Approximate Damsel


Imitates a damselfly nymph. Extremely useful in lakes and slackwater portions of rivers. Damselfly nymphs are active throughout the spring. In July, they migrate to above-water objects such as standing timber, rocks, and the shore. Adults emerge out of the water. After July, most mature damselfly nymphs have hatched, so trout are no longer expecting to see them.

How to Fish

Throughout the spring, count-down-and-retrieve slow retrieve or wind drift using an intermediate line. Damsel nymphs are not fast swimmers, so a leisurely retrieve is appropriate: a very slow but steady retrieve; or slowly strip in a foot of line, then pause a second or two and strip again. The fly should be somewhere between the weed tops and the top few inches of water.

Once a migration is underway, position yourself near an above-water object (one that damsel nymphs will be swimming towards), cast, and retrieve. Damselfly migrations are in the top few inches of water, just barely below the surface.

Tying Instructions

1. Weight hook and tie on thread.

2. Tie in marabou tail at the midpoint of the hook shank, extending beyond the shank for 1/2 the length of the shank. Trim butts close to reduce bulk.

3. Tie in pearl tinsel strip and fine copper wire ribbing.

4. Dub body, keeping it as thin as possible.

5. Bring tinsel over the back and secure it with ribbing.

6. Add partridge fibers on the sides of the fly. Legs should extend only to the end of the dubbed body.

7. Secure mono eyes with "figure 8" wraps of thread. Use a touch of super glue to prevent them from spinning on the shank.

8. Wrap a dubbed head by making two "figure 8" wraps with the dubbed thread.

9. Whip-finish and apply cement.

HOOK: Dai Riki 270, size 8-14; weight the hook with five wraps of .010 lead wire.

THREAD: Olive Uni-thread, 8/0

TAIL: Marabou, sparse

RIBBING: Fine copper wire

BACK: Medium pearl tinsel

BODY: Light olive/brown Hareline caddis and emerger dubbing

LEGS: Olive Hungarian partridge fibers

EYES: Olive monofilament