Casting Tip February 2013by: Bill Armon CCI
MENDING – a means to prevent drag on your line, before it moves your fly, so that you get as real a presentation as possible. (dry fly fishing). Or, a means to get your fly to sink as quickly as possible and to get an upward drift / swing of your fly while it is being seen by a fish.
The basics of mending can be summarized but there are as many variations as there are different currents in a river’s flow. Mend immediately after the fly lands; this will help to keep the fly from moving.
Begin with the rod tip close to the surface of the water (start low). Have the proper amount of slack in the line before you start the mend. (This is the devil in the detail). The point where the line to be mended meets the line not to be mended should be at the seam of the current. Lift your rod high in the air, above your head if necessary, in the shape of an upside down U. (This is not a straight line or sideways flip). Usually this means tossing some line up current. The longer your rod (the more line you can lift off the water), the easier this is to do.
While mending you do not want to move your fly off target. The basic form is to raise the rod tip as high as possible and flip the slack line up current of the fly. If you have too much slack you will not move enough line. If you have too little slack you will move the fly. Depending on the speed of the current you may never need to mend or if the current is very fast it may require one mend right after another. You may even have to change direction of mends in a single cast.
The goal is to keep the line under control so the fly floats drag free until you want it to move to improve your presentation. In Dry fly fishing you always want a drag free drift but in wet fly fishing mending becomes even more complex as you are also controlling depth and presentation.
With practice you will be in the strike zone when you start the swing (drag). All you have to do is lift the portion of the line you want to mend off the water, while leaving the portion you do not want to mend on the water.
Another possibility is to use a reach cast or to make an aerial mend cast. These casts will be the topic of a future “Casting Tips”. If anyone has a topic they would like to see discussed send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will appear in a future newsletter.
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