Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Twisted Damsel

The Twisted Damsel is resulting incarnation that came from my first outings with the Non Specific. As I experimented with the fly trying to devise a perfect damsel pattern all the experimentation kept bringing me back to this point. A simple, no frills fly that catches fish very consistently and has repeatedly out fished more elaborate damsel nymph patterns.
Dark Olive

I originally tied this pattern for trout fishing in the lakes around Cody, Wyoming. The initial success has led others to use it just as successfully in those same lakes and others throughout Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Unsurprisingly it has also proved to be a highly successful panfish and bass pattern. My friend Gabriel Langley of Fly River Turtle calls this fly his skunk buster.

During the spring and early summer damselfly nymphs migrate from deep to shallow water. Once in the shallows they seek out vegetation that protrudes above the water’s surface. Cattails, lily pads, bank willows and a multitude of others are perfect locations for them to exit the water, climb aboard and emerge into adults. Once out of the water the damselfly nymph sheds its outer husk and transforms into an adult. The final stage of transformation is of no interest to feeding fish however the migration stage is of great interest.
Olive Brown

Damselfly nymphs live for up to two years in lakes and some very slow-flowing streams as aquatic carnivores. They go virtually unnoticed by fish throughout this stage of their lives. They stay within the aquatic vegetation feeding on other insect larvae and nymphs. Their natural camouflage is to take on a shade of olive or green that helps them to blend completely with the vegetation. It’s not until nature urges them to transform into adults that they become vulnerable to feeding fish.
Damselfly nymphs are extremely slow swimmers making them easy pickings for feeding fish as they swim in open water. The fish will pick them off at any stage in their migration. Leaving deep water they make their way toward the water’s surface. Once they near the surface they are big, tasty, slow swimming morsels silhouetted against the sky. This makes them easy to see and easy to consume.
For the fly fisherman wanting to take advantage of this a slow sinking imitation with a good measure of movement is in order. The Twisted Damsel fits this description perfectly.
Light Olive

Fishing Tips
The Twisted Damsel is one of the simplest stillwater flies to fish. In most instances during the damselfly nymph migrations a slow steady retrieve interspersed with long pauses works best. Cast the fly on a long 10-15 foot leader and floating line from shallow to deep water. The fly will sink, very slowly but it will sink so start the retrieve immediately. After a few short, slow strips allow the fly to rest for 5-15 seconds. The slow sink rate keeps the Twisted Damsel from going much beyond a foot below the surface. I have found that many strikes will often occur when the retrieve is resumed. This technique proves most effective throughout spring and early summer except at midday under bright sunlight conditions in extremely clear water.

On bright sunny days in extremely clear water the damsel nymphs may be migrating but the fish can be unwilling to make the move close to the surface. When this is the case try a Deep Twisted Damsel. Another alternative is to add a small amount of weight or a heavy lead fly to your leader. The fish don’t seem to want to come to the surface but they do know where the damselfly nymphs come from and are very willing to take the imitations deep. Use the same retrieve sequence and expect most takes on first movement after a pause.

Available in size 10 or 14

No comments:

Post a Comment