Top Posts of 2013, #4: How to Tie the Davy Knot

[Editor’s Note: During this first full week of 2014, we’re counting down the Top 10 Posts of 2013. (Although, since the Friday Fly-Fishing Film Festival is almost always the most-read post of each week, we’ll disqualify the F5 from this contest.) We’ll repost two of the Top 10 per day, leading up to our announcement of the most-read post, on Friday afternoon. So stay tuned all week to see what resonated most with Orvis Fly Fishing readers last year. Here’s #4, which offers a simple, effective fly-to-tippet knot that many anglers find useful.]

My friend Zach Matthews, who runs the Itinerant Angler website, made this video about one of his favorite tippet-to-fly knots. I’ll admit that I am an improved-clinch kind of guy, but Zach swears by the Davy, especially for small flies and light tippets. Here’s his description:

The Davy Knot, invented by Davy Wotton, is a type of figure 8 knot that is perfect for extremely small flies. The tiny size of this knot makes it perfect on bright days, in still water, or whenever trout are being extremely selective. Because the Davy Knot is so fast to tie, it is extremely popular with tournament anglers fishing under a time limit.

For more information on Davy himself, who is a Welshman relocated to Flippin, Arkansas, check out his elaborate website.

The Davy knot is really little more than a modified figure-8.
Photo by Zach Matthews

3 thoughts on “Top Posts of 2013, #4: How to Tie the Davy Knot”

  1. Yeah, I remember this one because I’ve been tying that knot ever since I saw the post the first time. Love this knot :).

  2. For best knot strength, ALWAYS lubricate your knot before you seat it. Also, seat your knots with a final smooth strong pull. Do NOT bounce your knots – it weakens them. That is what a fish does to break you off.


  3. I was taught this knot in 2003 by the owner of my local fly shop. They called it “The Knot” and it works great for small flies, just as the post suggests. Closing the knot correctly is key otherwise it will definitely slip. I have also seen the same knot or very similar figure 8 variation called a Koch knot. Easy to tie, even with cold, wet fingers and 7x tippet.

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