The Turle Knot

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billems
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The Turle Knot

#1

Post by billems »

The old Catskill fly patterns always had a space at the hook eye for attaching a turle knot. It's a knot I've always admired, as I like the idea of a direct pull on the hook. I learned to tie it; and for a few years, committed to using it for my fishing--which lasted maybe two weeks before I returned to the old clinch. I just cannot tie a turle knot fast enough. And the only fisherman I see that uses it is Joe Humphreys. Do any of you regularly attach your flies to the tippet with a turle knot. If so, what's your secret to doing it easily?

h.l.bro
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Re: The Turle Knot

#2

Post by h.l.bro »

I use the Turle Knot on traditional steelhead and salmon flies. Here is a video by Simon Gawesworth of Rio showing how he ties it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKQ_NhnxihM
A clinch knot doesn't pull the fly straight unless you are have a straight eye hook.
Last edited by h.l.bro on 11/01/21 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

upstate
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Re: The Turle Knot

#3

Post by upstate »

I doubt very much that the space left on a Catskill style dry fly is for a Turle knot. Having been in the Catskills for over 40 years I have only met one angler who used that knot. I have never seen a Catskill wet fly or nymph with that space left on the hook. Streamers ,yes to facilitate the use of a rifflin hitch knot. In fact Harry Darbee in his book A Catskill Fly Tier gives the reason in his definition of a Catskill Style Dry and it is not for knot(couldn't resist the pun). However the myth of the Turle knot will continue as it has been deeply ingrained(wrongly) in fly fishing literature. An up eye hook is actually better suited for the Turle knot.

Tom
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NewUtahCaneAngler
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Re: The Turle Knot

#4

Post by NewUtahCaneAngler »

I don't like the Turle knot as I find them much harder to remove the left over tippet when retying. MUCH easier to snip off the improved clinch, which is what I always use. Just about every used fly that I have acquired from England had the remnants of a Turle knot still attached.

Cheers,
Joe

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ibookje
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Re: The Turle Knot

#5

Post by ibookje »

I tried to look for the originator of the 'clean neck' on the Catskill dry flies:
https://bassbug.blogspot.com/2021/10/th ... lmark.html


The section in Harry Darbee's book Tom mentioned above:

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upstate
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Re: The Turle Knot

#6

Post by upstate »

Most likely was Rube Cross. This is a photo of a Catskill style dry his own Cross Special that was found on the dust jacket of his book Tying American Trout Lures published in 1936. It is a wonderfully tied very sparse example of Catskill style. I find this style extremely effective when fishing! A far cry from what is portrayed on social media today. The style changed over the years. Rubes flies were developed to catch fish. Others that followed designed there flies to catch fisherman.

Tom

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jim royston
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Re: The Turle Knot

#7

Post by jim royston »

I'm surprised by this. I used the turle knot for every bent eye fly I ever put on a leader. The clinch knot looks like crap on those hooks.

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Brooks
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Re: The Turle Knot

#8

Post by Brooks »

I really like the Turle, and I also really like the Davy and Double Davy knot. But this old dog has a hell of a time doing them stream-side, and I always revert back to the old improved clinch because its like strumming an old ingrained guitar chord. Hardly have to pay attention when I do them.

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Flykuni3
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Re: The Turle Knot

#9

Post by Flykuni3 »

I tie the Clinch (not improved) so fast that's all I ever use. I use my hemo to hold the fly, give it a spin then tie, wham, done.

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quashnet
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Re: The Turle Knot

#10

Post by quashnet »

upstate wrote:
10/31/21 09:42
In fact Harry Darbee in his book A Catskill Fly Tier gives the reason in his definition of a Catskill Style Dry and it is not for knot(couldn't resist the pun). However the myth of the Turle knot will continue as it has been deeply ingrained(wrongly) in fly fishing literature. An up eye hook is actually better suited for the Turle knot.
Anything that is well-designed, including a knot, will likely provide multiple good outcomes. Just because Harry Darbee wrote about one good outcome of the Turle Knot doesn't invalidate the observations of others, particularly when an observation is not one random person's opinion, but is "deeply ingrained" in fly fishing literature. The standing end of the leader goes up through the eye of an up-eye hook, and down through the eye of a down-eye hook, and so the knot is well-suited for either hook type. It will not work with a ring-eye hook. The Turle Knot is easily tied by taking several inches of leader material and making a big bend or loop (place the working end of the tippet in front of the standing end to make the loop). Then, if you are right-handed, make two loops of tippet around the index finger of your left hand (this is why you need a few extra inches of material). The working end of your tippet goes through the big loop, then back through the two small loops. Tighten up the knot, and slip the resultant large loop over the fly. Tighten this loop into the gap between the eye and the head of the fly (in the process, recovering some of the long length of tippet material with which you began to work). I was shown this method of tying the knot in 1988. Anyone who wants a clean drift of a dry fly, a smooth "swim" of a streamer or an Atlantic salmon fly, and a straight pull against the fish when it takes the fly, should consider using the Turle knot.
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johnbontrager
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Re: The Turle Knot

#11

Post by johnbontrager »

I would agree with quashnet. In addition and where studying effects of knots in my fly tester a Turle knot is always superior for up and down eye hooks. Flies ride true to their orientation on a hook with a Turle knot whereas a clinch will change your flies attitude up or down.

billems
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Re: The Turle Knot

#12

Post by billems »

Another knot that pulls directly on the hook is the George Harvey Knot. It's another that I find too tedious to tie. But it's an interesting knot to fool with and observe. When you pull the knot tight, it "jumps" up on the hook eye like a turle. Only it's stronger. https://www.netknots.com/fishing_knots/ ... y-fly-knot

h.l.bro
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Re: The Turle Knot

#13

Post by h.l.bro »

To remove the Turle knot, just leave a short tag when you tie it. When you want to remove the knot, pull on the tag and the knot comes right off. Very easy to remove.

MtBrittany
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Re: The Turle Knot

#14

Post by MtBrittany »

The turle knot is all I use except occasionally use a Rapala knot (excuse me) for fishing streamers. Been using the turle knot since 1974.

Silver rat
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Re: The Turle Knot

#15

Post by Silver rat »

I use the Turle knot much of the time, especially at night when I'm using larger flies.

bassman
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Re: The Turle Knot

#16

Post by bassman »

So, those who use a turle knot...how does it hold up for strength? Ever test it on a scale to see the break point versus other popular knots like clinch, double davie, palomar, Uni knot (my favorite), or others used? I know the surgeons knot weakens the tippet connection but doubling helps. My two knots are Uni and blood depending on what it's being used on.

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Seabowisha Salmo T
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Re: The Turle Knot

#17

Post by Seabowisha Salmo T »

johnbontrager wrote:
11/01/21 06:39
I would agree with quashnet. In addition and where studying effects of knots in my fly tester a Turle knot is always superior for up and down eye hooks. Flies ride true to their orientation on a hook with a Turle knot whereas a clinch will change your flies attitude up or down.
hello, i also agree with quashnet; learned to tie turle knot in 1953, have tried others but find turle outperforms them all in my estimation.

regards, lim w

h.l.bro
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Re: The Turle Knot

#18

Post by h.l.bro »

Rio tested the strength of the Turle Knot in their 10# steelhead leader, it tested at 92% of the line strength:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKQ_NhnxihM

billems
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Re: The Turle Knot

#19

Post by billems »

I admire the knot. I still can't tie it fast enough. How about one of you turle experts post a vid of you tying one fast and easy?

h.l.bro
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Re: The Turle Knot

#20

Post by h.l.bro »

Here are two different ways to tie the Turle knot. The only way it is going to get fast and easy is to practice tying it. It is never going to be as fast as tying a clinch knot, but it serves a different purpose (pull a fly straight that has an up or down eye).
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=735284526917596
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKQ_NhnxihM
Last edited by h.l.bro on 11/06/21 09:27, edited 1 time in total.

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