Dragon fly nymphs

Dave Boyle

Active Member
#1
I'm looking to tie some up and I'm ashamed to note I've
1. Never tied any
2. Specifically fished with one, just used olive/black buggers or olive Carey's etc.
So, does anyone have easy to tie but effective patterns? The 'recipe' and if possible a pic would be awesome.

Thanks in advance,

Dave
 

Meeshka

Active Member
#2
What I've been using lately is a doc sprately varient. It was taught to me by a mentor some 40 years ago and seems to work well:
Tail: gunea fowl
Body: black dubbing ( or Chenelle )
Rib: med silver tinsel
Throat: gunea fowl
Hackle: pheasant rump tied in by tip and maybe 2 wraps ( sparse is the key )
Hook: #8 3xl, TDE
Note: a normal spratley would not have the front hackle, but rather a top wing out of pheasant rump, or pheasant tail - that is the difference.

Another pattern is I believe called Skip's Dragon, from Skip Morris. Now I can probably find that recipie on my home computer, however most of my flies are in my trailer which is still burried under 3 feet of snow. I'll see what I have and then get back to you.. In the meantime google Skip's Dragon. There is a SBS

Doug
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#3
I bought four Skip's Dragons several years ago. 2 in size 6, and 2 in size 8. Bigger might be better. Go for size 6. I'm tempted to tie up a #4, but that might be bigger than natural. I've got one #8 left. They seem to beat out the other dragon nymphs I have tried. I'm going to try to tie up my own, or else I'll be placing an order with Waters West.
You want to use fairly heavy tippet with these, or have your drag set loose.... sometimes the trout hit 'em so hard. The lake with lots of dragon flies where I like to fish 'em gets stocked with some large trout. Up to 10 pounders:eek: It seems to be one of the more effective flies I use when fishing dropoffs there with a clear intermediate line. Its not a year-round lake, though, so I'm being patient. Dragon Nymphs are just plain kick ass! I'll probably alternate between dragon nymphs and sixpacks on my initial go-outs this season.. Same lake where size 6 dragons cause commotion, a size 10 sixpack might rile 'em up just as well. Nuff said. Still plenty time to tie and then go mess with their pea brained cousins in a different, year-round lake. The opener can't come soon enough, though;)
 
Last edited:

P-FITZ98

Active Member
#4
0328D5A5-3931-4B04-A8CC-9C93D0DCD057.jpeg my mentor John Newbury fly, best dragon nymph I’ve used, in 3 ties, top right, olive seal fur dubbed, peacock neck wing case, pheasant tail legs. Below it, same but peacock hurl body, and then the rubber band ones, which is on the cover of the FFF encyclopedia. All on a sz 6 Partridge H3St Draper hook, which is no longer made.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
#5
If I can find my dragon / damsel box, I'll post a picture of the pattern I like.
It has produced well on both sides of the state.
I tie them in brown and olive, but they are a bit sparser then most dragon patterns I've seen.
Because of that, they are kind of a dual threat for imitating both dragons and damsels.

Kaufmann's used to sell a rather large filoplume dragon that was killer.
I think you can find the recipe in the Randy Stetzer's "1,000 best flies" book if you have it.
He used to work at Kaufmann's if I remember correctly.
SF
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#7
I've got some that float. My late fly fishing mentor and surf buddy, Otis, gave me a couple that had foam bodies. I got a couple in a swap with bodies made from spun deer hair, trimmed to shape. Those need floatant.
The idea is that you fish these floating imitations with a full sink line that sinks to the bottom, and the fly foats up in the pause between long slow strips. The long slow strips pull the dragon nymph back towards the bottom. This supposedly imitates their natural behavior.
 
#8
As kids we collected the larva and we called them hellgramites because every nasty looking aquatic insect to us was a hellgramite. We rowed away from the dock and anchored at a likely spot. We threaded them onto a #6 snelled hook and tied a halfhitch around their head and attached a red and white plastic bobber about 5 feet up, cast out and waited.

This was ridiculously effective.

Now I tie this pattern and no longer own a red and white bobber. It's simple. Large chenille built around the hook and trimmed to shape. Add some black beadchain eyes and pheasant tail legs and trim to shape. 20190307_154257.jpg
 

Dave Boyle

Active Member
#9
I've got some that float. My late fly fishing mentor and surf buddy, Otis, gave me a couple that had foam bodies. I got a couple in a swap with bodies made from spun deer hair, trimmed to shape. Those need floatant.
The idea is that you fish these floating imitations with a full sink line that sinks to the bottom, and the fly foats up in the pause between long slow strips. The long slow strips pull the dragon nymph back towards the bottom. This supposedly imitates their natural behavior.
There was a booby thread a while back where this came up, and I'll likely tie a few this way. Need to figure out where I can get some black closed cell foam. I'll likely be lurking in Hobby Lobby or Joanne's this week end.

Dave
 
Last edited:

newfydog

Active Member
#10
I once trimmed down a Doc Spratley and fished it in the film as an emerger, after reading in a book about doing that...and my mind got blown. It worked


I've got some that float....
The idea is that you fish these floating imitations with a full sink line that sinks to the bottom, and the fly foats up in the pause between long slow strips. The long slow strips pull the dragon nymph back towards the bottom. This supposedly imitates their natural behavior.
!
Both are good imitations of their behaviour. In the AM, they swim from the bottom to the film. Mid-day, they wiggle along the surface looking for a reed or log to climb up on and dry. You need a rising nymph in the morning, and a surface running one mid-day.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#11
I tie this one with a loop of variegated Bohemian Yarn (I use black/olive). I substitute Pheasant tail for the rubber legs, but use the yellow-dyed Pheasant hackle. The fly floats, so I fish it on a sink-tip or full-sink line & run above bottom vegetation. Pretty simple pattern to tie. I had to order the yarn though. I initially tied it for Carp.
 

Attachments

DenWor54

Active Member
#12
View attachment 195486 my mentor John Newbury fly, best dragon nymph I’ve used, in 3 ties, top right, olive seal fur dubbed, peacock neck wing case, pheasant tail legs. Below it, same but peacock hurl body, and then the rubber band ones, which is on the cover of the FFF encyclopedia. All on a sz 6 Partridge H3St Draper hook, which is no longer made.
Thanks, for posting p-fitz John used to visit my workplace when I worked in the industry. He was very generous and tied me some of strip rubber dragonfly patterns. Another gentleman that used to tie a mean dragonfly was Bill Curran he tied a floating version and a sinking version. Bill’s floating dragon was tied with spun deer hair that was sculpted with a hot knife, you had to do this in the garage if you wanted to stay married. Bill’s sinking version was tied with straight cut rabbit for back portion and dubbed seal for the front, which was sculpted with scissors to create the proper profile. So I fish John dragon and both of bill’s patterns. When I get time I will try to post the patterns of bill’s flies since you covered John’s.
Tight lines