The quick-release highwayman’s hitch seems perfectly devised for the (sometimes guilty) pleasures of summer. It’s just right for tying a johnboat off to an overhanging branch. And this get-gone-quick hitch is the go-to knot for when you sneak a canoe into the city lake at night (we’d never condone this) for some late bass action (we’ve heard only “rumors” of big fish) and just might need to boogie out of there fast.

Learn to tie it now before the bass start biting.

Step 1

Illustrations by Steve Sanford

Place a loop under the fixed post, pole, branch, or railing. Form another loop in the standing line.

Step 2


Pull this second loop over the post and under the first loop.

Step 3


Make a loop in the end of the line…

Step 4


And thread it through the loop formed at the top of the knot. Pull the standing line to set the knot. To release, pull the end of the free line.