June is my favourite month in the interior to target the damselfly migration. When fish get keyed in on damsels, it becomes a feeding frenzy and the takes are often savage. Fish will cruise ledges and dropoffs intercepting damselfly nymphs as they clumsily make their way towards shore to shed their exoskeleton and take flight.
This tutorial covers a very simple but effective damselfly imitation. It is an easy pattern to mass-produce as well as play around with different colours and materials. I did not run the Mirage material across the entire back of the fly, but it is definitely an option.
***For those viewing on desktop, don’t forget to use the image zoom feature by simply scrolling over the picture
What You’ll Need:
Hook: Dai-Riki 270 (3xl straight-eye curved nymph hook)
Eyes: Hareline Mono Eyes Olive (Small)
Thread: UTC 70 Chartreuse, Olive, Light Olive or Yellow Olive (I used Chartreuse for this demo)
Tail: Hareline Olive Marabou
Body: Hareline Olive Marabou
Rib: UTC Hot Yellow Wire (Small)
Head: Hareline Ice Dub (Olive)
Flashback: Mirage Fringe
Glue: Brushable Zap-a-Gap Super Glue
Attach mono eyes with a series of figure-eight wraps, then apply a drop of brushable Zap-a-Gap on the top and bottom to hold them in place
Tie in a tail of olive marabou, leaving the stems of the fibres attached. I am an advocate of tying these flies on the sparse side.
Fold the marabou stems back with one light wrap to get them out of your way. Tie in small wire.
Twist your marabou fibres together and wrap forward to form the body. Leave at least an eyelet length of room behind the eyes to tie in your flashback material and dubbing.
Wrap forward your small wire. I used UTC Hot Yellow for this demo, but different wires such as gold, copper, olive, red and orange will do the trick.
Attach a length of Mirage Fringe for the flashback. This small addition can go a long way in getting fish to notice the pattern you’re presenting.
Dub in your Olive Ice Dub in a figure-eight, the same manner you tied in the mono eyes with.
Fold your Mirage Fringe over top of your mono eyes and tie off.
Whip finish and put a drop of brushable super glue onto the thread. I like to purposely leave the dubbing a bit of a mess as it will all slim down in the water and add breathability to the front of the fly. This is a great pattern to experiment with a variety of colours!
There you have it. Next time you are in the middle of a damselfly emergence, give this little bug a try. I like to fish this fly two different ways, the first being on a naked floating line in shallow water with a long fluorocarbon leader and the second on a clear intermediate or hover line.
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