Fly Fishing Knots

By Bob Randall on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 in Fishing Wisdom, No Comments

If you’re new to fly fishing, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the knots that hold everything together.  I’ve had more knot failures than I can count.  I’ve had flies simply slide off the end of the tippet as the knot untied itself.  While I would like to attribute it to magical trout, I know it was knot tying error.  I may have tied it wrong, I may not have tightened it up properly, I might have cut the tag end so short that there was no room for error.  I once tried to dress my line with a little silicone but had no way to clean my hands.  The result was that all of my knots slipped out.   It’s not just the terminal connection to the flies, it can be the tippet to leader connection, the leader to fly line connection, etc.  My nightmare would be to have a trophy trout run out all the line to have the connection to the reel fail.  OK, I’m exaggerating.  I have settled on four basic knots and have put illustrations of them on my smart phone in case I need some reference.  I always check to snug them up, leave a small length of tag line, and I check them after any stress on the line while fishing.  I have mostly given up the improved clinch knot for the Davy knot.  However, I may use a clinch knot to connect a dropper fly to the bend of the leading hook.  Notice I said clinch without the “improved” word.

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I use the surgeon’s knot to connect the tippet to the leader and the perfection loop to make a loop to loop knot such as the leader to the line connections.  All of these illustrations are from




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