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Thread: Damselfly nymph options?

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  1. #1

    Default Damselfly nymph options?

    Ive fished the red eyed damsel in traditional olive and not so traditional black.
    What would you say your most successful damsel pattern is in stillwaters.
    I have caught double the amount of fish with the black...im not sure if damsels even come in black??

  2. #2
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    If the fish could answer, i reckon they would say that they got duped by the combination of triggers in a black damselfly.
    i.e. contrast (black vs everything else), slim profile, red eyes.
    The black shows up better against the side background (greeny/brown weeds) or the surface (silvery).

    I have had more success with brown damsels than green, so the fish have clearly not been reading the entomology books. Lazy buggers.

  3. #3

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    yip good point..think ill tie up some dark brown ones.I was also thinking of adding some uv flash as a rib.Thats another trigger

  4. #4
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    I do not think the "triggers" are that important in a fly.

    I think it makes it easier for the fish to see, and if a fly looks like food, acts like food, occur where you expect to find food, then it is probably food.
    The darker colors makes it easier for the fish to see.
    If you look at damsels, lovely, small, well camouflaged insects.
    Most of what I have seen occurred between water grass and plants, very well camouflaged.
    So, a dark brown or black is easier to see for the fish.
    Add triggers and it is even easier to see for the fish.
    Remember fish inspects food with its eyes and mouth.
    So, if the eyes spots the food, the mouth will taste to eat it
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by saflyfish View Post
    Ive fished the red eyed damsel in traditional olive and not so traditional black.
    What would you say your most successful damsel pattern is in stillwaters.
    I have caught double the amount of fish with the black...im not sure if damsels even come in black??
    Forget about the colour, not as important as movement. the most important factor in fishing a damsel, is how it swims. Have you ever watched a real damsel swimming? check out how the naturals behave, and then tie the fly according to how you are going to retrieve it to make it behave naturally. That's the key to damsel fishing.
    The reason why black is your most successful colour, is probably because you were fishing it as a generic streamer, and not fishing it according to the natural. Remember that a fly is only an imitation of the natural, when it behaves like a natural, doesnt even have to look like the natural. the triggers of natural patterns, are far more around movement than visual, especially in stillwaters.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  6. Default

    Apart from the colour, I think too many damsel imitations are tied on hooks where the shank shank is too long. Shorter shanks with a longer flowing sparse tail/abdomen have much more movement. The natural colours I have seen varies in shades of olive and some a bright green.


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  7. #7

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    I use the longer shanks for one main reason.If the marabou tails on my damsels are too long it wraps around the hook bend...i hate checking my fly after every cast

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saflyfish View Post
    I use the longer shanks for one main reason.If the marabou tails on my damsels are too long it wraps around the hook bend...i hate checking my fly after every cast
    You can add a tailguard like this - http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/showt...Sparkle-Bugger

    This eliminates wrapping to a large extent, what I do now on a damsel is also to make the first counter wrap of wire (using wire as the rib) under the flouro fiber, this lifts the tail slightly. On some damsels I tie the flouro fiber as a hot spot and others (like a red eye damsel, I don't like two hot spots, the eyes being "one') I use a natural colour fiber to blend in with the fly. I have tried mono loops, this does work but is cumbersome, also inserted the marabou in a thin clear plastic tube, also tricky and time consuming. So now it is the flouro fiber or antron or any other suitable material. In my opinion a red eye damsel on a long shank looks like a little stick with red eyes, and the fish don't take it as if being fooled by the appearance of "damsel".


    Tel +27 21 855 2646 Web - www.winelandsflyfishing.co.za
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  9. Default

    A damsel swims like a snake, wiggling from side to side, unlike a dragon nymph that swims in a straight plain. Using a mono loop as a knot does add a lot to this movement, also twitching with the rod, and fishing much slower than we as humans want to, that is difficult...


    Tel +27 21 855 2646 Web - www.winelandsflyfishing.co.za
    E-mail info@winelandsflyfishing.co.za

    Shop - Trips - Tuition - Custom Flies

  10. #10
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    Gary Borger (maybe Jack Dennis, not sure where I've filed the article) designed a really nice damsel pattern tied on a #10-12 wet fly hook - 10-12 strands of marabou for a tail with a little hare dubbing bump behind the 'bou so the it cocked up at 45 degrees. Few wraps of lead under the abdomen, spiky hare dubbing with a peacock herl wing case and done. It wiggled like a demon, never tail-wrapped either. His recommended retrieve was a slow strip whilst wiggling the rod tip - it really works well.

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