Published Sep 17. 2023 - 2 months ago
Updated or edited Oct 19. 2023

Book review: Mörrum - The Best Flies

A really beautiful book about a very important Swedish river and - not least - a group of its most productive anglers and their flies.

Peter Lyngby
Fiskeshopen, Mörrum
Publishing year: 
SEK or about 45 USD
Reviewed by: 

One river keeps coming up when people in southern Scandinavia talk about salmon fishing, and that’s the river Mörrum.
Say mur like in murder and rhum like in … well, rhum, you know, the alcoholic beverage … and you’re about right.

Mörrum is a fairly large river by south Scandinavian standards, and runs south through the town of Mörrum and into the part of the Baltic which is called Pukavik. It’s not that long, and the part that’s fished most is the lower 20 kilometers or 12.5 miles or so, so only a fraction of the whole river.
The river is known for its very good run of salmon and sea trout, and it’s quite a productive river, which draws anglers from many places. Sweden of course, but also Denmark and Germany and other European countries. It’s an accessible river both physically and economically, and you can drive to the bank in a car on many of its beats, and easily hike along the river in most places. Day licenses cost 700 SEK, which is about 65 USD or 60 Euros. Several different multi-day packages are also available at very fair prices. Considering the quality of water, surroundings and fish, prices are quite good.

Beiss Banana
Beiss Banana
Peter Lyngby, Fiskeshopen

Because of its accessibility, the river sees a lot of anglers, and many have year license and fish the river regularly and have done so for many years while others return year after year.
When visiting the river, you will most likely meet some of these … characters is probably the right term … who know the river very well, and have their preferred beats, their preferred gear and not least their preferred flies.
The river often runs slightly unclear and peaty, so unlike many other Scandinavian rivers further north, which are clearer and often greenish or blueish, this river calls for flies, which differ a bit. It’s also known to vary greatly in flow, and sometimes you will need heavy and large flies, typically early in the season, while late summer and early autumn calls for a different arsenal of more delicate irons.
This book is a collection of portraits of a bunch of these anglers and their flies, and will give you some very good insight into the way the river is fished and what to tie to you tippet.

There are thirteen tyers and anglers included and between them they share about three centuries of experience with the river, so they are probably worth listening to.
Each is presented with a text written by the angler, well curated and edited by Danish Peter Lyngby, where the angler tells about himself and his approach to fishing the river. Each presents some favorite flies. Some are of their own origin, some are classics used by many anglers on the river.

Peter Lyngby, Fiskeshopen

The flies are shown in nice detail, the photo accompanied by a materials list, enabling you to tie the flies yourself. The flies are mainly tube flies, but a few hooks have also sneaked their way in, and you will find both single, doubles and trebles and even articulated flies, all fully legal to fish on the river. You will see some common traits in many of the flies. The hair wings and the triple hackles dominate, but other and very different styles can also be found.

The book presents its content, the anglers and the flies very well, and is full of great images, both of the people, the flies and the river and the surroundings.
Since the river is quite easy to reach, and in many places lined with footpaths and even roads, it's well worth a visit as you will see from the images. Even non-fishing visitors will have a great time walking along its banks, and if you’re an angler, the occasional splash from a large fish jumping will definitely make you want to grab a two hand rod and lay out a nice underhand cast.
But don’t be fooled, because even though the book is full of pictures of beautiful and large fish, and flies which almost seem to guarantee a catch, nothing is given. Many visiting anglers have laid out thousands of casts with the best and most convincing flies, and never felt as much as a tug - myself included. Just because you see fish moving upstream and see others catch, it doesn’t mean that you yourself are bound for success – unfortunately.

Photos and text
Photos and text
Peter Lyngby, Fiskeshopen
Peter Lyngby, Fiskeshopen

But reading this book and tying some of the flies in it will absolutely increase your chances. It’s full of great advice and great patterns. It’s a great read too. And beautiful.
If you don’t have plans for visiting south Sweden, the book might still be worth looking into, because great salmon flies can be used all over the globe where the Atlantic salmon and the sea trout run, and there are some very good and versatile flies to be found here, useful for fish in many other regions of the world.
At 499 SEK or about 45 USD it’s not a cheap book, but it’s a nice large format, 166 pages, beautifully laid out and printed, so it’s worth the investment.


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