What Is Mending In Fly Fishing?

What Is Mending In Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is a multi-step process that requires several skills to achieve success. Along with knowing how to cast, anglers must understand how to identify fish feeding habits and locate fish in the water. However, the most important skill is presenting the flies in a natural manner, what is mending in fly fishing? mastering the technique of mending, also known as line control.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of what anglers should look for, and how to use different mending techniques in various fishing situations. While mending can be challenging to understand through text, we have included written descriptions and embedded top-rated videos from around the web to aid in comprehension.

What Is Mending In Fly Fishing?

What Is Mending In Fly Fishing?

If you’re new to fly fishing, you might initially mistake mending for a line repair technique. However, mending is an essential skill that passes anglers use to improve their fly presentation and make it appear more natural by reducing the drag from water that hinders flies from floating naturally.

Mending is a series of techniques that allow anglers to keep the drift going for longer by preventing drag from forming in the line. While some drag is inevitable, proper mending improves the length of the drift and allows for a more extended period for presenting flies to fish naturally.

Why Is Mending Necessary?

When fly fishing, simply casting out your line and letting it sit on the water won’t cut it. The goal is to create a realistic presentation of the fly or nymph that entices fish to strike. This means that you need to control the movement of your line and fly, and one of the most important techniques for achieving this is mending.

Mending is the process of repositioning your line and flies during the drift to eliminate drag and make it look like a natural insect. By mending, you can extend the length of your drift and keep your fly in the strike zone for longer periods.

One of the keys to successful mending is paying close attention to the movement of your line and fly. The line should be following the same path as the fly, so you need to adjust the line’s position to eliminate any unnatural drag. This means that you have to keep a close eye on your line and leader as they move through the water.

Remember, your goal is to create the illusion of natural movement to fool the fish into thinking your fly is a real insect. So, take the time to learn different mending techniques, and practice until you can achieve a drag-free drift. With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of mending and improve your chances of catching more fish.

Mending Basics

What Is Mending In Fly Fishing

To successfully mend your line, you need to first identify if there is a drag on your line. Drag occurs when the current pulls your line faster than your fly, making it look unnatural. You can recognize drag by watching your line, leader, and the way your fly drifts on the water. If you notice that your line or leader is moving faster than your fly, you need to perform a mend.

There are different types of mends you can perform depending on the situation. Upstream mend, for example, is used when your line is ahead of your fly, and you want to create slack so that your fly can drift downstream naturally. Downstream mend is used when your line is behind your fly and you want to create a drag-free drift.

To execute a mend, you need to move your rod in a specific way to create slack in the line. This can involve lifting your rod tip, rolling your wrist, or using a combination of both. The goal is to create enough slack in the line so that your fly can drift naturally with the current.

Mending is a skill that takes practice to master, but it is essential to successful fly fishing. By paying close attention to your line and knowing when and how to mend it, you can create a natural presentation that will fool even the wariest of fish.

Line Control

The fly fishing line is more complex than the spin fishing line, and when mending, you typically move the weighted fly line rather than the leader or tippet. Unlike spin fishing, you use your hands and rod to control the fly line’s position after casting.

Placing your index finger on top of the line enables you to manage line slack, which is essential in the mending process. When casting upstream, you may need to strip in the fly line and then mend to maintain a longer drift.

It is crucial to have proper line control before mending. How experienced fly anglers keep their index finger on the fly line to maintain control and how quickly recognize the “U” bend in the line on the water, indicating the need for a mend.

Watching And Reading The Water

Understanding the different types of mends is crucial for successful fly fishing. Upstream mends are used when your fly is in slower-moving water than the water your line is in. This can be caused by obstacles or other factors that slow down the water.

To make an upstream mend, you’ll need to flick the line and rod tip upstream, which will create a small “U” shape in the line on the water. This will help eliminate drag and keep your fly drifting naturally.

Downstream mends are used when your fly is in faster-moving water than the water your line is in. This can be caused by narrow sections of the streambed or other factors that speed up the water. To make a downstream mend, you’ll need to flick the line and rod tip downstream.

This will create a small “U” shape in the line on the water, which will help slow down the drift of your fly and prevent it from moving too quickly through the water. Remember, the goal of mending is to create a drag-free drift that mimics the natural movement of insects in the water.

By understanding the different types of mends and when to use them, you’ll be able to present your fly in a way that is more likely to entice fish to bite. And by paying attention to water movement and understanding how to read a river, you’ll be able to determine which type of mend to use in different situations.

Hinge Points

Exactly! The hinge point is the point where the line changes direction as a result of the mend, and it is critical to keep control of it to ensure that the drift remains as natural as possible. By properly controlling the hinge point.

You can create slack in the line, which helps your flies to move more naturally with the current and reduces the drag that can spook fish or cause your presentation to look unnatural. This is especially important when fishing in slow-moving water, where any drag on the line can be particularly noticeable to fish.

Types Of Mends

There are four types of mends that you can use in fly fishing: upstream, downstream, double, and stack. The type of mend you use depends on where your fly is located, the speed of the water, and how it affects your line and drift.

If you’re casting across different speed zones or encountering obstacles like eddies, you may need to use a more complex mend. However, the best way to mend is to position yourself with your feet so that you need to mend less and can achieve a more natural drift.

Upstream Mend

Upstream mend is often used when casting into slower-moving water on the opposite bank of the stream, and it helps reduce drag on the fly. By lifting the line upstream of the fly.

You create slack that allows the fly to drift naturally in the current, mimicking the way a real insect would move. This technique is particularly effective when fishing dry flies, as it allows for a natural presentation that is less likely to spook the fish.

Downstream Mend

It’s important to remember that mending is not just about upstream mends, but also downstream mends, double mends, and stack mends. It’s essential to choose the right mend based on the speed and direction of the water and the location of the fish.

Using the wrong mend can create drag and spook the fish, making it less likely that they will take your fly. So, it’s important to learn and practice all types of mending to become a successful fly angler.

Double Mend

A double mend is a more complex type of mend that involves creating an S-curve in the line. It’s used when casting across more than two speeds of water or when fishing in an eddy. To execute a double mend, start by making an upstream mend and then a downstream mend from far to near.

This technique can be difficult to master, but you’ll learn to use it effectively with practice. As you gain experience with mending and reading water, you’ll find that you naturally start using this technique when it’s needed.

Stack Mend

Fly fishing is a popular method for catching fish, and one of the best ways to present a fly is to place it upstream and let it drift downstream. To manage the line and prevent drag, anglers may need to perform a stack mend, also known as a kick mend or vertical mend.

This technique involves snapping the rod up and down vertically using the wrist while releasing some line tension to throw loose lines onto the water closer to you. By doing so, the fly drifts towards the target without any drag, increasing the chances of a successful catch. Practice this technique to improve your fly fishing skills and enjoy a rewarding and relaxing experience on the water.

How To Mend & Mending Tips

Whether you’re upstream, downstream, or double mending, the basic technique for mending in fly fishing is the same. To mend, you flip the rod tip, usually in a series of flips, to create a horseshoe-shaped bow in the line.

This slows the line’s speed of travel in an upstream mend or speeds it up in a downstream mend. Achieving a good single mend, whether upstream or downstream, requires throwing a certain portion of your line in the desired direction in relation to your fly. However, it’s important to avoid moving your fly too much and splashing the water as you do so.

This can be challenging, but with practice, you can master the technique. There are many video resources available to help you visualize these techniques, but the key to success is patience and spending time on the water. Keep practicing and enjoy the art of fly fishing.

There Are 5 Steps To A Good Mend

Mending is a crucial technique in fly fishing, and it’s best to mend as soon as possible to prevent difficulties in controlling the line.

  • Use your rod length to reduce the amount of line you need to mend, as less line on the water makes the process easier.
  • Before mending, pick up any slack in your line. To minimize the amount of fly line on the water, lift your rod tip high, potentially even over your head.
  • When mending, flip the tip and the line in the intended direction to reverse the “U” shape in the fly line.
  • Practice this technique to improve your fly fishing skills and increase your chances of a successful catch.
  • Remember, there’s no substitute for time on the water and patience when it comes to mastering fly fishing techniques.

Flipping The Tip

Mending is an essential technique in fly fishing that can make or break your success in catching fish. To perform a mend, you need to flip the rod tip upstream or downstream with a slight wrist rotation to slow down or speed up the line’s travel speed. The amount of movement required depends on the mend’s size, which can vary based on the water’s speed differences.

Practicing this technique and observing expert anglers can help you improve your mending abilities and catch more fish. When it comes to mending, it’s important to do it as early as possible, pick up any slack in the line before mending, and lift your rod tip high to reduce the amount of line on the water.

By using your rod length to reduce the amount of line on the water and flipping the tip and line in the intended direction, you can successfully mend the line and reverse the “U” shape. Remember that each stream is different, so you may need to adjust your techniques accordingly.

But with the right skills and techniques, you can improve your mending abilities and become a successful fly fisher. Watch expert anglers, learn from them, and apply your skills to the water. With time and effort, you’ll be able to mend your line effectively and catch more fish.


Mending is a critical technique in fly fishing that helps anglers control the movement of the fly line on the water. The process involves flipping the rod tip to create a horseshoe-shaped bow in the line, which can slow or speed up the line’s travel in upstream or downstream mend.

To achieve a good mend, it’s important to reduce the amount of line on the water, pick up any slack, and flip the tip and the line in the intended direction. By practicing these techniques, anglers can improve their fly fishing skills and increase their chances of a successful catch. Remember to be patient and spend time on the water to truly master the art of fly fishing.

The fly fishing mending technique is an essential skill for anglers who want to catch more fish. Mending the fly line allows anglers to fish across more water, as they can adjust the fly line to extend the dead drift.

Most fly lines need to be replaced after 100 to 250 uses due to wear and tear that can decrease performance.

Mend, repair, patch, and rebuild are all words that refer to fixing something that is damaged or defective. Mend implies fixing something that is broken, torn, or injured. Repair refers to fixing more extensive damage, while patching involves fixing a small area. Rebuilding involves making something new out of something old.

When fly fishing, you can’t just throw a weighted lure into the water like you would with other types of fishing. You need to use the energy from the rod. The weight of the line generates the momentum needed to deliver the fly to its target.

Joshua Collier
"Joshua Collier is an experienced angler and writer based in Florida. With over 10 years of experience fishing in freshwater and saltwater environments, Joshua has become an expert on everything from fly fishing for trout to trolling for marlin.