Hot Head Damsel
- Head: Gold bead/hot orange bead
- Body: Tying thread
- Hackle: Olive hen
- Rib: Gold wire
- Tail: Olive Marabou
- Tying thread: Olive
- Hook: Size 10 - 12 long shank/lure
Another relatively easy fly to tie, in many ways the Damsel nymph is the ancestor of a whole tribe of lures and steamers including the famous Yellow Dancer.
U unless you are using pre-beaded hooks, you must begin by mounting the bead on the hook shank. This can be fiddly, but them ain thing to be sure of is that you keep the recessed side of the bead to the back. This not only helps get the bead round the hook bend, it also allows the the dressing to be neatly "snugged" in behind the bead.
Once the bead is in place, you can tie on your thread in the usual way. Run it down to the bend and tie in a length of gold wire. Run the silk back to the bend and add a good bunch of olive marabou fibres. Set the stubs of the fibres well along the hook shank leaving a little space behind the bead for a hackle., This will give a good volume to the body. You ca dub the body with a suitable material if you like, but the pattern illustrated just used tying thread, relying on the marabou stubs for bulk. Tie in the marabou and take the silk back to behind the bead, in touching turn. Rib the body with the gold wire, tie off and remove the waste.
Prepare a suitable olive hackle, - some people like to strip one side of the hackle at this point to make a neat collar. Tie in the hackle and make two or three turns behind the bead. Finish off with two or three half-hitches, tight in behind the bead.
Fishing the Damsel
I've chosen to feature this fly again this month because there has been so much damsel activity on the water it has to be worth a try, especially on brighter days when the fish are sitting deep.
Adult males are a very distinctive bright blue, the females are a less noticeable pale grey.The warm weather has led to a incerase in the number of nymphs "hatching" - where there are adults flying, it is a pretty safe bet that under the surface, there are nymphs making their way to bankside vegetation, ready to climb to the surface and emerge as adults. You can fish this just as you would a lure, relying on it's attractive qualities, or, you can manipulate it better to represent the natural damsel nymph, some of which are free-swimming. Try "sink and draw" along the margins, or rapid changes in speed.