Are you mending your line?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Davy, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Davy

    Davy Active Member

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    The other day after the angler I was fishing with finished the drift he came back up the bar and sat and watched me fish. "So thats how you fish the fly is it?" He said.

    This led to a discussion and show and tell of several well known guides he has fished with and how they fish and how he fishes and how I fish,,etc.

    We all fish differently it seemed, similar I guess, but still differently. But, or and, we all catch fish . Well, they do anyway.( me,, I just get lucky every other year)

    One guy uses a sort of a reach and a big mend at the top and just lets it swing around never mending again, another angler lets it slide some then a big mend at the apex of the swing then nothing. Another guy uses a soft lift at the apex then an occasional mend somewhat slowing the fly and letting it drift through the swing(me) . Still another lets it slide into the swing then begin mending constantly to slow down the fly. Some anglers reverse mend to all but stop or even reswing the fly in the drift. And others may crossmend to set up a good fish striking angle even. The discussion went on and on along the lines of , "So, heres how so and so fishes" and "heres how this guy fishes"

    Sometimes the conditions will change how we all fish to be sure, but we were speaking in general on a pretty standard type steelhead run of water leading to a tailout.

    I just found it interesting how different we all presented the fly .

    So,,, How are you mending?

    davy:beer2:
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Just the holes in my pants:p :p
     
  3. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    Davy,
    Some runs don't require any mending.

    I think that most of us began fly fishing for trout, so we pretty much get used to avoiding drag. But I find that when fly fishing for summer and fall run steelhead, a swinging fly under tension draws far more takes than both a drag free swing or a dead drifted fly. However, winter SH, since they won't move very far take a dead drifted fly much better.

    Of course at times, some SH won't take anything no matter what you do!

    Don
     
  4. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Generally I'm doing a medium to large mend up front then one or 2 more mid swing if 'needed'. I may exend the swing with the rod tip reaching arms as well as sliding some line through my fingers (if I didn't shoot it all out on the cast).

    Lately I think I really just need to slow down and concentrate better. I find myself trying to cover more water by actually stepping down DURING the swing. Anyone else do that? I cover a heck of a lot of water that way, but I'm convinced I'm missing fish. I do stop and work the really juicy bits of water and work over a missed strike or where I saw a fish roll.

    What are your thoughts on moving your feet during the swing? Besides losing some concentration and adding more risk to tripping and falling in, is it way less effective, or is it possible that extending the drift and swing that way will get more strikes? I don't catch enough steelhead swinging to know if one method I try is better than the next...
     
  5. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    I use the mend that I need in the circumstances I am in. Not all fishing requires a mend in the line every time. Sometimes I will "reach cast",( an aerialized mending cast that positions the line in relationship to the fly, usually placing the line upstream of the fly). Sometimes I will mend as the fly hits the water, or a split second afterwards. Most of the time I do not want to affect the fly with the mend, nor to yank on the leader during the mend. Sometimes I will mend once, twice or more, through the drift as well. I may mend all of the line to the leader, or just the back end of it. I usually try to get the back end of a sink tip or heavy head to align parallel with the current so that the fly and line will drop down without whipping across current. And I will often mend to allow the fly to track slowly across current on a hanging swing. I dont want the fly moving too fast and I dont want the line ahead of the fly in the same arc of radius.

    All of this will depend on the line, leader, flows, depth, weight of fly etc.
     
  6. Brian St

    Brian St New Member

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    In regards to moving your feet during the swing I don't see anything wrong with it. For me its about the type of water
    I am fishing. On big runs like the mixer I like to fish it from the top all the way to the bottom, my feet never stop moving once I start. I am taking very small steps the whole way through the run.There are some rivers where you need to really concentrate just to take your next step. On smaller water the fish are not as spread out and I tend use the traditional cast,swing,step approach.

    Brian Styskal
     
  7. Luv2flyfish

    Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

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    IT all depends on the water that you are standing in on any given day.

    I would have to say though that my personal favorites are what I call, "self menders." There is just the right amount of transition between the heavier water and the inside that it just mends itself. The swing is primo the whole way through........I love those. There have only been a few though. There is one run that the self mender happens about in the middle, and its only that way for about 30 yards.....then its back to manually mending.
     
  8. SPEYBUM

    SPEYBUM Member

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    Mending the big question.

    I has been my experience that most Speycasters will mend way to much.
    The first question doses the fly need to be mended to make the desired presentation.
    If it doses which way do you want to mend upstream to get the fly sink or down stream to get more speed on the fly.
    On and on we can go.
    This is what I do most of the time I will do a reach cast so I can get the fly positioned where I want it to be (as a side bar this will also open up the loop so your lines will not collide if your anchor happens to be inside of the straight ling path of your rod tip) not where it was headed. The reach cast is about all in need to get the job done 90% of the time.
    If is see area where I think I need to get the fly down during the presentation I will stack mend. Piling as much line on, as I need to get the desired effect.
    Word of causation about stack mending it can cost you flies and sinktips if done incorrectly.
    My $.02 worth
    :cool:
     
  9. metalhead

    metalhead New Member

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    i agree with speybum, no mend means more bends in your rod!
     
  10. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    There was actually an interesting article in Fly Fishing & Tying Journal about a year ago where two spey guys actually stuck a measuring stick in a river and then tested the sink rate of tips and the effects of mending. What they found was that mending actually could have the opposite effect. The act of mending seemed to lift the line higher in the water column. I haven't been able to break myself of the habit, however, and generally throw a good mend or two at the top of the drift w/ the occasional mend during the swing if current seams are putting a bend in my line.
     
  11. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    I agree with speybum in that mending, being the key to presentation really is the big question when it comes to traditional steelhead fishing. Concerning winter fish, I like to fish for the mean ones, so I am not too concerned with depth, or to a point, speed. When I make a cast I am visualizing the exact spot I suspect the fish is lying. My mends are determined my how I want to show that fish the fly (high low fast slow broadside rear profile). I expect the fish to move as the fly comes by him and begin to track it. So once I swing by the lie I am just doing everything I can to make a follower a biter. This rarely includes mending but does include changing speeds by leading or holding back the fly with the rod tip. As a general rule I like to keep my fly roughly two thirds of the way to the bottom and moving at a speed that activates the dressing but does not cause it to overly compress. As has been said, every spot demands its own interpretation, Mending up for slower deeper, mending down to create the mach one swing, stacking, leading, following or strategic stripping all will pay of at the right time.
    I guess what I am saying is,I try to keep an open mind.
    Jim
     
  12. headstrong1

    headstrong1 youngish old guy

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    Good discussion here.

    I would also be interested to hear how folks who fish the full sinkers accomplish their mend. It seems that one needs to be really on it to get a mend if needed before the line goes down. Or do you simply lay the cast out with the mend already in it? Floaters and sink-tips seem more forgiving in terms of flipping the cast off the water for a mend.
     
  13. gt

    gt Active Member

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    when i fish the t14's, i make my cast 90 degrees to the current flow. as soon as the head touchs down, i make one big upstream mend and follow the line along with the rod tip. thats it!
     
  14. Davy

    Davy Active Member

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    tis turned out better than I had thought, all good intentions and info here . The thing that struck me was when the guy I was fishing with was speaking he mentioned some pretty "heady" names in the steelhead business and they all, to a degree ,given the same water fished it differently with similar success it seems.

    anyway, get fishin, I am stuck on the couch while the river is perfect nursing the flu-- always somethin!!! be out by tomorrow I don't care
     
  15. ssickle1

    ssickle1 Slow and Low

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    I do sort of a big reach cast/mend at the top the try to dead drift to 45'ish where I begin to fish. At the same time all this is going on I am 3 stepping. Some times I cast 45' upstreem and dead drift down to 45' below and begin the swing. I try to keep actula mending to a minimum while fishing a sink tip.

    I just stick to a tight mend when dry lining. I also avoid casting too much above 45'.

    a down stream mend is ok for more speed.