I bit the bullet and started tying and fishing the Davy Knot recently and wanted to provide a review of my experience with this knot.

Davy Knot | www.johnkreft.com

If you’re a regular reader of RiverKeeper Flies, you might have seen a recent post about Testing Fly Fishing Knots. The main subject was how I’m preparing to teach Making Effective Leaders for Rivers and Lakes at the International Federation of Fly Fishers Fair in Livingston, Montana on August 4. 

I use an Improved Clinch Knot on a regular basis and it’s my go-to knot for connecting the fly to a leader. (For more information about the leader I use, check out Fly Fishing Leaders.) And because I’m preparing for my class, I wanted to fish the knots I plan to teach. So far, I’ve tested the Non-Slip Loop Knot and now the Davy Knot.

I wrote a post about Fly Fishing Knots and explained the importance of tying proper knots, as well as the knots I have confidence in and use regularly. Knots that aren’t “seated” properly will fail…and always at the wrong time. I discussed slippage in that post. I encourage you to read it. Lastly, it lists all the knots I use and have confidence in.

My testing of the Davy knot has gone well. After my initial fear of using a new knot on a river where there are some big fish, I decided it was time to go for it. I tied it a few times at home to ensure I could replicate a strong knot along the river

I finally had a pretty good day of fishing the green drake hatch where I could test it on some big fish. Here is one from yesterday.

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

I think it works!

Here are a couple of pictures of the Davy knot vs the Improved Clinch knot. They are both tied with 6X tippet, which is very small.

It’s amazing to me the Davy knot works with so few wraps of leader. Notice how small the knot looks on a size 16 PMD Sparkle Dun compared to an Improved Clinch knot on the same size fly.

Davy Knot
Davy Knot | www.johnkreft.com
Improved Clinch Knot
Improved Clinch Knot|www.johnkreft.com

And the Davy Knot is very easy to tie too.

So check out my Resources tab – Other Resources for a guide of how to tie the Davy Knot or any other fly fishing knot.

I encourage you to try a new knot and see how it works. Be sure to tie a few samples in the comfort of your own home first. If you’re like me, you’ll give up too fast when the fish are rising and a new fly has to be tied on.

Me? I need to go back to testing…

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. John: Nice item on the Davey.

    I’ve been fishing it for several years with great results. I’ve begun tying the “double Davey,” which adds one more wrap through the loop in the reverse direction of the previous wrap.

    I fish this knot for all my trout and steelhead fishing. I’ve never had a fly break off at the knot. Love the small size and ease of tying in low light.


    1. Gary

      Thanks for your comment. I thought about using the Double Davy, but have been VERY impressed with the standard Davy, so haven’t gotten around to it.


  2. John: You pointed out that you used some fluorocarbon leader because it is more difficult to see. You don’t say that you have continued to use it.
    Don Meyer

    1. Don

      I use fluorocarbon material mostly in lake fishing with intermediate fly lines. In addition, I sometimes use it nymph fishing because it doesn’t reflect the sun and it sinks faster. So yes, I still use it, but haven’t lately since I began using the Davy knot. Guess I better give it a try.


  3. I use the Davy knot all the time and it works very well for me. I can tie it using my forceps because my fingers don’t work as well as they used to.

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