Damselfly Nymph

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GAT, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Dick, okay, thanks. I get it now.

    The sport of flyfishing does evolve with time... at least if you also tie your own flies. I too find myself at the vise more often on the water. The price of fuel and the loss of fishing buddies (different interests and physical ailments is to blame) has curbed my fishing hours something terrible. So I now end up tying a lot of flies I may never end up using.
    PatrickH and Olive bugger like this.
  2. Same here, Gene.
    But I sure admire the stuff on the forum.
  3. Thought I'd share my Damsel Wiggle Nymph pattern...hope you like it. I did make one alteration using olive mono eyes in place of the black.

    Tacoma Red, GAT and Joe Goodfellow like this.
  4. The Borger Damsel pattern is excellent by the way. I tied some of these up and fished with one last weekend. The fish were all over it. That peacock herl wing casing is a game changer. I added a pair of mono eyes probably more for my benefit than the fishes, but this will have a permanent spot in my stillwater box.
  5. Wow, I like them. I am going to have to try some.
  6. The difference between Gary's Patterns and others is the dark over light bicolor abdomen. Damsel nymphs are bicolor, dark over light as the following photos of naturals reveal.

    Gary Borger's first book was called "Naturals," and most damsel nymph patterns are of uniform color. The "naturals" are not.






  7. I wonder how much variation there is in coloration across different lakes? I had tied most of mine with light green or damsel color based on books and such, but last year I was floating around in the middle of dozens of the little suckers and they were all tan; little if any green. I also did not notice the bicolor that silver points out above, just a very light tan (but I love that pattern and am going to tie a bunch up after steelhead season). I tied some more up in tan and did well. Just curious about how much variation there is. Maybe it is a E.WA vs W. WA thing. Probably should post this over in the entomology section.
  8. In addition to mono eyes, you can use bead chain eyes. Gary ties his without eyes.

    Gary taught me this pattern well over 15 years ago and I still have some that he tied for me. Make sure you get some guard hairs sticking out to imitate the nymphal legs.
  9. Very few subsurface aquatic insects are mono-colored. Most have a darker back than belly -- the same as the fish. The Giant Stonefly nymph is one that is a mono-color but I can't think of any other nymphs right now that are a single color.

    Does the color difference make a difference to the trout? Evidently not or they wouldn't attempt to eat the thousands of mono colored wet fly / subsurface patterns tossed in their direction.

    I've found that sometimes a two-tone Turbo Leech does work better than a mono colored Turbo Leech but there's that ol' "sometimes".

    I tie some of my nymph patterns with darker backs then bellies because I think they look cool. But I'm not going to bet the farm that they consistently work better than a mono colored nymph pattern.
  10. Gene,

    I think that contrast within a fly makes it more visible to us and the fish. When the natural has stripes of contrast, I prefer to add that contrast. Hence stripes along the flanks of a minnow imitation, the two toned weaving of a euro-nymph, the black and blue striping of adult damsel fly patterns in patterns that I tie.

    I even stripe the flat wings on my callibaetis spinners similar to this pattern by Charlie Craven.


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