Fly Fishing Devon: Instruction & Guiding on Dartmoor Rivers

S-Mends: Presenting a fly to salmon and sea trout

  • Useful where casting space is restricted

  • Based on technique described by Reg Righyni in 'Advanced Salmon Fishing'

S-Mends: Presenting a fly to salmon and sea trout

  • The S Mend is a technique for presenting a fly to salmon or sea trout lying under overhanging bankside vegetation
  • It is particularly useful on narrow rivers with restricted room for a backcast
  • Fish seem to be attracted by the change in direction that occurs in two places:
  1. Firstas the fly turns at the end of its upstream journey
  2. and then for a secondtime at the end of the fly's downstream journey just before it comes to the dangle

The thinking behind S-Mends

"Mending" normally refers to moving the fly line after it has landed on the water in order to overcome the effects of drag on the fly.

In contrast an S-Mend uses the current to induce movementin the fly.

  • In his book 'Advanced Salmon Fishing', Reg Righyni wrote: " At temperatures in the lower fifties, it often becomes necessary to let the salmon have a good view of the bait only during a rather quick turn."
  • He used this diagram to show the spinner making a U-turnahead of the fish. He remarked that sometimes "a fish will take while the bait is traveling rapidly downstream"
  • Finally he wrote: "When the fish are lively enough to respond to this type of presentation, sport can be possible from steep, heavily treed banks where there are lies that cannot be covered effectively in any other way."

The S-Mend technique was inspired by these valuable insights into salmon taking habits

Reference: Reg Righyni, 'Advanced Salmon Fishing', published by Macdonald, Trowbridge, Wiltshire,1973, p110-115.