Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I demonstrate how to make aerial mends in your line, creating an upstream or downstream mend before your line touches down on the water. This is a great technique for when you’re casting across varying currents, and it will help you achieve better and longer dead drifts. By making the mend during the cast, you avoid having to break the surface tension to move the line, as you would with a traditional mend.
An aerial mend is quite easy to make, but there are two parts that will require some practice: the size of the mend and where it occurs along the line. By simply drawing a “C” or a “D” with the rod tip, you can create the belly required for a mend. The size of the letter you draw determines the size of the mend. How long you wait after the rod stops on the forward cast determines where that mend will occur. If you want it to be far out near the tip of the line, draw the letter right after the rod stops. To make a mend closer to you, wait a bit before drawing the letter.
With a little practice, you’ll get a feel for both the size and the location of the mend. Good luck!