Damsels in Distress SBSs

Discussion in 'Fly Tying Step by Step' started by ScottP, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    More poking around in Randall Kaufmann's Fly Tyer's Nymph Manual took me to some damselfly patterns that always bring to mind lake fishing on the Blackfeet Reservation. Standing in the water amid a mass migration of the nymphs, wiggling their little tails off as they head to the shallows is an amazing experience. If there was some way to harness all that kinetic energy.....
    Anyway, 2 bugs here; they start out the same but diverge upon reaching the abdomen.


    First, the Marabou Damsel - great, simple, effective bug. While fishing one of these on a lake known for some really large brook trout, it accounted for the biggest sucker I have ever caught. To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement, but the day was saved an hour later when I caught a half dozen grayling (on a soft hackle); didn't know the Tribal fisheries folks ever planted grayling and I've never seen them since.
    Don't know if this was the first fly Mr. Kaufmann tied with a Tiemco 200 (may have been the Stimulator), but it's something that I immediately identify with him when I see one; kinda like CDC with Rene Harrop (sorry Hans) or Z-lon with Craig Mathews. With a primo marabou blood, you could tie the whole fly with one feather; mine look a little ratty when I do that but they work. I tied this one with 2 feathers just in case company comes and we want to look presentable.




    hook - Tiemco 200R #10
    thread - Danville 6/0 olive
    tail/body - marabou
    rib - copper wire x-small
    wing - marabou




    Part 1 Marabou Damsel




    mash barb and attach thread and wire 2 hook eyes width back from eye; keep tag end of wire on far side of hook bend

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    wrap wire back to point above hook barb

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    measure a marabou feather (abdomen length)

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    tie down; wrap thread up to thorax

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    gather feather, wrap forward to thorax, tie off and clip (if you were doing a 1 feather tie, you'd wrap the butt ends a bit farther forward, fold back, tie off and pinch/shred/trim the wing)

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    tie in the wing and let tips extend over front (original pattern called for tie-in/trim but I like to fold the tips back and then trim; makes for a neater head)

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    fold tips back (wetting your fingers and stroking the feather helps here)

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    tie down, create smooth head, whip finish, SHHAN

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    use fingernails to tear wing

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    finished fly

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    Part 2 Filoplume Damsel



    The Filoplume Damsel was developed by Gene Armstrong who worked at Kaufmann's; apparently he was a big proponent of incorporating filoplumes into patterns, especially effective in stillwaters. A little more involved than the Marabou, but still pretty basic and a nice looking fly.


    hook - Tiemco 200R #10
    thread - Danville 6/0 olive
    tail/body - marabou
    rib - copper wire x-small
    thorax - filoplume/aftershaft
    legs - hackle badger
    head - peacock herl






    we'll pick up at the abdomen since everything else was the same on the Marabou up to this point; stop marabou wraps at the 60% mark

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    tie in a badger saddle hackle tip-first

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    prepare a filoplume/aftershaft (happened to have an olive-dyed pheasant skin; gave the feather a nice color)

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    split thread, insert feather and spin bobbin to create feather "chenille" (just like Filoplume Mayfly)

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    moisten fingers, stroke fibers back while wrapping forward

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    tie off 2 hook eye widths back from eye, grab hackle

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    palmer hackle through thorax, tie off and trim

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    tie in peacock hackle

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    wind herl and tying thread together (for re-enforcement), whip finish, break out Sally again and you're done

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    Regards,
    Scott
     
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  2. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    that second one is freaking sick! Someday I'll be somewhere with unfrozen stillwater and try em out!
     

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