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Thread: Deadly Damsel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Somerset West
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    Default Deadly Damsel

    There is just something special about damsel flies, they are pretty, slender and graceful. Compared to dragon flies with a stealth bomber appearance, damsels are more lady-like. I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of damsel imitations, with the emphasis on movement. Damsels swim with a side-to-side movement similar to midge pupa and mosquito larva. With this in mind detached body imitations and wiggle damsel imitations have been developed and tied. I’ve never been satisfied with the end result and effort that went into tying these imitations and was convinced there must be an easier way, without compromising on movement.

    The inherent movement of marabou feathers and rabbit fur is renowned in fly tying circles. The only drawback with marabou is the fact that the material is not as durable, it had to be rabbit. The next challenge was to create a slender abdomen; commercial zonker strips (rabbit) are too wide. With all this in mind the deadly damsel nymph was born, it is easy to tie and require just a few materials. Fish the fly with a slow hand twist/twitch retrieve with the occasional pause, in the vicinity of weed beds. The fish hit the fly with gusto, ensure there is a slight angle between the rod tip and line to absorb smash takes.

    Recipe

    Hook: Short shank hook #10 - #14
    Thread: 8/0 olive
    Tail: Zonker strip
    Abdomen: Rabbit dubbing cut from the zonker strip
    Legs: Partidge or grizzly marabou

    Step 1



    Burn the monofilament with a lighter. The space between the eyes should be narrow, grip a 3cm. piece of monofilament with the tip of your scissors and burn the monofilament starting with the one end. Keep the monofilament horizontal and blow out the flame as soon as the flame almost touches the scissors. Let the melted monofilament hang straight down to create an even eye at the end of the stalk, otherwise the eyes will be rather droopy.

    Step 2



    Use a Minora blade/craft knife to carefully half a length of zonker strip from the skin side.

    Step 3



    Tie in the eyes with figure of 8 wraps and apply head cement over the wraps.

    Step 4


    Measure and cut a length of zonker strip, approximately twice the hook shank length.

    Step 5



    Part the fibers at the tie in point above the hook barb. By moistening the fibers this can easily be achieved.

    Step 6



    Tie in the zonker strip above the hook barb and half hitch, apply head cement to the thread before you half hitch. Trim the fibers on the length of zonker strip extending forwards. Use these fibers to dub the abdomen and head.

    Step 7



    Dub the abdomen up to a point just behind the eyes.

    Step 8



    Prepare a partridge feather. Tie the tip of the feather in slightly behind the eyes, keep the legs sparse, one to two turns of the feather will suffice. Wrap the feather and tie it off.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Deadly Damsel Continue

    Continue

    Step 9



    Pull the zonker strip over the abdomen and tie it off. Apply head cement.

    Step 10



    Use the rest of the dubbing and dub the head, also between the eyes (figure of 8). Whip finish and apply head cement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    KZN North Coast
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    1,105

    Default

    I find I have a lot of tail hits when I fish flies like this, zonkers included. Sometimes, if you don't strike the fly away, they return for a second hit, but I still miss a pile of fish.

    The BFG presented the same problem for me, so I deployed a tandem hook in the tail. problem solved
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

  4. #4
    FlyFanatic Banned User

    Default

    niiiice!! me likes!! looks alot like the fly that won the damsel fly swap last year? that been ur inspiration?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamS View Post
    I find I have a lot of tail hits when I fish flies like this, zonkers included. Sometimes, if you don't strike the fly away, they return for a second hit, but I still miss a pile of fish.

    The BFG presented the same problem for me, so I deployed a tandem hook in the tail. problem solved
    You cheat!!!
    Bubble, Bubble, Bubble and Squeak...I think this mixture is too weak!!!???" (Wrex Tarr)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    KZN North Coast
    Posts
    1,105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamwari View Post
    You cheat!!!
    I like to catch fish.
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Joburg
    Posts
    630

    Default

    that is a nice damsel.

    Thank you for the tip on the eyes. Mine always comes out skew (babalas)
    "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing" - Einstein

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Somerset West
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFanatic View Post
    niiiice!! me likes!! looks alot like the fly that won the damsel fly swap last year? that been ur inspiration?
    Hi Flyfanatic,

    I am busy transferring all the flies from the main site. This pattern was featured on Fly Talk +- 3 years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    1,731

    Default

    Very nice Fish!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London, UK from Brakpan, SA
    Posts
    132

    Default

    i like it, hope to give it a try when time permits.....

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