A little while ago I wrote about some of the things you can do
to control your slack as you make a cast. This time let's look
at a few things after you have presented your cast. I
suppose this might also be called mending your line, or just plain
mending. Whatever, it is how to control your fly line and your
slack after the cast. Here, no control equals no fish, or probably
no fish. Sometimes they might swallow it.
Let's start with a medium sized stream flowing from your left to
your right. You are pitching a dry fly quartering upstream. You
have a fish rising across from you, right straight across from you.
Dry fly size twelve, five X leader. If you cast just above the rise
your line will start to pull down stream from the middle. Your fly
will drag way too soon. You must cast quartering up stream.
So you do. But now you will have your line pulling down from
the middle again
Unless you throw a mend into it. Here is one way I like to use. Right
after I have made a nice straight presentation, perhaps even a bit of
a recoil cast, I will raise my rod tip up, straight up and allow fly line
to slip thru the guides as I do it. Then pinching the line with my left
hand, give a sharp little roll of the rod, throwing a loop of line out into
the water, just part way across. This gives the stream something to fiddle
with as the fly drifts draglessly down to the riser.
After he refuses my fly for any of a thousand reasons, I like to use a
horizontal pick up and fire the cast right back quartering upstream again..
The little half of a roll cast is called a mend. It is just another method of
controlling your slack. It gives your fly time to float over the fish without
the little waves in the surface. There may be times when you need to cast
farther upstream and pitch two or three little mends into your drift.
Whatever it takes, no two situations are the same.
There is a more aggressive mend you might need to practice but it can
be a dandy when you need it. This is when you are fishing a fly down
from an indicator. Often this works best when the fly is a bit on the
heavy side and the indicator is not.
After you have made the quartering upstream cast pull back
letting line again slip through the rod and make a half roll cast
just hard enough to flip the indicator up and out but not moving
the fly in any way. This gives the fly more time to sink and drift
along before the current starts it on a swing. Again, with this
method you can, if given the right amount of room and a clear
stream edge, literally walk down stream and keep your fly deep.
I'm sure there are many more examples of mending, in fact I know
there are, but I think you get the general idea. To improve your fly
fishing you should learn more and more about line control, before,
during and after the presentation. For a real treat sometime, find a
place where you can try these out or just practice them. No fishing.
Just practice. It will pay off in the long run. ~ James Castwell