Learn How To Mend Line While Fly Fishing.
Why mend your fly line?
It’s all about the drift baby! Learning how to properly mend fly line while your fly is in the water is crucial. A good mend leads to a good drift. A good drift leads to more fish caught on top and bottom. Mending fly line is the difference between casting a fly rod and fishing with a fly rod. Trout do not care how your fly got to the water, they care about what you do when it is in the water. So mend it to bend it.
Types of mends.
The type of mend you throw depends entirely on the water you are fishing. What I mean is the flow of the river dictates to you. Are you casting your fly in to fast water and your line is in slower water or visa versa? Are you casting straight up stream, 45 and up, across, or down?
Up Stream Mend- Use an Up Stream Mend when your fly is in slow water and your line is in fast water.
Down Stream Mend- Use a Down Stream Mend when you fly is fast water and your line is in slow water.
Wiggle Mend- Use a Wiggle Mend when you are casting up stream.
♦ It should be noted here that sometimes you may be using multiple types of mends on one drift.
How to mend.
I like to tell my clients that “less is more when it comes to fly fishing”. This saying is certainly true for mending fly line. The more line you have on the water the bigger the harder the mends. The less line the smaller the easier mends. When you mend your line you are doing just that ” the line”. Not the leader, not the fly….the line. Jerking the fly around defeats the purpose. However sometimes moving the fly is necessary to get it into a feeding lane.
When needing a upstream mend or a down stream mend lift up the rod tip. The higher you lift the less line to mend. While pointing your rod tip at your fly draw a capital “C” in the air with your tip. Of course the direction of that ” C” depends on what side of the river you are on. For a wiggle mend lift the rod tip up. Draw a “Z” in the air with your rod tip. Wiggle Mends are great for casting up stream.
When to use a Mend.
A wise man….that man being me says “watch the bubbles”. You will know you have a good drift if your fly is floating down the river the speed of the bubbles. Most importantly you will need to watch your fly line. If you notice that your line is speeding ahead of your fly, its time to mend up stream. If your fly is drifting with the current and your line is following behind much slower you might need a down stream mend. Sometimes you will need to do both on the same drift. Remember the great thing about fly fishing is you should never be doing nothing.