“This” damsel is an experiment using oversized eyes and is “unfished”. I use lots of other damsel nymph patterns however Cole.
I fish damsel nymphs in both still and moving waters. In still waters, I prefer them tied with foam and fish them on a sinking line allowing the line to settle and the nymph to rise about a foot off the bottom.
In moving waters (most of my damsel nymph fishing), I weight the fly, either with bead or dumbbell eyes, and fish up and across, allowing a dead drift until the line is straight down stream. Then I retrieve up stream in short 6-12 inch strips.
The short, darting retrieve is also the way I fish them in still waters. That jerky retrieve mimics the natural. Damsel nymphs have been killers for me regardless of the type of water fished. They take both warm and cold water species. Articulated damsels are only moderately more effective on my waters.
A very simple damsel nymph can be tied on a 3x long hook with minimal materials. Tie in a marabou blood quill by the tip for the tail. Tie on a wire or length of flash to be used as a rib where the tail is tied in. Grab the marabou and twist it into a cord, then wind a tapered body with it 2/3 up the shank. Wrap the rib and tie off. Tie in a length of wing case material (a length of brown Antron yarn works well). Tie in some bead chain eyes a short distance behind the hook eye but leaving some space between the eye and the eyes. Allow the marabou to untwist and wrap a thorax with it. Keep tight spaced turns to behind the eyes. Tie off the marabou and cut off the excess but save it. Trim the thorax flat top and bottom. Trim the sides of the thorax to mimic legs. Use the saved marabou fluff to create a dubbed noodle on your thread and figure 8 wrap between the eyes. Pull the wing case forward between the eyes and tie off. Whip finish the head.
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