23
Feb
13

Damsel’s: Sleek and Seductive

While on Stillwaters fly fishing, we often see the delicate cousins of the more aggressive Dragon flies…the Damsel fly flitting about in the reeds and shoreline structures. Newly emerged they are often pretty blues, browns and greens. The subsurface life of these attractive insects is equally appealing for the fly fisher too.

The above photo of the Damsel ‘nymphs’ provides perfect detail for the fly tier looking for exactness or simplicity. Sleek, segmented, bulbous eyed, long legged and tailed one can see the proper proportions and just where the undulating damsel would have appendages,etc. 

damselssbMy suggestions re Damsel nymphs (Instars) is to fish them slowly amongst the shoreline structures and picture intermittent propulsions like a fish would move…wiggling, undulating. The materials you use to tie (or someone else used) will help facilitate the suggestion of life. Here is a BC piece re Damsel nymphs.

Tie up some sleek, life like Damsels and fish them with confidence. Tie them in the  length range of 3/4″ to 1″ and keep them slender. Floating or Intermediate lines work best. Present them parallel to the shoreline or even swimming toward the shoreline or reeds as opposed to out into the deeper part of the lake. Study up on how the Damsel moves/propels itself. Also, imagine the journey to emerge out of the water and how you would present your pattern amidst the climbing nymphs.

damsel caught

This beautiful trout was caught close to a shoreline of cat tails this past Summer. An olive colored, size 10 damsel nymph fished on the drop near the reeds did the trick.

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3 Responses to “Damsel’s: Sleek and Seductive”


  1. February 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Thanks for your piece on damsels. We fish the damsel a great deal here in Kwa-Zulu Natal. In fact it is often the pattern we start with, or fish all day long. I have had success on many patterns, but in recent years have done well using one with a body of smooth/shimmering floss as a body, to more accurately represent the exoskeletal body, and get away from the rough surface generated by a dubbed body. This also allows one to accentuate the slender body. You do of course loose some movement, but we add a marabou tail, and retrieve it twitching the rod tip to maximise appeal.


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