The Journal gets asked a lot if our fly-tippet knot was an Aussie invention. Well its true this knot came across the Pacific with me. But I found it in the pages of a US fly fishing magazine.
I’d become heartily sick of the improved clinch, which I found just too troublesome, either through my imperfections or the knot’s, particularly with the rise in popularity of fluorocarbon. It took me a while to break my addiction to the clinch, and the double Uni-knot. The Double Uni is pretty strong but another knot which isn’t shown in its best light on mono-fluoro connections. So I switched my tippet-leader connection to a Triple Surgeons.
So I sat down every night with some spare line tying both knots to get them seated into my brain, its the best way to learn. Breaking a knot habit takes some doing.
The Eugene Bend is strong enough to mine and apparently Lefty’s tastes. And the fact that the knot tells you it is seated correctly, through a felt click, means you know every time you have produced a 100% knot.
But this very strength meant some additional problems on some White River pigs. Since my fly knot was stronger than my tippet knot, if I was going to bust something the tippet knot would fail first, resulting in 3′ of tippet (my low water standard) departing.
There had to be something better and I finally came across the solution, use more Eugene Bends and purchase the small solid nymph rings, that I had previously disparaged. I use a Eugene Bend on the end of my leader to the ring, add my tippet with the same knot on the other side of the ring, and a third Bend to the fly. We carry the small tippet rings for low water and the bigger nymph rings for highwater fishing.
Originally I came up with this rig for fall fishing for big browns on the White when you never know when you are going to come across a rod-bending, line ripping fish on 6x tippet. Every little bit of extra length in my leaders could mean the difference between a trophy fish and a picture or a tale of woe.
But in the high water situation we are currently fishing in there is another unintended benefit. If you fish split shot a lot then you will know it is often a constant battle to keep you split shot away from your fly. After all you want the weight to sink the fly not turn it into an anchor. Work your tippet length right and you have an inbuilt stop to keep the shot where you want it.