Mending is changing the position of the line after the cast. In-the-air mends are made as the line is straightening and falling to the water. These are the primary mends–that is, they are to be used first, before on-the-water mends. The Reach Mend in very simple to execute and will eliminate or greatly minimize drag in 80% of the angler’s fishing situations. It can be used when fishing up, across, or down current, but is most frequently used when fishing across stream.
This is how to do it. Cast, and as thee line is extending, merely reach the rod out to the side–either side–for as far as needed. If only a little mend is necessary, only reach a short ways. If a big mend is required, reach as far as possible. That’s it. Too simple, huh? Here’s a tip to make the learning really simple. Say the words, “Cast,” ‘Reach.” Saying them out loud forces your mind and muscles to get synched.
The basic use of the Reach is when fishing across currents that pull the line downstream faster than the fly, causing the fly to be dragged from position. Reaching upcurrent gets the line upstream from the fly, eliminating drag for a period of time–usually long enough for the fish to see the fly drifting along naturally and choose or not choose to eat the artificial.
As the line drift sdown, raise the rod tip to pick up the slack. When the rod is pointed straight across stream, flop the slack back upstream to extend the drift.