JHFLYCO 101: How to Tie 4 Essential Fly Fishing Knots

JHFLYCO 101: How to Tie 4 Essential Fly Fishing Knots | Jackson Hole Fly Company

JHFLYCO 101: Learn 4 Essential Knots for Fishing that you will Use Every Time you get out on the Water.

As a beginner fly angler, learning to tie proper knots is one of the most important things you can do to improve your experience and catch more fish. Not only can tying strong knots help you land bigger fish, but you'll be able to set up your gear and re-rig lost or tangled rigs faster, allowing you to spend more time fishing. This skill is fundamental in ensuring both the durability of your setup and your success in various fishing conditions.


The improved clinch knot is an easy and reliable terminal knot to tie when attaching a dry fly, nymph, or streamer to your leader line or tippet.

JHFLYCO - Improved Clinch Knot
6 Simple Steps for Tying an Improved Clinch Knot
  1. Begin by threading the end of the line through the eye of the fly hook. 
  2. Pull about 6 inches of line through and double it back against itself. 
  3. Twist four to six times around the leader line.
  4. Next, bring the end of the line back through the first (small) loop formed behind the eye and then through the big loop that you just created.
  5. Now wet the knot and pull on the tag end to tighten down the coils. 
  6. Slide the knot tight against the eye and trim the tag end as close as you can to the coil.


The perfection loop knot is one of the most useful fishing knots you can learn. Once you know how to tie the perfection loop, you can use it to attach your fly fishing leader to your line or to connect sinkers to your bottom fishing rigs.


JHFLYCO - Perfection Loop Knot
5 Simple Steps for Tying a Perfection Loop Knot
  1. Form a crossing loop.
  2. Form a second crossing loop behind the first loop. The size of the second loop will determine the size of the finished knot. Pull the tag end straight between the two loops.
  3. Reach in and pull the back loop through the front loop.
  4. Tighten by pulling the ends of the loop and standing line in opposite directions. Put your finger inside the loop to pull it tight and seat the knot firmly.
  5. Trim the tag end.


Many fly fishing lines now come with pre-made loops on their ends but it is still useful know who to create a loop to loop connection from your fly line to your leader. You will need to learn how to make a loop knot at the end of your leader such as the perfection knot. Then, just use the loop to loop knot to join the leader to the fly line.

Start with a perfection loop knot. Once you tie a loop knot on the butt end of the leader, the two knots can be joined in order to create the loop to loop connection.


JHFLYCO - Loop to Loop Knot Connection
3 Simple Steps for Tying a Loop to Loop Knot Connection
  1. Pass the loop on the fly line through the loop on the leader.
  2. Run the end of your leader through the loop on the end of the fly line.
  3. Pull the fly line and the leader in opposite directions until the loops slide together and form a connection that resembles a square knot.


The Blood Knot is a tried and true knot that is a favorite among fly fishermen. It is used to tie two lines together that are around the same diameter. Making at least 5 and up to 7 wraps on each side of the knot increases the knot's strength.

JHFLYCO - Blook Knot
8 Steps for Tying a Blood Knot
  1. Take two pieces of tippet or leader material and cross them.
  2. Pull one tag end to create a longer section to begin the knot tying process.
  3. Start by wrapping the long tag end around the other section of line 5 times.
  4. Place your thumb in the “Y” that is created by the two lines.
  5. Continue to wrap the long tag end an additional 5 times.
  6. Pull both tag ends through the hole in opposite directions that was created by your thumb until tight.
  7. Cinch down the knot by pulling the main sections of tippet or leader material in opposite directions. (Wetting the knots before cinching is recommended)
  8. Clip your tag ends flush and hit the river!

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