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Migrating Damsel :

What is a Damsel Nymph?

A damsel nymph is the larval form of the damsel fly, an insect of the order Odonata. Close relative to the Dragonfly. Damsel larvae eat almost anything are predatory and ambush their prey. As a freshwater species they live in lakes and rivers and can be often found around weedbeds.

Tier: Paul Slaney


When to fish:

Trout cruise around weedbeds in search of food. The damsel fly can be fished to a cruising trout, or blindly around weedbeds.



How to fish:

I fish this pattern in several different ways however the following method consistently pulls fish for me when bank fishing with a floating line and these patterns.

The heaviest fly should be on the point of the leader, then 6 feet to the middle dropper and another 4 feet to the top dropper. The droppers are usually 6-8 inches long. The total length of the leader 16-18 feet.

Presentation :Cast a team of two or three damsels across and slightly down the wind. I.e, if you are right handed the wind should be coming from your left side. Position yourself so this is the case. Try not to turn over the leader, you want the flies to land loose so they have time to sink to the maximum depth before the retrieve starts.

The Retrieve : The cross wind will form a curve or bow in your flyline. Contrary to what you may hear otherwise this is good. Your flies will be pulled at the speed of the current and in the direction of the wind. Exactly as the naturals would. The flies will also raise in the water column as the wind/current gets hold of the line in a very natural manner. The only line you need to retrieve is enough to keep the curve nice and tight and under control.

Takes: You will feel them as a definite tug, or the line will feel heavy or the line will stop moving or the tip of the line will sink. Cast again when the line straightens at the end of the curve.



The Pattern:

Hook #8 - #10 longshank curved hook
Thread To match the colour of the fly. I tie them in pale olive, straw and a reddish brown.
Tail Bunch of spade hackle fibres
Abdomen Small V-rib
Thorax flash Two short strands of pearl flashabou tied to project to the rear of the thorax cover
Thorax Mix of pale olive dyed hare body fur and a small amount of fluro green SLF.
Thorax cover Olive dyed swiss straw
Eyes On this example they are blacked bead chain, but I also use home made melted mono eyes using brown or fluro red 20lb amnesia or shop bought mono eyes if Im feeling lazy

1. Tie in the thread behind the eye and wrap to the tie in point for the tail. Form a small "bump" of thread at that point and return the thread to the abdomen tie off point in open wraps.
2. Tie in the bunch of hackle fibres at that point and wrap them forward with the thread. The "bump" will splay the tail nicely. The tail should be roughly the same length as the gape of the hook.
3. Cut a fine point on the tip of the v-rib and tie in under the tail, wrap forward in open wraps to the abdomen tie off point, tie off and cut.
4. Take the thread to the eye of the hook and tie in a length of folded Swiss straw about 7-8mm wide. The Swiss straw is tied in forwards, out over the hook eye.
5. Tie the eyes in with figure 8 wraps right behind the hook eye.
6. Tightly dub a short length of thread and figure 8 wrap the eyes again.
7. Pull the Swiss straw back over the eyes and tie off behind the eyes. Bring the thread under the Swiss straw.
8. Tie in a doubled length of flashabou at that point and wrap with the thread to the abdomen tie off point, bring the thread back to the eyes.
9. Dub the thread again, the dubbing should be very loose and spiky. And wrap back to the abdomen tie off point.
10. Pull the Swiss straw back to the end of the thorax, tie off and whip finish.
11. Cut the Swiss straw and finally cut the flashabou a little longer than the Swiss straw.