Damsel Nymph to match Adult?

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
#16
I ran out of flies except for one to use as a model for future ties, and ended up in Westslope in Spokane trying to figure out the body to tie many, many more adults! Thanks Jesse!
Dave, take a look at this video. I use the same technique to make a killer adult damselfly body and tie it in the detached style. I'm still trying to sort out a wing that I like though....

 

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
#18
The guy in the video is Norm Norlander, the creator of the vise. Watching him tie at a show is worth the price of admission!
 
#19
Well, I just learned something... I actually thought that when the thing flew off, it was mature. Didn't realize that it still had a ways to go until it actually got there.

Thanks for re-educating me.
 

Preston

Active Member
#20
Curiosity has led me to purchase a couple of books on odonates (damsel and dragonflies). This is from Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West (Dennis Paulson, 2009): "After leaving the water as a teneral, an odonate slowly continues to harden and color up. The color is often different from the color at maturity, and it changes over a course of days or weeks or even months as the individual becomes sexually mature and returns to the water, completing the cycle. ... After (this) immature phase, most temperate-zone odonates live a surprisingly short time. Small damselflies live no more than a few weeks, larger dragonflies month or two".
 
#21
Last weekend must have been one of the first real good damsel hatches. Caught well over 20 fish with a type III, Uniform sink line and a fair imitaiton of a damsel hatch. Today, same water erupted again but about an hour or so earlier. Five or six fish and only one on the same damsel pattern that worked like a charm only a week earlier. Ralph cutter was right, except at the early stages of the hatch.
 
#23
Cutter stated that damsel undulations were impossible to duplicate in fly patterns. He also stated that damsel nymphs rested/settled during their journey to the surface. This rest/settle interval was our one chance to catch the picky trout.

I believe the first few days of the damsel hatch you could probably cast a reasonable duplication with success. The fly I was using was quite a bit larger, heavier with a tungsten bead, and only a fair duplication of the actual color. Also, a type III, Uniform sink line did not duplicate the natural rise of the nymph. Nevertheless, a fish on almost every cast.

Same water same stuff, one week later = only one fish on the same system, ala Ralph Cutter.
 
#24
I agree about the imitation of damsel swimming motion being impossible to recreate. I tie my own damsel pattern that features a fairly short body, burnt-mono-eyes, and a bit longer than body tail that is marabou. The point of this fly was to be able to fish it really slowly with micro-twitches of the rod tip to get that marabou tail to wiggle and sway, like the wiggling motion that a damsel exhibits. It's not exact, but playing with the fly where I can see it, micro-twitching it, it's closer than any fly I've bought or found a pattern for.
 
#25
I tie this in shades of tan, olive and browns. It's articulated, slender in profile and sports marabou for added movement.
It's not a complex tie. mono eyes, marabou, dubbing and razor foam are the components.
I will post a tute as time allows me.