Step-By-Step Damsel Fly Instruction

Every  tyer I know has tied a Damselfly, and I'm no exception. Only mine just  turned the fish off.  The more I tied, and the harder I tried, the worse  it got. Mine looked special, everybody thought  they were great. They  looked the part. Even the other Damselflies would try to mate with it.  But the fish still showed no interest. So, like every other failure, I  stuck it up on the shelf and went to the next activity. But every time I  ran across the material while looking for something else, I would get  annoyed at myself for not following through.

I could not  think what I could do to revise the pattern or make it more attractive.  Then I remembered an area where I had seen the large amount of  damselflies not far from my home. It's a flood catch basin containing  year-round water storage that our fishing club uses to put on yearly  casting events. The small lake surrounding it contains small Bass and  Mosquito Fish, but mostly warmish water with good moss growth. So  without rod in hand, I visited the site and spent the better part of one  day in the most active part of the adult live populated area starting  at sun-up. The nearby area was used for runners, dog walkers, bicyclers   and picnickers. Probably wondering why this crazy person was sitting at  the water's edge staring at the shore with a bug net, when it looked  like he should be in one. There I was with my microscope sitting on a 5  gallon bucket, me wearing my hip boots kneeling on the wet muddy shore's  edge. I remember a few over curious people even came up and asked a few  questions. As the day wore on I collected, adults and nymphs, observed  hatches, adults mating, and even fish feeding in the midst of all this,  AND THERE WAS THE ANSWER RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

The fish  only seemed interested in feeding on adult insects when the insect was  in, not on the water. This was an eye-opener for me, when I say in the  water I meant either in the drowning state, or by flying errors trapped  in the film, and normally with wing positions entirely different than in  the sitting or resting position. As the day wore on, I caught and  forced some of the adults into various postures just to convince myself  that this was more than a norm then a guess or chance on my part. Back  to the drawing board I went. Now tying my tryouts with flared or down-  wing, and guess what. It worked! The fish liked it.

The three photographs show you exactly what I'm talking about:




Number  3 will float in the air on you, and it's tough to cast. But it draws  the most attention. You can use hackle tips or poly for the wings. But I  like acetate. Number 2 needs a little move or skittering to improve its  fishing but both work well.