Monday, August 23, 2010

Mend Smarter, not Harder!

We've been having some very, very good foam fishing lately, but only if you're getting your fly in the zone, and more importantly, KEEPING it there! Big fish are lazy, and the longer your fly hangs in the zone, the better you're going to be.

Especially out of a drift boat, your mend is just as important (if not more-so) then your cast. You want to be mending the line all the way up to the bug, without pulling the fly out of the zone. This takes a lot of practice, but is pretty much a requirement to land the truly big fish on foam flies.

A couple tips (in essence, this is from a Drift-Boat point of view):

1. The line & leader closest to the fly is the stuff that matters! They'll be the quickest to pull out of the zone, and if you have these lined up immediately after your cast, you fly will sit a lot properly a lot longer. Mend the instant your fly lands. If you wait, you'll be too late.

2. You are allowed to mend more than once per cast. Typically you should throw your bug, do a big mend to line the leader and fly line closest to the fly upstream. Your next mend should work on the line closest to the rod tip, and align that with the fly.

3. More line, more problems. Don't add more line into your system when mending. The more line on the water, the more that can drag in the long run.

4. Master the reach mend, it will throw a mend in the cast before the line lands on the water setting you up for a great float. A reach mend can be achieved by casting as normal but when you have stopped your rod and your line is beginning to head to it's target, sweep your rod in the direction you would have mended to reposition the fly line without effecting where the fly lands. Trust me, this one takes some practice but is extremely valuable.

But how do I mend more efficiently you ask?? The most common mistakes we see are anglers that like to mend with the rod tip. A flick of the rod tip in a semi circle motion will rarely get the job done. Mending is a full body motion, well, almost. Use your arm to extend and lift the rod in an arcing motion, lifting as much line up and off of the water and repositioning where you want it. The key here is that too much and you can hank your fly off the bank or out of the "sweet spot" ie. mend smarter not harder.

Lazy trout like their bugs to hang around before committting.

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