Most Productive Damselfly Nymph Pattern

GAT

Dumbfounded
I'm not too crazy about the damselfly nymph patterns in my boxes. I don't really have one that works consistently when damselflies are present. So, I put it to you, dear friends, if you have a damselfly nymph pattern that you recommend, please bring forth a photo and tying recipe and post it into this thread.

If you deem it necessary, you can also rant and rave about the positive attributes of said pattern and how there is no doubt in your mind that the fly is in fact the best damselfly nymph pattern ever created.

I am forever grateful for your suggestions for mega effective damselfly nymph patterns ….
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
I don't fish lakes very often and because I don't put in the time I generally suck at lakes. But this ridiculously simple variation
20201202_094402.jpg
of a very simple pattern mentioned by @Kent Lufkin waaay back in 06 (I really miss Kent's posts)...
Try tying a LGF (little green 'f****r' or 'fellow'). It was my pattern in a damsel swap I hosted a couple years ago. Here's a pic: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=2677&cat=18093

The ingredient list couldn't be simpler: a 2X or 3X streamer hook, size 10-14; lead wire (optional); tying thread; gold wire, maribou feather.

Pinch the barb and attach the hook in the vice. Wrap a thread base on the hook from the eye to the bend. Wrap the lead wire over the base if desired.

Tie in the gold wire at the bend.

Select an entire maribou feather. It should be a long one (5-6", NOT the little 2-3" guys.) I like lighter shades of olive or pale green.

Holding the feather by the tips which will become a 1/2"-3/4" tail, tie it in at the bend in the hook with a half dozen wraps, then advance the thread to just behind the eye.

Twist the feather on its stem so that it forms a 'rope'. Pieces sticking out are fine.

Wrap the twisted feather forward to just behind the eye. Tie it off but don't trim.

Counterwrap the wire forward to just behind the eye, tie off and remove the tag end.

Wrap the end of the maribou one more time and hold the butt end straight up while tying off. Whip finish a neat head.

Trim the end of the maribou at a 45º angle to the hook shank (so that it's tapered thin at the eye and thicker at the rear.)

That's it.

The tapered tag end of the maribou causes the fly to twist and gyrate in the water when stripped. Works best when attached with a loop knot.

Surf around in the Gallery for pics from the swap. There were some awesome patterns but none easier to tie or more effective than the LGF.

K
fooled this
1999 June 10 001.jpg
and this trolled with a 6wt Type III line one day at Lenice in 1999,
1999 June 10 002.jpg
and 8 of these anchored, cast out and stripped in on a 6wt 40+ intermediate line that sinks faster than my 5wt clear camo at Leech one day in 2017
P7250002.JPG
 
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MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I like the heather nymph for EWA, especially when fishing from shore. I did find the olive marabou flies were better from the canoe. 20201202_104938.jpg
 
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GAT

Dumbfounded
What size are those bead chain eyes? I want to install eyes and was looking at the plastic jobs because metal dumbbells would add weight at the front of the pattern and I don't want a damselfly nymph to dive or act like a jig.

A genuine nymph, when not wiggling toward the surface, rests in primarily a vertical position. I don't think bead chain would add much in the way of weight so I'm also considering bead chain for eyes.
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
What size are those bead chain eyes? I want to install eyes and was looking at the plastic jobs because metal dumbbells would add weight at the front of the pattern and I don't want a damselfly nymph to dive or act like a jig.

A genuine nymph, when not wiggling toward the surface, rests in primarily a vertical position. I don't think bead chain would add much in the way of weight so I'm also considering bead chain for eyes.

They are the smallest ones I could find, the hook is a 14. Just enough to get a bit of wiggle, they don’t dive much.
 

P-FITZ98

Active Member
This book... 9ECFDD7B-62A3-43D5-B44C-EB09A8FA820B.jpeg
pg. 128-129....... C23C107A-A8CE-435B-AFC3-6252C18A6F6F.jpeg A1116EEE-D6C6-48A0-94C5-E2DAD7B394DA.jpeg
....fish absolutely tear these up. Best damsel pattern I’ve ever used. Was slated for another book years ago, but deemed “too difficult “ for the average tier. Crazy to think John developed it in ‘85, before “articulation “ was such a thing in fly tying. 7DE9823E-61E2-45DD-BF44-29AB168F06CD.jpeg
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
I may try one of the articulated patterns again. Decades ago, Whitlock came up with an articulated damselfly nymph and I tied up a few. This was also in the 80s so long before articulated patterns became popular for streamers.

He used two hooks and would cut the rear hook off at the bend … using two hooks is much easier than making your own shank for the thorax but then you do have the short strike problem... which may or may not be a problem.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion and I will track down a copy of the book. I like the nymph design. (just ordered the book from who else? Amazon)
 

P-FITZ98

Active Member
It’s not described well, but best I’ve found is to use rounded tip needle nose pliers, like jewelers use, and bend it to the same shape like the articulated shanks sold now, about the size of a staple. It’s actually pretty simple. I’ve done well with the same patter on a straight nymph hook. The golden olive Swiss straw isn’t something you will find, as John dyed his own. Scud back works as a good substitute
 
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GAT

Dumbfounded
I have plenty of Scud Back material and use it instead of Swiss Straw … which is a traditional but not really a great tying material.
 

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