Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tying The Damsel Nymph

The damsel fly migration at our top still waters like Lake Davis is a hatch that brings out fly anglers from all over.  The migration itself is a miracle, how these fragile nymphs swim great distances to land, a willow, or some aquatic weeds that are above the water to hatch into an adult.  This fishing is some of the best all year, trout show themselves in the shallows and sight fishing opportunities await the observant trout stalker.  They call this the "Gentleman's Hatch" as the nymphs get active in the mid morning until early afternoon, there is no need to be out there at o'dark thirty!  Warm, windless days provide the best conditions for the hatch.

When tying damsel imitations a few key points should be made.  The fly should have movement, the right size and profile (think slender), and the right buoyancy to keep the fly in the strike zone.  The foam keeps this fly right under the surface in that 1-2 foot water column.  You can also just let this fly sit and rest just like the natural does without fear your fly is going to drop like a rock to the bottom.  When it comes to color these nymphs change as the aquatic vegetation does to camouflage themselves from predators.  Early in the season the weeds are dark so damsels will be a light coco brown or a brown olive.  Mid season more olive and green tones.  Late season pale olive to tan works well. 

This damsel nymph will never leave you in distress!


Hook: Tiemco 2457 #12.
Tail:  Jay Fair marabou.
Body:  Jay Fair marabou dubbed on thread.
Head:  Closed cell foam.
Eyes:  Larva Lace body material.


  1. Thanks for the pattern, will tie some up before summer. Question though, it's hard for me to tell, are the larva lace eyes just rolled up and tied in with a figure 8? Marabou used for dubbing? I've actually tried this. Does it require using dubbing wax?

  2. Jeremy,

    Tie the larva lace in using figure 8 wraps, when the fly is finished cut the eyes so a little is protruding out from the foam - Light will catch the hollow tubing giving it some glow. When dubbing with marabou use single feathers with the thicker bare ends cut off. Just wet your fingers a bit and spin onto the thread. Good luck!

  3. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to pick up some larva lace and try it.

  4. Good pattern, I love tying damsels. Just found your blog and you got a new follower


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