Published May 27. 1997 - 24 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 4. 2020

Book review: Flies from the Flyleaves of my Diaries

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

Preben Torp Jacobsen
Publishing year: 
Reviewed by: 

Date: May 27th 1997

Preben Torp Jacobsen
Flies from the Flyleaves of my Diaries - And further Notes of possible Interest!
Published by Flyleaves 1995
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.


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.