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Caucasian man tying a fly on his fly fishing line while fishing for salmon and searun cutthroat

No matter who or when, you will be called on to tie something together when fly fishing.

The Albright Knot

By Skip Clement

The Albright Knot, and all its iterations, get used by almost every angler who ties their knots.

The Albright Knot was invented by one of the Florida Keys’ most significant guides and iconic personalities, Jimmy Albright. After serving during WWII, Albright returned to the Keys and resumed his guiding, which his wife, Franki, had assumed in his absence. She remained well respected among her male peers and was very influential in environmental matters, especially regarding Florida Bay – halting all commercial fishing from plundering it.

Many guides and offshore captains have contributed and still contribute to the specialness that has become the Keys professional guide and offshore captain’s signature. However, one man has been singled out and eulogized by his peers and sport fishing outdoor editors as typifying those attributes best. His name is Jimmy Albright.

Almost everyone acquainted with fishing in South Florida, or saltwater fishing, knew who Jimmy Albright was. Anyone who knew him spoke volumes about his specialness to them; ask any keys guide or offshore captain with a few miles on his face. They will tell you he is the stuff of absolute legend and, oddly, not because he was such a talent as a guide or even inventor of the Albright Knot, but because he was, inexplicably, a man of special rank among them.

Legendary Captain Jimmy Albright with Jimmy Stewart. A good catch for a novice from Hollywood. The photo was taken in the 1960s. Photographer unknown. Photo provided by Sandy Moret, owner of the Florida Keys Outfitters.

Albright was a favorite guide of the rich and famous because he possessed an aura that few own. He respected what he did for a living, defended the Keys environment (past president of the Islamorada Fishing Club), and helped elevate his fellow guide and offshore captain colleagues’ vocation.

Today, because of Albright, Keys guides and offshore captains work harder and smarter than guides anywhere else to ensure each client’s success and jealously protect the environment where they ply their trade.

Albright would be proud to know that the high standards he set for guiding lives on. It’s a standard that separates the Florida Keys fly fishing guides and offshore fly fishing captains from all others of such a claimed degree of accomplishment.

Tying the Albright Knot

Many knots have alterations, tied with modification, like the Albright being called the Hesse, Alberto, and a dozen others. Some are good dealing with braid, others simply complicating the knot, a few even invite failure because the tying assumes it is easy to weave down and up, in perfect spacing between coils. Some, like the latter, do hold, but they are quite lumpy well tied or poorly tied.

The easiest ‘Albright’ is the original

It has been unfailing in it original form for over 60 years tied mono to mono [monofilament] of differing diameters and brands, mono to wire as bite guards, mono to fluorocarbon, but since fly fishers do not, on any consistent basis, tie mono to braid, or braid to fluoro regarding leaders, the faux invention of newly fathered knot names proliferates.

Here is the original Albright Knot tied correctly – only requiring additional or fewer turns based on line type or diameter

NOTE: The number of turns varies and depends on the line used and diameters: wire, mono, fluoro, fly line, and braid. The universality of the Albright Knot is that it can tie fly line to backing, substituted as the Nail Knot, and all the connections in any leader build.


Author Skip

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