When fly-fishing, the worst excuse to hear for losing a fish is "My knot broke". I remember a story of what happened to a fisherman, quite a few years back while fishing for Atlantic Salmon on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick, Canada.

It was late one evening after a long day of fishing. He and his group were back at camp tying flies and preparing for the next day. One of his fishing buddies was changing lines and asked if he wanted a new line on his reel for the next morning. he said, "sure", and here is what happened. While on the river the next morning, he decided to fish down below the cabins away from the rest of the group. He was told that if he hooked a fish just to call up and help would be on its way. While swinging a Coburn fly through the pool, he hooked into a salmon that went absolutely nuts. Jumping and flipping, the Atlantic decided to shoot straight downstream almost spooling him.

While fighting this fish downstream further and further, a local farmer doing work on his property, heard his faint "help, help" calls, and went upstream to the rest of the group and told Vince that he thought he heard a faint help cry coming from someone in their group. Vince got in a car a drove down to where the fish had now taken him. Just as he was getting the first section of fly line back, he heard tink, tink, tink as the line/leader knot passed through the guides. All of a sudden, the knot that his buddy tied the night before gave way, and he watched the line race out of his rod. Placing the rod to the side, he jumped in the water and grabbed his line, hand lining the fish back in. (by this time the fish was played out). Vince got down and netted the fish just as the knot broke at the fly. A 15 lb. Atlantic Salmon, a wet fisherman, and two broken knots.

If he didn't land that fish, we would still be hearing it today. One of those "fish that got away" stories. A few key knots are all the average fly fisherman really needs to know. As different species are fished for, more and more knots become handy. Learn these knots well and practice them. The weakest part of the fly fisherman's equipment is his knots.

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