Kristian in action…
Damsel nymphs are among my favorite patterns throughout the season. This is the tan version of Gary Borgers Marabou Damsel Nymph. The above picture is from early season fishing in a great forest lake close to my home…
1. Tie down a good amount of lead/tungsten wire. Secure it with the thread and a coat of varnish.
2. Then tie in the marabou (Mottlebou). Don´t mind the lenght at this point. Then wind the rest of the marabou to form the body.
3. Tie in a good bunch of peacock herls. If you do it right you can use this for up to three flies, so do not throw away the excess herl.
4. Next step is either to make a dubbing loop or just dub a mix of hare´s ear and marabou to form the thorax.
5. When you are done with the thorax it might be a good idea to brush it up before you form the wing case. Leave a short stub of the herl over the hook eye. The last thing to do is to adjust the lenght of the tail. It should be about an inch/2.5 cm long.
I can guarantee a good catch on this one…!
There must be thousands of damsel nymph variants out there, but this one is in a league of its own. This pattern is designed by Gary Borger. It is by far the most succsesfull damsel nymph I have ever fished. The fly is almost magical in my opinion. Damsel nymphs are available to the fish all the time, but it is during hatches they are most effective. There is also something magical about peacock herl as a component. This fly swims and wiggles just like the natural. The following is what GB says about damsel nymphs:
“Damsel nymphs are very strong swimmers, moving through the water with a strong side to side sweeping motion of the abdomen and tails. They don’t rip along like minnows might, but they certainly show plenty of action as they head from the weeds beds of the lake to the shore, or a rock, or a log, or a reed, or an angler, and there to crawl out before the adult emerges.” (http://www.garyborger.com/)
If you are fishing stillwater in Norway it is crucial to carry imitations of damsels and dragon flies in your box. The nymph is active all the time and during hatches they can appear in large numbers.
Damsels (Libellidae) are a very important part of the trouts menu in all stages. I have been tying the body this way since I read Gary Borger´s “Designing Trout Flies” (1991). This is a version of his Braided Butt Damsel. I use CdC instead of hackle and I add a piece of blue foam to make it lighter and float better. His damsel nymph pattern from the same book is also a great fly. I will come back to the nymph later.
Tie in a small piece of blue closed foam. In this fly I have used organza for the wing, but antron yarn can also do the trick. The next step is to spin the CdC for the abdomen. I like to use Magic Tool for this process.
Burn the end of the braided line a little. This will stop it from sliding of the hook after a few fish.
Use a Pantone to add markings and colour to the braided line. Then push the braided line over the hook. This will make the fly last longer.