How to tie basic fly-fishing knots

Fly fishermen depend on knots and must know how to tie several different knots properly. A badly or improperly tied knot will result in lost fish and great frustration for the angler.

Click on the knots to find out how to tie them.



Use the Turtle knot (or Turle knot) to make a straight connection between the fly and the leader.


1. Pass the end of the leader through the fly’s (or hook’s) eye from the front, as shown, and slide the fly up the leader so that it will be out of the way.

2. Make a loop with a slipknot in the end of the leader.

3. Pull the loop over and around the fly, bringing the free end around twice, like a double overhand knot, and tighten.

4. Pull the leader and wrap the loop around the back of the hook’s eye as shown, tighten, and trim the end.


A double surgeon’s loop can be used to add a tippet to the leader. For loop-to-loop connections, the double surgeon’s loop is the easiest knot to use because it is easy to tie.



Use the nail knot to tie fly line to the backing or to attach a leader to a line. This knot works well for tying together monofilament of different diameters. If you don’t have a nail handy, use a substitute such as a thin tube.


1. Hold the nail along the fly line and backing between your thumb and forefinger.

2. Lay a loop of line along the nail and, with the free end, wind the monofilament around the nail, loop, and leader about six times. Pull on both sides of the line to tighten, making a smooth knot.

3. Hold the “coils” carefully between your thumb and forefinger, remove the nail, and tighten the knot all the way.


Use a backing knot to attach the backing to the spool.



Comments about “How to tie basic fly-fishing knots”

  1. ..................... says:


  2. bingo says:

    that is totaly awsome

  3. Skiller says:

    I found it informative. Thankyou all.

  4. haha says:

    This is very interesting, but fairly useless (but the inforation I agree is valuable and fascinating). But useless because if hand washing washes the need to justify a way.

  5. Mahimahi says:

    Not to bad

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think it was a great ider

  7. MrTrout says:

    I thought it was “Turle” not “Turtle”

  8. audi240 says:

    really just starting out,this really helps

  9. audi240 says:


  10. master angler 21 says:

    these are awsome tips

  11. tightlines says:

    This is a good digram of the nail knot ,,,but when tying leader to fly line take a needle or dubbing needle works best and make a hole in the center of your fly line and go in about an 1/4 inch deep and back out the side and then tye the nail knot on the line ,use a dab of head cement to seal and this will give you a straight runoff from your fly line to the leader.

  12. linx says:

    you can get a fly rod at walmart for 20 bucks

  13. yoshicomand says:

    thanks for the help, i really needed some basic knowledge before i went out to catch a big peacock bass

  14. man says:

    how loung should your leader be

  15. man says:

    do you need tippet?

  16. hlkjg says:

    where can I git a cheap fly rod

  17. Joe Cool says:

    Thanks this really helps me out; I had forgotten all the necessary knots and was worried about having a hard time finding them, but not any more.

  18. paintballer 22 says:

    Thanks I could never tie a knot!But I always flyfish

  19. little eagle says:


  20. den leader says:

    nice but I’d like to see annimated how to tie knots to down load so I can teach it to my den

  21. board man says:


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