Fisherman discovers new use for an old knot

Somehow my thoughts are being stolen. From time to time, just when I get a great column idea, a story with a similar topic will appear in some fly-fishing magazine. Well, it has happened yet again, and the voices in my head are starting to get paranoid.

I recently attended the annual spring fly-fishing seminar hosted by Duranglers. And despite my attitude of ďI know as much as these guys,Ē I managed to learn something new. This year, one of the seminars was about a technique for catching more trout. Because I like catching more of anything, I decided to attend. It was presented by a gentleman named Frank, who is one of the fly-fishing manufacturer representatives for this area.

I was expecting to see a new fly or an improved casting style. Instead, Frank was there to talk about using a tried-and-true knot in a different way. I was skeptical at first. I knew how to tie the knots I need, and the ones I donít know, Iíd look up.

Frankís presentation was about using the nonslip mono loop with dry flies. Iíve used this knot with streamers, as Iím sure many of you have, but never with a dry fly. Itís an easy knot to tie. When tied correctly, there is a small amount of space left between the fly and the knot.

Frankís argument was that this knot will allow the dry fly to look more natural as it drifts with the riverís current. He went on to say when you use a clinch knot (the usual choice), the fly looks as if it is being dragged through the water with little or no sideways movement that a real bug would have.

Being a person with a steel-trap, scientific mind, I knew I had to test this new (to me) theory. I ventured on to a stream and began the test. I cast onto slow water, fast water, along the seams and anywhere else I could find. And ... it worked. The dry fly did float and drift more naturally. Further, it fooled a fair number of trout and one tree.

Frank had assured everyone the knot was extremely strong. I found this to be true when I attempted to pull my fly from the aforementioned tree and had my leader, not the knot, part.

If you are interested in seeing how the nonslip mono knot is tied, you can find an illustration on page 35 of the May/June American Angler. You also will find mention of this knot, along with five others, on the editorís page of the same magazine.

And a Google search on the Internet is sure to produce pictures or an illustration of how to tie a nonslip mono loop ... but I digress.

I want you to know I did not come up with the idea for this column by bugging the offices of the above-mentioned periodical. In fact, I am convinced it is the powers to be at American Angler that have made the voices in my head paranoid by filching the creative thoughts of my brain.

Reach Don Oliver at