04/03/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Little Brown Stoneflies
4.    Quill Gordons
5.    Blue Quills
6.    Little Black Caddis
9.    Hendricksons and the Red Quills


Basics of Fly Fishing - Mending Your Fly Line
I'm probably different from many others about mending your fly line in the sense that
I consider mending your fly line a matter of correcting a mistake in your cast. I will
have to admit that's true only if every cast was perfect and of course, with the
exception Perfect Flies, everything isn't always so perfect. Well, perfect in the sense
that anytime you catch a trout you were using the perfect fly. If you made a perfect
cast fishing the fast pocket water streams of the Smokies each and every time, your
fly line would never need mending.
To do that would be about as difficult as
making a hole in one on every hole of a golf course.
No one has ever shot a
golf score of 18, or made every field goal they attempted or hit a home run every
time at bat. Anglers don't always place their fly and fly line in the best place on the
water it could be placed with just the amount of slack line needed. There are times
you need to mend your fly line.

I just looked up the word "mending" and noticed the definitions mention fixing or
repairing something.
I guess you could say that mending you fly line is
"fixing" a bad cast to get a better presentation.
The problem is that some
anglers make every cast they make without any slack line and then just
automatically mend their fly line. I guess that's okay
as long as you realize you
probably are not going to catch as many trout as you could.

The time your fly is drifting in a position such that it needs "fixing", you're most likely
wasting time. Worse than that,  when you "fix" the position of your fly line, it's often
not much different than making another cast. You stand a chance of spooking the
very trout your trying to catch.

Mending your fly line is often just another much shorter cast where the fly line hits
the water again, providing yet another opportunity for the trout to notice it. If you
make two or three mends, picking up a portion of your fly line and re-positioning it to
another location, you are giving nearby trout two or three more opportunities to
notice your fly line.

You should always try to make the cast such that it will drift drag-free
without needing mending.
When that can't be done with a straight, tight-line cast,
you should make a slack line cast that's appropriate for the particular current
situation. When that doesn't turn out as well as you would like, you should mend
your fly line as quickly as possible.

That actually happened to me once. I had to mend my fly line because I didn't make
a perfect cast. Well, I meant that actually happened to me once on a blue moon
when I didn't make a perfect cast. Well, I mean that actually happened to me off and
on all day long the last time I fished on a blue moon. Well, to be honest, I mean that
only happens to me every few cast,
providing I'm having a good day.  

How to mend your fly line
Remember the reach cast I wrote about a few days ago. In essence, the reach cast
is a mend. It's just done when the fly line is in the air before it hits the water. When
you make a straight-line cast and reach upstream during the cast, you are placing
your fly line upstream of the leader, tippet and fly. You do the same thing when you
make an upstream mend.

Upstream Mend:
If your casting up and across fast water to slow water, the fast water will instantly
grab the fly line and drag your fly across the slow water. Again, the best way to
prevent this from happening is to make a slack line cast such as a simple upstream
reach cast. Another "fix it" way is to "mend" the line by instantly picking up the part
of the fly line that's in the fast water and tossing it upstream. This will provide
enough slack in the line to prevent the fly from dragging. It also causes a certain
amount of disturbance on the surface of the water which is the basic problem with
having to mend your fly line.

This upstream mend is done by pointing the rod straight in line with the straightened
out fly line and flipping some of the line upstream using your wrist or arm. This takes
a little practice because you only want to pick up the part of the fly line that's
crossing the fast water. This means you have to pick up the portion of the fly line
between your rod tip and what's referred to as the "hinge" point of the line without
disturbing the rest of the fly line. If your not careful and overdo it, you will pick up
most all the fly line and drag the fly yourself. The hinge point is the point at which
the fly line crosses from fast to slow water. It should be "hinged" at the current
seam. Once you learn to pick up the right amount of line and get the other
movements down pat, you should focus on learning to mend your line with the least
amount of disturbance.

Downstream Mend:
If you are casting across fast water to slower water that's directly across the stream,
or if your making the cast slightly down and across the stream, you can simply toss
some slack in your fly line. In this case, the fast current must pull all of the slack out
of the fly line before it drags the fly in the slower water. This can be done by
pointing the tip of your fly rod towards the fly; stripping some fly line off the reel; and
shaking out some slack fly line through the guides. When your making this type of
mend, there isn't any need to have to pick the fly line up off the water. Just shake
out some slack line on the water near the rod tip.

2011 James Marsh