I need flies. It happens almost every time, the night before going on a fishing trip, I end up kind of panic tying. We can probably not expect mayflies to hatch, it is still early around here,. There will be midges/diptera and maybe some stoneflies. If the temprature should rise, and (just by chance) the sun arrive there might be some Claret/Sepia Dun (Leptophlebia vespertina/marginata ) dancing in the air. But, if nothing happens on the surface I will reach for the of monsters. By that I mean damsels/dragons and other scary stuff tied in the darkest hour.
The above fly is a “new” creation, and it sinks! Gold bead with extra tungsten/lead. The tail is a mixture of marabou, with a spun rabbit thorax and peacock. It really is a monster! It will definately fool a fish or two no matter the conditions.
These are some of the flies that will fill my box tomorrow, fresh off the vise…
Yes,it is still feels like early spring here in Norway. The season is delayed at least one month,and the ice still covers most of the lakes and tarns around my home. Everybody is eager to get started, but everything is put on hold for a little while longer. Still,we do try to go fishing. A bunch of members of my local fly fisherman club gathered along the banks of our “own” stream on thursday.
As mentioned before damsel patterns are among my best fish catchers. This is a variation I got from one of my friends. He has been quite successfull with this red eyed variant the last few seasons. He ties it in two variants,without or with rubber legs.
As one can see there are still no leaves on the trees and the grass is still not green. The water temperature is about 4 degrees…this is not a normal spring!
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.
I intended to produce a lot of flies for a customer today. Instead I ended up tying these impressions of a damsel and a Long Legs. The trout in my area seems to be more interested in eating the female damsels but when there is a lot of them they feed on both genders. Tying this way makes the flies light and they should give a lifelike impression to the trout. Both species are very important on the trouts menu during hot summer days. Now…back to gold head production!