Ever wondered how experienced fly fishers achieve perfect drifts? The secret lies in their proficiency in ‘mending’ — a quintessential fly fishing technique. But what is mending in fly fishing? Let’s unravel this mystery together.

The Essence of Mending

Why is Mending Important?

Mending is crucial in fly fishing because it helps overcome the most challenging adversary – the unpredictable water currents. The technique allows you to control the line’s path, achieving a natural drift and enticing fish to bite.

How Mending Works

When mending, you manually adjust your line on the water without disturbing your fly. This manipulation compensates for varying water speeds and directions, keeping your fly presenting naturally, just like a tasty snack for a fish.

Techniques of Mending

Upstream Mending

In upstream mending, you flick your rod tip upstream after the cast. This technique helps prevent your line from dragging your fly downstream too quickly.

Downstream Mending

When you’re casting across faster currents, downstream mending comes into play. Here, you flick the rod tip downstream, allowing your fly to drift more naturally.

Stack Mending

For longer drifts, stack mending is your best bet. This method involves adding more line onto the water, continuously mending it to extend your fly’s drift.

Practical Tips for Effective Mending

Timing Your Mend

The timing of your mend can make or break your drift. Mend too early, and you might spook the fish; too late, and your fly will drag unnaturally.

Amount of Line to Mend

How much line should you mend? The simple answer is: as much as necessary. It depends on the current and how much you need to counteract it to keep your fly drifting naturally.

Mending Angles

When mending, remember not to simply flip your line. It’s about setting the proper angles and adjusting them according to the water’s behavior.

Mistakes to Avoid in Mending


While mending is important, overdoing it can disturb the water and spook fish. Strive for balance.

Ignoring Currents

Not all water flows at the same rate. Ignoring variances in current can lead to ineffective mending and poor drifts.

Misjudging Distance

Mending requires accurate judgment of distance. Misjudgments can lead to poor line control and ultimately unsuccessful fishing.

Equipment for Effective Mending

Choosing the Right Rod

A longer rod gives you better control and a larger mending range, making mends easier and more efficient.

Selecting the Right Line

A double taper fly line is often considered best for mending. It offers superior control, allowing you to execute precise mends.

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Mending

Mending is an art that every fly fisher must master. It demands practice, patience, and understanding of the river’s flow. But once honed, it can be the key to a rewarding fly fishing experience.

FAQs on Mending in Fly Fishing

What is mending in fly fishing?

Mending in fly fishing is a technique used to control the drift of the fly, compensating for various water speeds and directions.

Why is mending important in fly fishing?

Mending is important as it helps achieve a natural drift of the fly, making it more enticing to fish.

What are some common mending techniques?

Common mending techniques include upstream mending, downstream mending, and stack mending.

What mistakes should I avoid when mending?

Common mistakes include over-mending, ignoring currents, and misjudging distances.

What equipment helps with mending?

A longer rod and a double taper fly line can significantly assist with mending.

Anthoni Ja
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