen
  • Flies from the Flyleaves of my Diaries - And further Notes of possible Interest!
  • Published by Flyleaves 1995
  • No ISBN
  • Price DKK 350.- (Approx. US$ 60.-)
    Previously only available directly from the author, who has now passed away. You can contact Preben D. Joergensen, who took over the rest of Torp's books. He can be reached on phone +45 98 38 14 76. Probably also available second hand now.
This is a book I had anticipated for a while. It was released more than a year ago, and I have read it as a whole and in small pieces since. Preben Torp Jacobsen is an institution in Danish fly fishing and tying - a person whose name you can't avoid meeting: in books, at shows, referenced by other authors... even on TV. If anybody deserves the title of Grand Old Man in Danish fly fishing, it must be Torp.

Every budding or seasoned Danish fly fisher and tyer will have met his excellent and now classic books in Danish, and many of us have wondered why these books were never translated into English.

The reason can't be that Torp is an unknown Dane, because that would be as far from the truth as could be. Torp's name keeps popping up all over the world: at Norwegian shows, in US books and in the mouths of fly fishers from east, west north and south. At every show I visit, at many meetings and in many e-mails I hear the words: 'Give my regards to Preben Torp Jacobsen if you meet him'.

And at last the book was there: Torp in English. At last a book with the potential to reach beyond the borders of this small country.

The book is, as the title implies, a series of excerpts from Torp's famous and very noteworthy diaries - an amazing collection of four thick leather bound books that contains his notes from a period reaching from 1962 and to the present day. In these books Torp kept meticulous records of a long life with flies and fly fishing.

For a youngster like myself (I was 36 when I read this book for the first time) it's a deep breath of historic air to read Torp's book.

The book is a series of small entries, mostly centered around a certain fly, person or anecdote. It's both a time travel and a travel in space to read through these pages. The book will leave you with many very good trout patterns from many peoples hands, and Torp will as always pay respect to the originators but still give his honest comments.

The book is well illustrated. unfortunately the printing process has removed a bit of the delicacy of Torp's excellent ink drawings. The illustrations are still very good though.

An other aspect of the book that has traces of the process is the language. Even though the book is in English, it is in a very entertaining dialect. I do not say this in jest, but consider it a charming trait that enhances the pleasure of reading and will further emphasize the 'Torpian' ambience for those many of us who have met 'The Grand Old Man in Danish fly fishing'.

Highly recommended.

PS: The 'genesis' (as Torp calls it) of this book is quite amazing. With all due respect. Preben Torp Jacobsen is no young man. He is now in his mid seventies. Nevertheless he has not only written the text and drawn the drawings in this book, but he has also typed the whole thing, done the lay out, scanned the pictures and managed the whole production process on his own PC. I wish I will be doing that when I'm 75!
And it doesn't stop there. I talked to him on the phone a while back, and he mentioned that he was considering buying a new printer. And shortly after a close friend of his told me that he did buy a printer - a 1,200 dpi semitypesetter...! So I suspect - and dearly hope - that we can expect more books from Torp's hands.

User comments
From: Adriano Alvarez · adriano19677·at·  Link
Submitted February 25th 2006

Dear Martín.

I know very well what you say on PrebenTorp Jacobsen: he was a great man!
I felt very much when they communicated to me his death now two years ago. Preben was a scholar of many topics related to the fishing to fly, between them the " Manuscript of Astorga "
Do you know who can be the owner of the original " Manuscript of Astorga?
As this summer I have thought to travel to Europe, if it could have in my hands this manuscript although I understand that this: it is a sleep!

Certainly Martín: do you know if the noble school of Preben Torp keeps on teaching the manufacture of canes of bamboo refundico and of artificial flies?

I have sent several e-mail to: and I have not obtained response. who is the new director of the school? do they have new e-mail?

Good Martin, I hope for your response, meintras receives an affectionate greeting.


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