I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year my days on the water are limited. The limiting factor is ME. Why? Many days the high temperatures hover around freezing!

Even though fishing isn’t on the agenda every day, I’m still “fishing”. I have a winter list to check off. Here’s what’s on it:

  • Clean some flies. Never cleaned your flies? Learn how to do it in a previous post called Steaming Flies.
  • Replace the fish-mangled flies in my box as well as a few flies lost in trees or fish.
  • Fill Custom Fly orders.
  • Clean my fly lines and replace if necessary.
  • Check the guides on my favorite rod. It’s about time to replace a few worn out guides from all the fishing I do!
  • Check waders for holes and repair.

And here’s a new one on this year’s list…learn a few new fishing knots.

Improved Clinch Knot|www.johnkreft.com

My favorite fishing knot is the Improved Clinch Knot. Why? Because I’ve tied it thousands of times. I learned to tie it decades ago and continue to use it. It’s served me well and landed many big fish.

I’ve talked about knots in a previous post called Fly Fishing Knots, specifically which knots I use and how to tie strong knots.

But I have to wonder as I see other fishing knots if it’s the best one. I’ve tried other knots while I’m fishing, but to be honest, I haven’t given them a good shot. Why? Because I tie the knot while I’m on the water fishing and forget the instructions. What knot would you use to tie on a fly if the fish are rising…a newer knot that takes 3 – 4 tries or your normal knot?

So how about learning a couple of new fishing knots while watching football or basketball on TV during the winter? Pull out some mono and a larger hook and give it a try in the comfort of your own home. Tie the knot over and over until it feels comfortable…without fish rising in front of you! I don’t think it will take long to learn a couple of new ones.

Here are a few fishing knots I plan to try:

If you need a little refresher out on the water, pick up a Fishing Knot Card from Netknots.com. It’s a handy reminder how to tie a knot when you need it.

I WILL have a couple new fishing knots in my arsenal by the end of winter!

By the way, are you curious if you won the free one dozen Custom RiverKeeper Flies? Well, the winner is…Jerry M. I’ll contact Jerry to see if he’ll choose the Custom River or Lake Flies.

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. John, thanks again for the great site. The Davy (up to size 16) & Double Davy (14 & larger) are my favorite dry fly knots, for the same reasons as Bob in your previous article. Have you tried using forceps for tying your knots? They help make the Davy & Clinch knots much quicker and easier, especially for those low light or cold hand situations.

    1. Jack

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’ve seen tools used to tie knots. In fact my wife uses one. And I’ve seen forceps used to tie the Davy Knot. Need to give it a try!


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