Many flyfishing knots, while effective, are also complicated to tie, a real deterrent for novices and a general pain for anyone in a hurry. I once got an eye-opener from one of this magazine's legendary fishing editors, Al (A.J.) McClane, as I watched him rig a leader for another lodge guest who was a raw beginner. The kid had one of those knotless, tapered leaders that comes with a loop tied in the thick (fly-line) end. Ordinarily, I'd cut off the loop and attach the leader and line with a slim-but complicated and time-consuming-nail knot. But Al did it the easy way with a simple square knot in the fly line jammed around the leader loop (see sidebar). "There you go," he told our new friend. "It's not pretty, but it will work."