Written by: Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow, Epic Waters Angling
Epic Waters Angling and Orvis have teamed up to create a steelheading miniseries. Using the latest Orvis prototypes, the clips are specifically catered to small-stream tactics. After a busy season of guiding, Derek Botchford and Steve Morrow set out to deliver viewers techniques that are designed to elevate the game of steelhead anglers from the west to the Great Lakes.
Fly fishing offers some inherent challenges brought on by the effects of moving water on our fly line. One of the most important considerations is how to manipulate the line to achieve the presentation you want. We’ve previous covered “Mending with a Purpose,” but beyond simple mends, there are some useful tactics to alter the speed and depth of a swing.
1. The Feed Mend
Make your cast, out and across, and make a standard mend. Then, when the tension is lost, strip-off and feed line into the drift to maximize depth. The key is to release the fed line before everything comes tight.
2. The Step Mend
Make your cast, mend, and then simply step down river–as your line travels drag-free–to create depth.
3. The Pull Back
When gauging the length of your desired cast, hold a little extra line. As your forward cast approaches the end of the delivery, pull back slightly while releasing the couple feet of extra line in your hand. This will create some slack that you can then use to mend into your presentation. This slack can be used to create depth and reposition line for a slower swing, all without pulling on the fly (which causes it to rise in the water column).