Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fly Tying: Damselflies

The lake is quiet right now--except for the damselflies, and the fish actively preying on them during the hot afternoons. I have come to the conclusion that the reason for the lack of an evening rise is that the fish are simply too full of damselflies by then.

In fishing the damselfly hatch I have found that on some happy occasions an individual fish on damsels will be frenzied enough to hit any fly that comes into his window, especially if you can get it right on his head. More often the fish are locked onto the damselflies, and will ignore everything else.

I tied this fly awhile ago, and then forgot I had it until I uncovered it on my fly patch the other day. I had been mostly unsuccessful up until then at getting any fish on damsels to give me the time of day. This fly elicited a slashing strike by a good fish, and I caught a little tiny Brown on it. But on subsequent days It has been mostly ignored.


I have been experimenting with presentation--dead drift, twitch, fast retrieve, slow retrieve, drowned, trolled--but finally concluded that until I can make it sit on a reed or fly lazily 6 inches above the surface the look of the fly may be more important.

So I went back to the bench and tied up another version. This one has a much lighter wing and a slightly thinner body. The head is too big, and I might go sparser on the hackle next time, but my hope is the lighter wing will be the trigger.


Will it be? I'll let you know.

6 comments:

  1. Whether it will or not, it's classy! I like it! And as Gierach wrote...any fly will catch a fish...sooner or later!

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    1. I base my entire fly tying operation on that credo. Thanks for sharing it, and glad you like the fly.

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  2. I believe I'll tie up a few.
    Is the body yarn? And what's the wing material?

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    1. Body is embroidery thread. Wing is, in order, white marabou, pearlescent krystal flash, and white deer hair. Good luck with it. How about this for a name: Damselator.

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  3. Jim- I like the observation and experimentation. I've come to appreciate the thinking. It could be your watching swallows. I'm working on some sub surface stuff right now. Crayfish. I'm pretty sure the Smallies are chowing on them. I've seen some of the little crustaceans and not a lot of surface activity from any fish. So I am thinking. Crayfish. Maybe dumbell eyes. Crystal chenille body. Marabou claws.

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    1. I like it already. Yes, I've been pleased to discover these accumulating layers of experience around this pastime of fly fishing. And it can't be bad for you to see the world through a fish's eyes once in awhile. Good luck with those smallies. Remember, we're supposed to be smarter than they are.

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