Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps?

Part Two hundred-fourteen

Water Knot

Water Knot

Compiled By James Birkholm

"Fly Fishing's oldest knot dating from The Treatyse of Fysshynge With an Angle (1496): "Whan ye haue as many of the lynkys as ye suppose wol suffyse for the length of the lyne: thenne must y knytte theym to gyder wyth a water knotte or elles a duchy knotte. And whan your knotte is knytte: kytte of pe voyde shorte endes a strawe brede for the knotte. Thus shal ye make youre lynes fayr & fine." The knot, also knows as the surgeons knot, is described and illustrated in the John Hawkins edition of The Complete Angler (1766): "To tye a Water-knot, lay the end of one of your hairs about five inches or less, over that of the other, and through this loop which you would make to tye them in the common way, pass the long and short end of the hairs, which will lie to the right of the loop, twice, and wetting the Knot with your tongue, draw it close, and cut off the spare hair." Notice that there are two turns through the loop and that the knot is wetted before closure. Although not as symmetrical as a blood knot, the water knot is sage and strong when joining different diameters." ~ Jim Birkholm

Credits: The quoted text and drawing from The Fly Fishers Illustrated Dictionary, by Darrel Martin, Published by the Lyons Press.

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