There are many knots for fly fishers to use, for a variety of purposes. But if you want to get started in the sport, you really only need two kinds of knots: one to connect the tippet to the fly and one to add a tippet to a leader. In this video, Dave Lovell of Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver, Colorado, demonstrates the two knots that he uses more than any others–the clinch knot and the double surgeon’s knot.
The next step is to learn the improved clinch knot, which helps for flies built on heavier hooks. Once you’ve mastered these simple connections, you can begin expanding your repertoire of knots for specific purposes and situations. (For the record, I prefer the blood knot to the double surgeon’s, but they both get the job done.)