Epic Blog

Knots for your Alaska Fly Fishing Trip


Doug ties on a new fly amongst stunning scenery.

Doug ties on a new fly amongst stunning scenery.

Our guides will always be around to help out but for those who want to learn more about the sport of fly fishing, or who want to be more independent on the water, following is a list of the most common knots you will use on your Alaska fly fishing trip with us.

This is certainly not a complete list of fly fishing knots for Alaska, but these are the most common ones we use. And remember that, as with most things in life, there will always be some kind of debate about this knot being better than that knot… don’t sweat it too much. Learn the first 5 off this list and go have some fun!

3 Must Know Alaska Fly Fishing Knots

For tying your fly to your leader or tippet

1. Improved Clinch Knot. Without question, the most popular and common used knot fly fishing in Alaska, or anywhere else in the world.

2. No-Slip Loop Knot. Some Alaska fly fishing guides prefer this knot to give certain flies more action in the water, especially when drifting or swinging techniques are used.

For attaching tippet sections to the end of your leader or attaching tippet to tippet

3. Double Surgeon’s Knot. The quickest, easiest knot you can know for tippet/leader connections. Strong but bulky.

Other Alaska Fly Fishing Knots

Following is a list of other knots we use at our fly fishing tent camps, but less commonly than the above 3. Learn these only if you want to “learn more” but don’t burden yourself with knowing them while on your trip with us (a guide can take care of these knots for you if neeeded.)

For attaching leader to fly line or backing to fly line

4. Nail Knot – easiest to do with a nail knot tool or a small section of straw.

5. Albright Knot. Can be performed easily without a tool, but bulkier than a nail knot. A good on-the-stream repair knot if you don’t have a nail knot tool handy.

For attaching tippet sections to the end of your leader, or attaching tippet to tippet

6. Blood (or Barrel) Knot. Smaller and neater than #3 above but harder to tie, especially with cold, stiff fingers. If you want to forget one knot off this list, this is the one.

Posted in Fishing, Tips