Pattern Damselfly recipe

steve s

Active Member
Here's the recipe for a damsel that I tie.

Hook: TMC 200R
Eyes: Melted monofilament or bead chain
Tail: Olive marabou
Body: Marabou from tail, twisted and wrapped forward
Rib: Small Mylar tinsel, counter wrapped
Thorax: Antron dubbing to match marabou
Shellback: Medium mylar tinsel or olive raffia

A fairly easy pattern to tie and effective in the water. The body is tied with the stem end of the marabou used for the tail. When tying in the tail, use as few wraps as possible, I use about four, then tie in the rib, twist the marabou into a rope and wrap forward. I'll see if I can find a picture of one.

Good luck,

Steve S

steve s

Active Member
Oops, I forgot that ingridient in my recipe. For legs I use either marabou, pheasant rump feathers, partridge or whatever other feather I want, tied in clumps on each side of the fly.

Hope that this helps,

Steve S

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Rory McMahon said:
Anyone know a good marabou damsel fly recipe. I cant find any good ones on google.
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:

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 45ยบ 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.

I don't have a specific pattern, but I read up on damsels quite a bit a while back. I found some really good suggestions. Most damsel patterns are too thick/big, some are too heavily weighted and don't have enough movement. According to some articles I saw by some seemingly reputable authors, this stuff was pretty important. If you watch the naturals, they are very skinny and have lots of movement, so I like to tie mine with a marabou tail, green or tan dubing body and mono eyes - unweighted. It probably doesn't matter too much on some lakes, but on others, the fish can get pretty picky.

Hope this helps.

Nick Riggs

I've been known to fish from time to time...
I've been messing around with furled body damsels. I've had some luck using a short hook and furled V-rib for the extended body, with a tiny bit of marabou cemented/tied in at the end of the extended body. It makes for a great translucent abdomen.
You could tye some: MY Damsels (their in the federation of fly fishers fly pattern enclyopedia)

You just use a scud hook (12 or 14) use peacock herl as the body and use marabou as the tail


Tropical member
Diehard said:
... Most damsel patterns are too thick/big, some are too heavily weighted and don't have enough movement. Hope this helps.
Agree, I don't like to put too much marabou either.
Also, I found a 3-4 string of ostrich herl will give you a lot of movement and they are cheaper and easier to tie too IMO...



Sculpin Enterprises
From my observations, most of the time damsels in the water column are still, floating, recovering, punctuated by brief bursts of swimming as they try to find something to cling to, like your pontoon boat or foot. After all, they are bottom dwellers and not physiologically capable of long bursts of swimming; they are out of place in the water column and are trying to find a place to complete metamorphosis.

I prefer to tie my damsels more to the side of realism rather than the appearance of movement. I used three short tips of peacock to mimic the flat tails, olive V-rib or similar to produce a segmented, partially translucent abdomen, olive dubbing with peacock for the wing case and short legs, and burnt mono eyes. I have also tied some with glass beads for the abdomen with some success as well.