Dry fly damsel.
Most fisherman are well know whit fishing an damselfly nymph, only a few know to appreciate a dry fly damsel, But in many times a dry damsel can be very affective.
Damsel flies are tiny and delicate, iridescent cousins of the dragon flies that you see around lakes and slower streams during the summer months, usually June, July and August. They feat on other smaller aquatic insects. So in that case they dependent on healthy populations of small flies like may flies and midges. And where the water is good for the insects, the water is also good for an healthy population of fish.
Damsel Fly nymphs hatch by crawling above the surface of the water. When blue damsels first emerge from the nymph stadium, they are light olive in collar, and turn to their adult colours as the skin dries. Some of these olive hatchlings fall into the water where they become fish food. Fish often concentrate around structures where damsels are emerging.
After damsel flies have mate, the female crawls down a plant stalk and lays her eggs under water. She makes a hole in the stalk with a auger on her tail end. Then she lays her eggs inside the plant. This is an hard process and she is holding her breath being under water. When the female crawls back up the plant stalk and reaches the surface, the male damsel picks her from the surface of the water and deposits her where she can dry and regain her strength. During this whole process these insects are in constant danger of becoming an fish snack.
The most common damsel flies are green and red but the most you see are the blue ones. The eyes are prominent in there silhouette. The body is long and thin and the blue parts are semi-translucent. When the insect lies spent upon the water, the long delicate wings are nearly clear. Often they are lying with others of their kind, on glassy slick water which gives the trout the perfect opportunity for complete inspection and comparison. Your fly has to be an exact copy to fool them. I will show you how to tie a perfect imitation of this fly.
For the body of this fly I use an old fly line, they float on their own, so this make it very easy. If you have a an old line in a matching collar, you are lucky. I have an old bleu fly line witch exactly matching the collar of the bleu damsel. For my other damsels I use an white fly line and use marker pens to get the right collar.
For the wings I use mine own JP Realistic Wings. I have them in 6 different types.
Now let’s do some tying.
Hook : partridge Czech nymph fine wire # 16 ( I think this is one of the most perfect hooks for extended body dry flies)
Rear body: old fly line, white so it can be to colour, or if you are lucky it has the right colour.
Eyes: plastic bead eyes, black or olive.
Wings: JP Realistic Wings Damselfly or some similar.
Thorax: foam in a matching colour.
Body: black CDC.
Marker pen to adjust some colour.
1 place the hook in the vise put on your thread, take a pair of plastic bead eyes.
2 tie in the eyes on top of the hook whit figure eight wraps.
3 now take an old fly line, a white one so you can colour it in the desired colour or if you lucky, you have one in the right colour. As you can see the first one is white and the green and red ones are colour whit a marker pen. The bleu one is in the right colour, and I will use this one for this fly.
4 melt down a bit at the end of the fly line, this way you close the line so it won’t suck up any moister, and you get the little bud that a damsel fly has.
5 choose your length for the body and tie in the fly line, the burned end is at the back.
6 take a pair of JP Realistic Wings.
7 fold them exactly together.
8 now you can cut them in ones and they are equal on both sides.
9 fold them open, they should look now like this.
10 use the tie in tags to tie the wings down, at the front and at the back, this way you get them down perfect and they don’t twist around.
11 fold the front tie in tag back and tie down again this way the wing are secure, there is no chance they ever come off.
12 put up your waste.
13 cut it off.
14 take a piece of foam in the right colour, and cut it into a point.
15 tie it in at the back of the wings.
16 take 2 CDC fibers.
17 place them on top of each other crosswise.
18 fold them together and put them in a paper clam ( you can use the MPJ tool for this)
19 cut out the stem of the feathers.
20 split your tying thread and put the CDC fibers between the loop.
21 twist you bobbin and spin up you CDC fibers.
22 now go whit the thread around and under the wings try to get the most of the CDC under the wings.
23 underside view.
24 side view, as you can see the most of the CDC is at the underside.
25 tie down the foam behind the eyes whit a few tight wraps.
26 go whit the thread to the hook eye and tie the foam down between the eyes.
27 tie off and cut of the waste of the foam.
28 ad some colour whit a black marker pen and create more realism to the fly, now you’re finish.
29 side view of the finish fly, perfect imitation of a great fish catcher.
30 and some more in other collars, easy and fast to tie whit perfect realism.
(Pictures of the real damsel flies are made by André Kiezebrink.)
I hope you enjoy tying this Damsel.