All dimensions.   2 comments

Hidy ho, good neighbors.  I had a great conversation with two fly fishers in the fly shop yesterday.  Both had read my book, but wanted further clarification on the dimensions of the nymph drift. 

I used to only think about the “horizonatal mend” during the drift.  The mend that allows you to place line above, below, or a combination of both, of your fly line to get a drag free drift.  By the way, I don’t like to use the term “dead drift”, I want those bugs to look “alive”, real.  So, to achieve a “live” drift, the angler must either take line off the water, and/or mend the line to allow for minmal drag on the flies.  Drag, simply put, happens when your flies are forced to go too fast or too slow and look unnatural to the fish.

Mastering the horizontal mend comes with time and attention to detail.  As you become proficient you become to “see” the bugs in your mind’s eye.  Don’t call me crazy, it’s true.  You begin to have experience and expertise that allows you the chance to know exactly where your bugs are in the drift.  However, and this is a big however, if you don’t realize the need for a vertical dimension within the drift, you will never really master the nymph drift.

If you took a cross section of the river and studied the dynamics of water speeds you would notice that the surface speed of the water is travelling roughly twice as fast as the water at your feet (grade).  If you look at the diagram you will see what the forces are doing to your leader sub-surface.  Yup, it’s creating drag.  So, you could have your weight dialed in perfectly, but STILL be getting ugly drag on your bugs.  The longer the drift, the more vertical drag you add to the drift.  That’s why I employ the “pause mend”.

The pause mend is just that.  Somewhere in mid drift, all you need to do is pause the indicator for just an instant.  You will immediately see a difference in the drift.  What happens is the paused indicator allows the leader to catch up to the drift, and you simply “release” it to finish the drift.  Once you have it you will not only start picking off more fish, but you will become better at all facets of nymphing, especially sight nymphing.  It’ in the Fly Fishers Playbook, it should be in yours!

vertical drag2

Fear No Water!

Duane

Posted January 14, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “All dimensions.

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  1. Hi,

    I was trying to read up on this very topic. Can you please elaborate on how to do a pause mend? I suspect this would require the person to be standing slightly upstream of the targeted spot and just pause the drift by holding the rod stationary for a while and then continuing to follow the drift.

    -MH

    • Sorry to get back to you so late. A lot going on!

      The best way to pause mend is when you’re short-line or high stick nymphing. Both involve less line on the water, so a simple rod tip “stop and lift” is all it takes. Usually takes place near mid drift but you can put one in anywhere depending on water characteristics.

      If you are long line nymphing it is not nearly as easy, but it can certainly be done. Because of the amount of line out, lifting the indicator slightly is out of the question, but you can still pause it. The best way to pause with that much line out is to throw a large up-stream mend into the mid drift, watch the indicator pause, then quickly re-mend to allow a normal drift. Hope this makes sense.

      Take care and thanks for the question!

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