Adult Damsel Patterns

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by JMitchell, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 182
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    So I bought some braided butt material in both blue and olive and am getting ready to tie up some parachute damsels. I've seen some in flyshops that were fairly intricate with burned wings ect. I'm figuring less is more and that I won't need to get to crazy, just give 'em a good silhouette. Does anyone have any other patterns they like for the adults?:thumb:

    Jarron
  2. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    I've been playing around a bit with them trying to perfect a pattern. I have been playing with medium to light dun polypropylene for a wing (very very sparse) laid back over the top of the blue braid toward the rear of the fly of course. A blue dubbing abdomen, and blue foam over the top, tied off and a slight piece left in for a parachute (don't really need it unless you maybe tie in a grizzly hackle for a parachute instead of the poly wing laid back). Like I said, I'm still playing with it. The foam helps it float great tho. All I know is it should be sparse. Simple is good. I think a lot of patterns use grizzly hackle however.
  3. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 182
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    Larry-

    Yeah, I like foam on anything I can stick it on. I am thinking of foam for the parachute post, and then pulling it forward towards the head and tying off, kind of like a hackle stacker. Pretty much how Kauffman has it in his book, just with foam instead of poly for the post. I do like the idea of poly for the wings, kind of similar to same concept of a spinner, sparse.

    Jarron
  4. dpenrod Member

    Posts: 88
    kansas city, mo.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  5. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
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    If you have a blue damsel land on you while fishing, you will notice the wings laid straight back over the body at rest. They are a pretty light to medium dun color. I think just adding something very sparse for some legs would do the job, plus the blue foam for floating ability. When I fished them on a favorite blue damsel lake this year, you had to set the hook very fast! I think the trout know they fly fast so they attack them quickly...
  6. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 182
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    I just found a pretty good example of what I was thinking of. Charliesflyboxinc.com under adult damsel. He is showing it with foam used as the parachute post. I like it and looks simple enough.

    Jarron
  7. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,406
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    Here's my favorite adult damsel. A friend of mine ties it using an interesting technique for the wing. The abdomen is 20-lb. test braided monofilament colored with the suitable color of Pantone pen. The wing is tied parachute style using the hackle stem as the wing post which is then brought forward and tied down behind the eye of the hook. The eyes are x-small, black plastic dumbbells and the thorax is dubbing to match the body color. I usually add the black markings (also Pantone) as the last step. Applying the wing in this way is not only very secure, but spreads the front edge to represent the wing of a damselfly which has been knocked down and is partially stuck in the surface with its wings splayed. Especially when fishing to a cruising fish it is very effective make an intercepting cast and to give it a twitch when the fish is close enough to notice.

    I tie it in blue and also in a pale straw color to represent the teneral stage. Although the picture doesn't show it, I also melt the end of the abdomen to keep it from fraying with use.
  8. robl Member

    Posts: 422
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Jo,

    You know you're never going to cut off a damsel nymph that is catching fish every other cast to throw one of those blue things! chuckle.

    I can't wait to get out there with you man!
  9. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 872
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +150 / 0
    I tie up something pretty similar to Preston's. I use white swiss straw for the wing; not the most durable, but it's really realistic. I put a few turns of black hackle in front of the wing and trim the bottom to get a little float and something that looks like legs. Okay, maybe it looks nothing like Preston's....

    My first trip to Rocky Ford a couple years ago, middle of summer- tied on an adult damsel and cast it out towards the middle of the slow water. The rainbow jumped out of the water and took the fly as it was coming down! Broke me off immediately. I stood there and stared for a minute with that dumb look on my face, then was a bit upset that I didn't have another damsel fly with me.
  10. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 182
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    Nice pattern Preston, very realisitic with the wing tied that way.

    Chad- It's because of stories like this i decided i need to tie up some damsel adults. I've heard from a number of guys very similar experiences with big fish coming all the way out of the water to take an adult. Can't wait to give it a shot.

    Jarron
  11. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    Chad and you are right. They can take the fly crazy and shooting out of the water doing it. Much more fun than nymphs, although you will probably take some bigger fish with the nymph. Preston's tie is very similar to the one on the cover of Designing Trout Flies by Gary Borger. That's a nice tie. It is just fun to experiment with different ties with this fly. I think floatability is a good feature to incorporate, so I like the blue foam in there.
  12. robl Member

    Posts: 422
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I'm buying the stuff for the foam version on Charlies Fly box today on the way home from school. This is going to be a great spring.
  13. Dave Boyle Active Member

    Posts: 213
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    Preston,

    that's a great looking fly, thaks for sharing. Do you fish this as is or do you add some floatant?

    Dave
  14. Preston Active Member

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    I add floatant. The braided monofilament holds a grease-style floatant very well. It floats quite low in the water and is rather difficult to see from a distance but the fish usually take it with such gusto that the strike is pretty obvious.