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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Question Mending in FAST water

    I'm posting to see if anyone knows of any videos here about mending line on very fast water with long 40-60ft casts. It seems recently I was fishing in Montana and had trouble avoiding drag even with a standard reach cast. My timing must be off but when I found slower water it wasn't an issue at all. I struggled with this for other rivers that were tooling along. At times I resorted to the serpentine cast. Thanks.

  2. Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    I would be interested too. I can still here my guide on the Gunnison saying mend, mend, mend... That fast water kicked my butt. Still caught a lot of fish and had a great time, but I could have caught more with better drifts.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    I'd be interested too. I don't get my casts out 40-60 feet, but I know if I get much line on the water my mends are ugly. In really fast water water it's hard to mend as fast as the guys in our Club want to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    I don't think you can successfully mend across 40-60 feet of fast-moving water, especially if - as seems likely - there are channels of currents at varying speeds over such distance. It seems to me that in such cases, if at all possible you would need to reposition yourself for, perhaps, more of an upstream or (preferably) downstream cast.

    I'm certainly no expert, but just my 2c.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    To start with I want to preface my comments with the fact that I don't know where you were fishing Racine and it could have very well been in a place that required a 50 foot cast so please don't take my advice as any kind of banter calling a long cast completely out of place!

    I don't know the situation that you were fishing but that much line is always going to be a huge challenge to control. One of my biggest struggles with clients who have fished before is getting them to shorten up their cast. Most of us, myself included, cast way to much line to actually fish once it hits the water. After about 30 feet of line being on the water the mend becomes very difficult, as does setting the hook. I often joke with my clients that I wished the fly line companies would make a 30 foot line, not so that the client could say he had a dozen fish get to their backing but so that the anglers can't cast farther than 30 feet. Fifteen to 25 feet of line is where the magic happens, and if you can get within that range you will see your catch rates increase ten fold!

    If you just can't wade any further, or find a better oarsman one thing that can help is to try and lift as much line off the water before making your mend as possible. 90 percent of the people I have on the water need help with their mend. The biggest mistake most people make with mending is keeping their rod tip parallel to the water. Most people rush the mend and try to roll the line with the tip of the rod traveling parallel to the waters surface. A much more effective and efficient mend is not rushed and the angler needs to pick the tip of the rod up above their head before trying to roll the line in either direction. Taking the time to lift the rod actually gets your fly drifting naturally quicker and gives you many more chances at catching a fish.

    Mending the line is by far the technique that I have to work with clients on the most and becoming and efficient and effective mender will catch you far more fish than learning to cast a long ways.

    Casting is a lot of fun but this summer's mantra to clients has been "Nothing good comes from casting, keep the fly in the water and let it ride!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    Got great advice from Biggie and Fly2fish and I agree with themI will only tell you that in my opinion the less line is on the water the best your fly will drift...use a long rod 10 or 11'...have a look here
    Dry fly
    How to catch a 15 seconds...
    Everytime I can't get as near as needed I use what we call "curve landing or parachute landing"...very seldom mending

    ---------- Post added at 07:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:20 AM ----------

    just visited Biggie's site...have a look at the 3rd pic

  7. Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    What about stack mends (mini roll casts) in your fishing situation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    Hi racine,

    Fast water mending is hard and when you add in distance it becomes really hard. I think you are on the right track using a reach cast. Here is something I do. It is really hard to explain but I will give it a try.

    Make a reach cast with a step and this gives you some slack line to work with. As soon as the line hits the water you need to make a pick up of the upper slack line using the tip of the rod and cast your slack up stream of the forward part of the line. I do this mostly with the tip of the rod in front of me and kind of a small circle/loop cast. If you keep your rod tip high and in front of you, you can add some wiggles to the line that falls to the water.

    So you end up with the back of the line further up stream than you get with just a plain reach cast and with some wiggles in it. The problem is with the 60' length you are working with. No matter how much slack or wiggles you put into the line the water between you and the fly is not all going to be moving at the same rate. There is a good chance of some slack water that may effect your drift. If you get your upper line in slack water between you and the fly you need to make a mend cast to get out of the slack water before it drags your fly.

    I will try to explain how I make the circle/loop or mend cast. When you make a reach cast you have slack line to work with using the tip of the rod. I end my reach cast with the rod tip low and pointed kinda up stream. I am right handed so everything is with the right hand. As I raise the tip high I bring the tip from the low up stream position across my body and up high and then flip the rod tip over to cast the slack back up stream. It feels like a roll cast. So I start the mend cast low on the right and move it to a high left position in a smooth flow and then flip the loop up stream. It is all done in a smooth continuous movement.

    I am afraid no amount of casts or mends is going to solve your problem out at 60'. There are just too much variances in the water speed to get a good drift. The suggestion of a longer rod is excellent. With a much longer rod you can mend more line or better control your drift. A Spey rod may be your best approach. It will also allow you to keep more line off of the water.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    Okay so maybe I shouldn't be expecting good mends and drifts out that far then and when I do it is with assistance from the wind traveling upriver. I try to keep my casts from a boat within about 30-40 ft and less but sometimes I find that very fast water complicates this process or if I see rises further out that I want to reach before I'm out of that zone I'll go for it. What I was referring to were my experiences on the Madison, the Gunnison and the lower fork of the Snake.
    Frank, I'll try to visualize your suggestions and practice that this afternoon. Thanks for the input.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Mending in FAST water

    Racine, to my knowledge this is a nearly unaddressed topic on film, and maybe the most important of all fly stuff to learn.
    My fishing distance ranges from fishing 2ft. below my feet (under a bank), to 80+ feet away, both fast and slow water.
    In my expirience, the farther away you fish, the bigger advantage fish have on you.
    It's a more loosely coupled system. Slack effects set time, as well as drag on the water.
    If you can't maintain a drift, or set, it doesn't matter how far you cast.
    Being able to move the line around on the water is the key.
    There is a re-circulating eddy that I teach mending on, with beginner/Intermediate clients.
    The game is, move line, but not the bobber/fly (same with dries).
    Most folks have what I call a "nervous mend" many small mends, that don't really fix the drift, and moves the fly.
    Once you get behind on the drift, you probably won't be able to correct. Go with Frank's tip, reach cast, then a big air mend, then extend the drift by lifting the line out of those grabby currents. Longer undisturbed drifts is the goal.
    In my experience, large pressured fish watch a fly for unnatural movment, if the mend moves the fly (either dry, or under an indy) love.
    I say, "the wrong fly on a good drift, will catch more fish, than the right fly on a bad drift".
    Fish only as far away as you can effectively manage your line. Faster water is just harder and requires more practice.
    Extend the rod high, and lift the line off, instead of the lazy, elbow-down sideways flip.
    The less line on the water, the easier the mend. The easier the mend the better the drift.
    The better the drift (every time), the greater the chance your fish of dreams will come by to say hi.
    Happy drifting.

    Last edited by Bigfly; 08-24-2010 at 02:57 PM.
    Ultimately, it's not catching fish that satisfies, but knowing how.


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