Knotty Thoughts: Russell’s Montana Fly Fishing Knot

An often overlooked aspect of fly fishing for beginning anglers are knots. Why? Because it seems like there’s a million of them, and every one of them seems to bust. That tends to happen when you’re whip-cracking flies off into bushes, spinning line around your cap and getting used to how to effectively set a hook without yanking the rod like you’re story is going to be featured on an episode of “River Monsters”. Most longtime anglers master a few reliable ones, and the best of them can tie them with their eyes closed. Here’s a great demonstration of a reliable and fast knot by Russell Parks, owner of the Missoulian Angler in downtown Missoula, Montana. This knot is known as both the “duncan loop” or the “uni knot” or you can call it Russell’s knot if you like, but the name isn’t as important as the unique and efficient way it is tied. A good knot should be fast, strong and simple enough to do when standing waist-deep in the river or behind the oars. Grab some old fly line and give this one a few twirls, and see if it works for you. Practice makes perfect, and perfect knots hold on big fish.


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