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The Davy Wotton Fly Fishing Knot

... one hell of a fly fishing knot!

The “Davy Wotton” Fly Fishing Knot

Tying the Davy Wotton Fly Fishing Knot:

I was on a local fly fishing forum the other day and noticed a thread titled “which knot to tie fly on”. After reading through the entire thread (51 posts in all so far) it occurred to me that not one person had mentioned the knot that I have been using almost exclusively for the last few years. Clinch knot, improved clinch knot, turle knot, trilene knot, loop knot, nail knot, duncan loop knot, etc, etc, etc – they were all there but after trying em all I finally settled on one that has proven to be very strong, very simple to tie, and has the very low profile beneficial for fishing the tiny stuff.  The knot is called the Davy Wotton and it’s the first fly fishing knot in what is sure to become a new flyguy category!  :)

The story behind the knot is that Davy Wotton, one of the coaches in the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships and long time competitor for the Welsh national fly fishing team,  through trial and error invented a knot that allowed him to attach a fly in seconds – a critical requirement when competing.

The Davy Wotton knot, unlike other knots that are used to attach flies, does not require the tippet to be pulled down on the knot to burn and weaken the mono and therefor has a very high break strength – almost 100% I’m told. I have used this knot for the last few years without a single failure – and I’ve horsed in a few lunkers that I’m sure would have compromised lesser knots!   :shock:

The knot is so simple to tie that it sometimes seems difficult but once you figure it out and use it you will not use another one! Here’s the tying instructions:

1. Take your fly and pass your tippet through the bottom of the eyelet. Turn the fly upside down so the hook point is turned up or on the top.

2. With the fly extended to the left, pull or extend about three or four inches of tippet through the eye.

3. Take your tag piece of mono and pass over the top of the main leader (away from you) and draw it back through, making a loop.

4. Take the tippet and pass it under, then over the top of the bottom leg of the loop. If you have been successful, the tag end will point directly toward you.

5. To secure the knot, bite the tag piece and pull the leader end taut, causing the knot to close. If you have tied the Davy knot properly, the knot is firmly fastened and will not slip.

And in case that didn’t make any sense here’s the pictures:  ;)

I use the Davy knot for all styles of fly fishing and I’m totally convinced that this is one of the best knot available for securing a fly to leader.

For more information on flyfishing knots please visit our fly fishing knots page! There’s also a printer friendly version in case you want to print them out and carry them with you!

… want to learn more fly fishing knots? Check out these books:

The Orvis Vest Pocket Guide to Leaders, Knots, and Tippets: A Detailed Field Guide to Leader Construction, Fly-Fishing Knots, Tippets and more

Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing Knots

The Blood Knot

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About krazy

....... fish, hunt, repeat!
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3 Responses to The Davy Wotton Fly Fishing Knot

  1. mamacast says:

    I have asked this in a couple of forums. Can you use a Davy knot to tie tippet to tippet and leave a tag on one end to tie the fly to in a 2 or 3 fly rig? Most say that an Orvis tippet knot or a surgeons knot is what should be used, but why couldn’t a Davy knot be used here as well as at the hook connection? Any input would be appreciated.

    • Rob says:

      Well here in BC we can’t rig up a multiple fly set up so I have never tried it. Like most I use a double and sometimes triple surgeons knot to tie tippet to tippet but in theory I can’t see why the Davy knot wouldn’t work.

      Have you ever tried it? If not why not tie one up and give it a good test pull (like you should on all your knots anyway) and see if it holds. If it passes the test I’d say it’s good to go! :)

  2. Trout Ninja TV says:

    The Davy Knot looks simplistically brilliant! Especially for the tiny stuff. I can’t wait to test it.
    I’m wondering if this might be THE fastest, easiest knot to teach kids to tie? Catch us on http://www.troutninjatv.com
    I concentrate on teaching how to catch stocked trout. Thanks! ~Trout Ninja

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