We’re wrapping up our mini-series on mending your fly line. Written by Chris Price, our manager at Chile West, this group of posts so far has covered an introduction to mending, Belly, How to Lift and Lay, and Nymphing and the Complete Mend.
Today we’re putting it all together to fish a complex current well, by mending well!
The Finish Line
As we know, the mend has an effect on the presentation of the fly to the fish. Once you have achieved the correct presentation, you want to maximize the duration of the presentation.
Usually you want the fly to drift the same speed as the current that which the fly is drifting in, whether it be dry fly or nymph. We have talked about a few different mending situations such as ‘belly’ both good and bad, upstream mend, downstream mend, lifting the fly line and laying it over and a complete mend.
Now let’s put it all together – all of the above mending situations in one cast and drift.
Looking out at this imaginary drift you intend to fish, you have 4 different currents. Let’s think of a 4 lane slot car race track and 4 different race cars, some slow and some fast. We want all the cars to cross the finish line in a tie.
Out where you perceive the fish to be, the current is fairly fast. This is lane 1, the fast lane. Just inside this, there is a boulder that creates a back eddy. This is lane 2, a reverse current at first that then starts to flow downstream. Lane 3 is fairly smooth water with a constant flow but a little slower than lane one. Lane 4 is frog water, barely moving.
Before you make the cast, analyze what you must do to get the fly to drift correctly. This will be a four stage process, working from where the fly lands (lane 1) towards you – lanes 2, 3 and 4. Keep in mind you must mend quickly before the line comes tight and creates drag on the fly.
Make your cast landing the fly into lane 1. Lift and lay the mend upstream in lane 1. Flick a small downstream belly mend into lane 2 but not disturbing lane one. Lay the fly line flat across lane 3 and hold the fly line up and off the water in lane 4. If need be mend a belly into lane 4.
Yes, it can become complicated but sometimes this is what’s needed to minimize drag and maximize the presentation. Hopefully you have a two lane road most of the time, but when you want to get somewhere you’re probably going to take the freeway which is 4 lanes!
Practice makes perfect. Good Luck.