"The 3 Key Knots to Fly Fishing Success"
by Woody Woodland
One of the most critical areas of knowledge leading to confidence on the stream is knowing that your Knots are tied correctly. While there are entire books written about knots and how to tie them, for most freshwater situations you really only need to master the following three:
While many others would also include the reel backing knot and nail knot, it is not included because they are usually done at the shop where you bought your line or when they load it on your reel. Instructions for these two knots are included in the package with your new line. The knots included here are the ones that you will be using ninety nine percent of the time on the stream.
Let's start learning them in the order we would use them while preparing for a day on the stream. To connect the leader to the butt section of the fly lines, use the perfection loop.
For a right handed person start with approximately seven inches of line extending to the right between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Pinch the line between you left thumb and fore finger. Push the line back towards the left so it forms a loop with the shortest piece coming to rest against your forefinger. Pinch the loop lightly in the left hand and with your right hand close the loop until the loop is about three quarters of an inch above the finger. Now take the short piece loosely over your thumb to the left and slide between forefinger and three quarter inch loop, making sure this second loop is lower than the first. At this point, pull the short piece down between the two loops you have just formed and pinch with the left sides of your thumb and forefinger. Whith the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, reach through the taller loop from behind and firmly grasp the short loop. With your left hand, grab the long piece and pull down to complete the perfection loop.
This is one of the easiest ways to connect tippet to the end of your leader. Start by over-lapping approximately eight inches of leader and tippet. Roll a loop in the line about one inch in diameter so it extends downward below your left thumb. Using the fore finger of your right hand, push the short and long ends through the loop. Roll it over the top of the loop, then repeat the process. Holding both strands on either side of the knot, pull to seat and complete the knot.
The knot used to tie the fly to the tippet will be familiar to those who have done some baitcasting or spin fishing, as it is the same knot used to tie the lure to the line. Begin by passing the end of the tippet through the eye of the hook. Wind the line around itself six times, then pass it through the area between the eye and the start of the twists. This will create another loop and you finish the knot by passing it through this area and then tightening. As with all knots, make sure the mono is wet prior to tightening the knot.