.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


The Basics: Presentation - Part 9 - Mending the Line
Yesterday, we went over the roll cast. Quite frankly, I did so because it is very
useful in getting out line when you first start to make a cast. It can also come in
handy when objects are behind you and you don't have room for a backcast;
however, Its real use in catching trout is very limited. I say that only because it
straightens out the leader and tippet. It isn't easy to make a roll cast with slack
line, or at least I haven't figured out how to do it.

I guess you are beginning to take note of the fact that I think a cast that
straightens the line, leader and tippet out is of very little use in trout fishing. It
works better with streamers than anything else but that is about it as far as I am
concerned. I also guess you have noticed that I think long cast made to catch
trout are worthless in most cases. I can only think of a very few cases where  
long cast are necessary. Most cast should place the fly within a very few inches
of where it would be most effective and that isn't easy to do if you are making a
seventy-five foot cast. It isn't easy to do if you are only casting forty feet. If
there's any wind, it isn't easy to do if you are casting twenty-five feet. If you end
up with an adequate amount of slack in your leader and tippet, it isn't a piece of
cake to achieve that accuracy at any distance.
If you are fishing for trout in a
in most cases, if your cast doesn't leave some slack in the line,
it's a bad presentation. The slack line cast is an absolutely essential
part of fly fishing for trout.

Most all casting instructions made in person, a book, or a video focus on
distance, which in most every case, ends up straightening the line, leader and
tippet out. In essence, they teach exactly what you shouldn't do. I know that isn't
the intension of any of them, but it is the result. They all teach that mending the
line is necessary to get a drag free drift. In my view, mending line is fixing a cast
you've screwed up. A well presented fly doesn't need mending. Mending has its
place and that is usually when you are trying to make a very long, drag free
Making cast that straighten out your line, leader and tippet and
then immediately mending the line on the water is a very bad practice.
You should mend the line when the line is still in the air.

There are several different types of cast that achieve that. Each one has its
place. One of the most useful of them all is the simple and easy to make reach
cast. We will get into the reach cast tomorrow.