Posts Tagged ‘damsel fly


Your Special Good Karma Spot?

Do you have that special spot, or two, that is magical? A spot where positive karma abounds because of past encounters? This is a spot that borders on a love affair…just you and a fish or two. A spot that yields epic memories and the one you think of when Winter has cut you off from the spot….that special spot the gives you ‘the moment’. Most of you have one that you think of.

For want of a better name, I have always called this spot the Back Channel and the end of that channel, the Damsel Bay. This is one of my ‘spots’. Epic encounters have happened here and almost every time the Trout has won the encounter. Callibaetis hatches like I have never seen before have been visible here against the sunlight filtered through the trees. Dragons and Damsels are prolific. And, a Damsel dry fly has always….always…resulted in a sound thrashing of the fly. Reeds, weeds, brush piles, jagged rocks, lily pads and sub surface trees snags conspire against the tippet as the Trout dives for a safe refuge. That presentation, the cast and wait, with the slightest draw and twitch, results in memories that will sustain me through Winter. I do need to ties up Damsel dries this Winter too.

This beautiful Rainbow Trout came to a Damsel. It was not ‘huge’ but it was a worthy fish in the hazard prone back bay. It gave me a memory to recall. The other two kicked my skinny ass and kept my flies. I will remember them as well!


Fly Fishing: A couple distractions

Well, of course, the photograph is a distraction…right? Beautiful fish quickly brought in and released. The fish can be over taxed with long runs and thrashing about once netted or in the shallows. This Rainbow Trout was taken on a Green Cope’s Damsel. Below are two links: one is to Tony Bishop’s piece on how to play & land a fish and the other is to video by Jerry Criss re a Damsel pattern utilizing Arctic Fox. Both pieces have very useful information.




Dragonflies and more Dragonflies…………..

My attachment to Dragons and Damsels is almost superstitious. I have expressed it here before. When out on stillwaters, they appear, especially the dragons, in a most aggressive way. My mind needs to attach some significance to this beyond ‘hey, dragons, you should put on a dragon fly nymph’. No, I have this sense they are a sign of good fortune and have come to wish me well. I knooooow! Bonkers. And, equally bonkers over Dragons and Damsels and for entirely more scientific reasons are the folks at the British Dragonfly Society.


Fly Fishing Stillwaters: Some Random Reminders

SwittersB Has Some Thoughts

~Know your location relative to other boats, tubes, rafts, kayaks. Yesterday, as one kayaker after another glided over my fly line some 40′ out, I asked how in the hell were they so oblivious. At the same time, I had one float tuber collide with the rear of my anchored pontoon boat. He wasn’t paying attention. No harm. No apology offered. Oblivious.

~As my left pontoon became noticeably less inflated, I noticed a I had a bit of a kick or row toward a shoreline with footing. The colder water had sapped some of the inflation. But also, I most probably had not equally inflated the pontoons. While listing to the left I attempted to row. The left oar could not come fully out of the water so at times I was taking a less than straight course toward the shore.

~Always barb your hook. Not just for the catch & release of your fish, but for the release of your hat, back of your shirt, fabric of your older pontoons, your rubber booties and the kayaker’s life jacket that skimmed along behind you and into your back cast.

~Back casts into a side wind will push the fly in the direction of the wind on the forward stroke. Figure out if that might be detrimental to you….you did barb the hook, right?

~At times it is fine to just kick or row about, trolling a fly while you explore a lake or move from point A to point B. But, you learn little about presentations of the fly if you only ever kick and troll. Anchoring up or holding steady in the winds will allow you to manipulate the fly horizontally, diagonally and vertically. Kicking along parallel to a drop/ledge from the shoal to the drop is ok, as long as you are aware of the location.

~As you fish, the rod tip should be down almost into the water with a floating line and into the water a few inches with a sinking line. Yesterday, I saw a few fly fishers with their rod held high, a big bow in the line and too much slack to consistently set the hook. Many hookups will be missed that way. The understandable exception to this is the person still using a donut shaped float tube (time to upgrade to a V tube).

~As you change flies, looking for the seducer, you can use up 2-4″ of line for each new tie on. Especially, if your fingers are frozen, you will use more line as you fumble with the knot. Keep your tippet at the optimal length. Rule of thumb: for a floating line or intermediate line keep your entire leader length at least the length of the rod…once it is reaching that stripping guide rebuild the leader. Depending upon the type of sink tip or full sink line the leader may be shorter.

Curls, Bows & Waves (Strike Detection) SwittersB

~With an unsettled surface from the wind and waves, the fly line will often lay less than straight toward the fly. Often the most subtle take will be seen as the kinks, waves and bows ever so slightly straighten…set the hook. Seeing & feeling may be obscured or muted by the wind and waves.

~Birds, ducks, up at camp and your own eyes. Swarming birds over the water or slightly higher are a good indication of a hatch (midges, caddis, dragons, mayflies). Ducks working the reeds for damsels. The obvious too….

~When I went up to camp for a bite, around 2pm, the camp was a swarm with midges blown in from the lake. The family was dutifully applying DEET thinking them mosquitoes. So, I surmised there was a hatch of midges before the time I started fishing the lake at 10am. Had I been fishing the lake the next day, I would be on the water.


Dragons & Damsels (State by State)

“First things first.  The scientific name for the order to which the dragonflies and damselflies belong is called Odonata.  Entomologists like me often call the insects belonging to this group odonates.”


“The American odonates are divided into two groups, the damselflies (scientific name = Zygoptera) and the dragonflies (scientific name = Anisoptera).”    The Dragon Fly Woman



damsel flies (delicate amongst the reeds)

Damsel Adult by Seabrooke

Damsel Adult by Seabrooke

“Because they’re predatory, both damselflies and dragonflies have excellent eyesight. They have a pair of large compound eyes that are their primary means of detecting prey, but also several occelli across their “forehead” that they use for sensing small changes in light and dark, which helps them to orient upwards. The eyes are another useful feature to separate damsels from dragons – the compound eyes of the latter meet at the top of the head, while those of damselflies are usually widely separated. The eyes are also very important for avoiding predators.”

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April 2020

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