Damsel presentations

jwg

Active Member
Help!

curious more about presentations than the flies themselves, although happy to hear about your best patterns.

I know there was a recent thread on Green Damsels and plan to try the heather nymph that @MGTom posted.

but really, I am most mystified about a near total lack of interest in a commercial blue damsel pattern I tried, when there were vast numbers of damsels over the lake and splashy rises mid lake as well as near reeds. The pattern had a blue foam body and a parachute type hackle.

I did notice that mating damsel pairs were most likely to drop to the lake surface out of the air, (talking mid lake here, not reeds) and other times the wind blew single flies down onto the water. Lots flew back off.

I also remember seeing a post here were someone experimented with how much of a dismembered damsel fly it took to get rise, and it only took throwing a piece of blue body for a trout to come up and take it. I have always thought I might try just blue foam body with black hackle, given this persons observation.

You can guess the lake.

Hope to try this lake again soon.

When I was there last weekend, @Steve Kokita and @Lue Taylor were not there to watch and imitate.

Jay
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I'm no help with a dry version, I don't ever observe that kind of action so I don't fish them.
 
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Lue Taylor

Lue Taylor/dbfly
Help!

curious more about presentations than the flies themselves, although happy to hear about your best patterns.

I know there was a recent thread on Green Damsels and plan to try the heather nymph that @MGTom posted.

but really, I am most mystified about a near total lack of interest in a commercial blue damsel pattern I tried, when there were vast numbers of damsels over the lake and splashy rises mid lake as well as near reeds. The pattern had a blue foam body and a parachute type hackle.

I did notice that mating damsel pairs were most likely to drop to the lake surface out of the air, (talking mid lake here, not reeds) and other times the wind blew single flies down onto the water. Lots flew back off.

I also remember seeing a post here were someone experimented with how much of a dismembered damsel fly it took to get rise, and it only took throwing a piece of blue body for a trout to come up and take it. I have always thought I might try just blue foam body with black hackle, given this persons observation.

You can guess the lake.

Hope to try this lake again soon.

When I was there last weekend, @Steve Kokita and @Lue Taylor were not there to watch and imitate.

Jay
They just like our flies, the secret is to soak your flies in smelly jelly for a week don't leave that box into the sun what a smell. :D
 

Tim Lockhart

Active Member
Jay, if you're looking to the Lue and Steve show for anything but comedy, there's your first problem.

Damsels are generally easy to navigate when the hatch is at a good rhythm. But, at times, when they get really thick all bets are off. They become more stubborn to fish than pretty much anything. There are certainly fish to be had but it takes more creativity to hook up.

First off, when food and fish are that abundant and frenzied it's not you. You're just competing against too much activity and those fish have way too many choices for easy pickings. Usually there's no go-to solution that solves it, however if you don't mind the unconventional and a little grinding you'll come away with fish.

You're on the right track with presentation vs. the magic fly. Think in terms of leveling the field a bit - if the problem is one of too much food and fish, try addressing that by thinning it out. You have two good options there, one has to do with time and the other is about place. Time wise, if possible, work the early and late parts of the hatch, when the action is not at its peak. Your odds go way up just by being there right before and after the peak.

While the circus is on, back away and work the outer fringes - there's a sort of "transition area" between the activity and the empty open water. Same idea as the timing, you're just working less populated water that still has some feeding going on. Use whatever you like for an offering, if you find that balance in the action they'll respond. Again, it's not wildly productive but one here and there will add up with some work.

That doesn't mean ignore the hot spot, I'll fish it to the extent that it pays but no more. Usually between a piece of meat (leech, minnow, whatever) and a dry fly (go small) I'll know if anyone wants to play. Here I'm simply testing them for willingness to hit something that stands out. If anything takes, I'm usually lucky to grab two or three off the pile. The better numbers are had in those quieter transitions.

Hope that helps a little. Give Taylor/Kokita my love if you see them (you'll hear them first!).

Tim
 
Last edited:

Sidg

Member
Tim,
Thank you for the response. I was at Leech last Saturday during the Damsel hatch and see you point.
Next time I will put them to use.

-Sid
 

dbk

Active Member
Tims observations and suggestions are spot on... in the "frenzy" during the peak of the emergence when fish are feeding aggressively near the surface or coming out of the water to chase adults hovering above the surface its been effective to ignore those fish and look for "sippers".. often in the midst of the "circus " of activity there will be some fish quietly cruising looking to feed subtly in the film.. the rise forms are different as very little water is moved or disrupted thus you have to look for it... have found those fish are often readily willing to eat a blue foam adult damsel pattern though at times they prefer a "mating" or teneral imitation.. targeting sippers means you are observing more and casting less.. keeping your head on a swivel looking for subtle rises then casting to specific fish..
 

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
Damsels are generally easy to navigate when the hatch is at a good rhythm. But, at times, when they get really thick all bets are off. They become more stubborn to fish than pretty much anything. There are certainly fish to be had but it takes more creativity to hook up.

Like our last visit to Chopaka? We couldn't buy a fish in the reeds, but you were smart and moved out into the open and started to hook up.
 

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