The damsel nymph is a popular fly amongst anglers, but what makes it so special? An explanation into the life of the natural fly and the year-round use of it when fly fishing provides a good insight.
A sure indication that the summer has finally arrived is when blue damselflies begin appearing low over the water’s surface. A willing trout can sometimes be seen jumping out of the water at the sight of these fierce predators that feed heavily on insects and crustaceans.
The damsel can often reach lengths in excess of one inch and are a substantial meal for trout. There are 17 different damsel flies in Britain, with the female having a dullish green body whilst the males sport an electric blue. Damsel nymphs are often found in weed cover as soon as they are born.
Damsels are a food source for trout throughout the year and this is one of the reasons they are popular amongst anglers. Darker patterns that utilise olive and brown colours present themselves as mature nymphs and are more prevalent during late May up till August.
During the start of the season these patterns can be fished very slowly along the bottom. Casting close to weed beds with depths of four to eight feet and retrieving slowly offers great success, with the occasional faster pull to mimic the stalking of prey. As the fly moves, the tail will wiggle enticingly, mimicking a real insect’s abdomen movements whilst swimming.
As the season progresses and the temperature increases, damsels head for the surface, swimming towards surface weeds of the shore to hatch damselflies. To simulate this activity use a floating line and allow the fly to sink before retrieving it smoothly so the fly lifts up in the water towards the surface. Remember, the natural damsel swims a few feet and then rests so attempt to imitate this behaviour when fly fishing.
The damsel is an overall winner when it comes to trout fly fishing and I recommend every keen angler carries one in their fly box. A strong fly that can be used throughout the season at varying depths, the damsel is a fantastic all-rounder.
|Full Mill – Damsel Nymphs Selection – £8.95
– Classic FM Fiery Brown Weighted