When I guided at Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge in the mid 90s, I was astonished by the damselfly hatches on Merrell Lake, right on the property. It would sometimes look as if there were a blue haze over the lake, but it was really just tens of thousands of damselfly adults. At any given moment, there would be three or four rainbows in the air, trying to catch the hovering insects.
While it was cool to fish the dun patterns, it was way more productive to fish a damselfly nymph. In fact, the fastest hour fishing of my life occurred on July 6, 1994, during a whiteout blizzard at the lodge. I had two first-time anglers in my boat out on the lake, each of them fishing a damsel nymph, and they caught a trout on virtually every cast until they were plum tuckered out. It probably ruined fly fishing for them, since they’d never have it that good again.
In this great video from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, he ties a damselfly-nymph pattern created by Washington, D.C.-based guide Rob Snowhite. You may remember Rob’s posts on this blog, about chasing snakeheads and hickory shad. As usual, Tim offers some cool tying tricks for preparing materials and getting them on the hook as easily as possible.
Hook: Scud/pupa hook (here a Dai-Riki #135), size 10.
Thread: Red, 8/0 or 70 denier.
Weight/eyes: Bead chain.
Flash: Rainbow Krystal Flash, three strands.
Tail/body: Fluorescent chartreuse jumbo ostrich plume.
Tools: Metal file, Post-It pad.