Always Mend Upstream

Myth 29 Fly Fishing Western Wyoming

Always Mend Upstream

Let’s start with the general consideration of an “on the water mend”. In general when we make a cast and the line hits the water, and then we mend the line, there are two things that happen- both not particularly good. First, the line hits the water and is being moved before the mend can be completed. This means the angler has less time to make the fly drift as intended. Second, any “on the water mend” means the fly is being pulled towards the angler as the mend occurs, which means the fly cannot be presented along with the far bank. The mend will pull it off the bank.

One other note concerning on the water mends. Most people do not mend sufficient line to actually create an optimal drift. The mend must occur all the way to fly when dry fly fishing or the indicator when nymph fishing. A simple flick of the rod tip seldom creates an adequate mend. We will be illustrating the proper mend technique when we make our new video series this summer.

Learning to reach mend or curve cast is a big help when trying to present a fly without drag, especially up against the far bank. Go to our YouTube channel to see how to make the reach mend. We will be creating more videos this summer which will illustrate these techniques, using actual fishing situations on the river.

Finally,  let’s talk about the direction of a mend. 95% of my clients automatically mend upstream. While this is often the proper direction to mend there are plenty of times when a downstream mend is required. Remember, the purpose of a mend is to create a drag-free drift. If the current is moving from the anglers right to left with slow water directly in front of the angler, and the target is in faster water further out, the mend must be made downstream!! An upstream mend in this situation will actually exacerbate the problem of drag.

Again this summer we will be illustrating this concept on video so look for our new video series “fishing casts on the water”. If you don’t already know how to do it, try to learn to reach mend! This mend is, for typical trout fishing, much more important than the double haul. Being able to reach mend will catch you much more fish!

April 2018 newsletter

I just returned from 10 days in Chilean Patagonia. The Hotel del Paine is located in the heart of Cerros del Torro National Park. At this time there are five lodges in the park and none have developed a fly fishing program. I was invited to check out the fishing and make some recommendations as regards the possibility of creating a world-class fly fishing lodge.

What I found was exciting. The lodge is very nice, the food is out of this world, and the staff is beyond nice and friendly. In addition, wildlife and scenery were absolutely stunning. I observed condors, foxes, guanacos, pumas, and much more. The scenery, hiking, and photography were awesome. Horseback riding, river trips, and glacier trips are also available. Add to that some really first-class fishing and to say I was impressed is an understatement. All of the photos in this newsletter are from the trip. In the future, there’s a good possibility I will be working with Hotel del Paine to develop fishing packages and destinations. I’ll keep you posted.

As for Wyoming! As of April 5, the Hams Fork drainage was at 88% normal snowpack. Given the high levels of groundwater, accumulated over the last few years, it should be a good summer. Of course, it is still way too early to predict the actual timing and intensity of the runoff, but right now the Hams Fork should be in great shape by June 15, the Green by July 1, and the Smiths Fork by maybe 15 July. We’ll keep you posted.

We still have a few scattered openings in July,  August, and September. We will not be guiding in October this year. Feel free to give us a call if you will be in our area. We can make recommendations as regards fishing and travel accommodations.


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