Many of us, particularly those who walk and wade with a fly rod in hand, incorporate the upstream mend in order to get a better, longer drift when we’re nymphing or floating a dry fly through fishy water.
But for anglers who are swinging streamers or soft-hackles, the downstream mend needs to be a part of your game, too.
When fishing downstream, the fly line on the water wants to the follow the natural course of the river or stream. Unfortunately, that produces a swing that often stalls in the current and doesn’t look at all natural. By throwing in a small mend, as demonstrated by RIO Product’s Brand Manager Simon Gawesworth in the video above, we can complete the swing, cover more water and deliver the fly to fish holding on the edges of current seams. What’s more, we can keep that line tight so we can feel a grab if a trout bites.
It may seem simple, and Simon certainly makes it appear so, but it takes practice to get the right “feel” for when a mend is needed. At first, it’ very visual. The more you do it, the more intuitive the mend becomes.