I have had great success with a dragon fly nymph while fishing lakes. I have previously mentioned the Fuzzy Dragon, Kaufmann’s Dragon Fly Nymph and the Doll’s Hair Nymph. I have had, equal or superior success on a lake with a dragon fly nymph as with a Woolly Bugger.
So, I noted recently that I am down on my inventory of the little bug eyed gems. So, tonight I am going to tie up a dozen Dragon nymphs and more this weekend. The pattern below is fairly easy to tie with a few sticking points if you crowd the eye of the hook. I picked a blend or earth tones for the patterns, excepting the contrasting ribbing materials. Click on each pic several times to enlarge for details (it’s ok, I can handle the scrutiny and criticism).
Hook: TMC 5263, Size 6
Tail: 2 plumes of grizzly Hoffman Chickaboo, tied bushy and short
Eyes: Plastic Dumbbell eyes tied in with figure 8 wraps to stabilize eyes on top of shank
Weight: Optional. I tie some with lead/titanium and some without. It should get down to the bottom
Thread: 6/0 black
Body Material: Dark Brown Fuzzy Mohair yarn, wrapped up the shank and around the eyes
Wing Case: In one I tried Turkey feather and in the others bunched dark brown CDC
Ribbing: I experimented with red, tan and copper wire
Hackle: Dark green barred hackle wrapped in around thorax behind eyes
Nothing too fancy here. I enjoy the big eyes and stout body. I search for areas on the lake with the structure of weed lines (edges of weed beds), lily pads and grass lines. Cast the fly in with the appropriate line (sink rate=depth being most frequently fished). I most often use the Intermediate line. The dragon fly nymph is a predator. It stalks, darts, grabs, consumes. I don’t just kick about trolling. Visualize the fly down there and manipulate the fly as if it is a predator. Scuff up the bottom, dart about (short bursts, don’t go crazy) and let it lay. The hits are often sharp and certain. Study the habits and motions of the insects you emulate.