A definition of mending is to return to health and heal. In fly fishing mending refers to the action of lifting and moving your fly line off the water to try to create a drag free drift of your fly. This is a critical action in fooling fish into thinking the imitation you are presenting is food. In a stream the water flows through bends, constrictions and over rocks and logs. As all those changes in the stream boundary occur both in the bed and in the banks, the water accelerates and slows depending on it’s boundary, flowing at different speeds and depths across each area you fish. These flow paths create opportunities for food sources, hiding areas, and resting areas for a diversity of instream habitats and animals. Creating the appearance that a created fly is not attached to a tippet, leader, and line simulates the natural insects that make their lives in and around the stream.

Multiple flow paths in Mossy Creek, Virginia.

As I continue to learn the skills and mindsets needed to fly fish, it has become clear to me that the greater mending I was experiencing was a calming, healing return to healthier mind, body and soul. That feeling led me to the name of my blog. I want to say some qualifying statement about how I do not want to be too cheesy, but I truly believe fly fishing is benefitting my whole self. I have learned a great deal about the mechanics of fly fishing, the intricacy and creativity of fly tying, and the joy of being out on the water both in solitude and with friends and family. I have experienced that fly fishing requires patience, persistence, repetition, concentration, and focused attention. From reading the water, to making a cast, to watching the path of the fly, to mending the line, to setting the hook, all of these qualities are helpful. The concentration and focus allow for a clarity of my mind, where the noise of outside pressure of work and life is quieted. Your actions show immediate stimulus-responses with the stream and excitement builds as chances to catch a challenging and beautiful fish.

I suggest if you want to try fly fishing it is helpful to be mindful of the opportunity to clear your mind and concentrate to follow the paths the water takes. As you learn the
basics of casting, reading the water, fly selection, and line management being mindful will limit your frustration, expand your patience, and help you to appreciate what you have to learn and what you already know. In addition, websites such as www.midcurrent.com and the Orvis learning center have great online resources to help you learn skills to improve your mending of fly lines.

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