The Damsel Fly

Fishing Techniques for Fishing and Imitating the Natural Damsel Nymphal Stage

By: Andrew Kitchener

Trout mostly consume damsel flies in their aquatic nymph state, a few of which often reach over one inch long. The damsel fly nymph swims by a rapid movement of it's abdomen unlike the closely related dragon fly nymph that achieves forward motion by forcing water out of it's backside. Whenever you spot a bunch of electric blue damselflies zooming low over the water's surface you already know that summer time has finally arrived. If you're blessed you may even see trout hurling themselves into the air to grab the large flies. They seem to make a considerable meal for any trout and are eaten wherever they can be found. The nymphs appear to have an inbred strong fear of Trout for as soon as there're born they head for weed cover. They're generally found in the warmer shallows of the lake but also in larger weed beds in open water.

Try and fish around weedbeds in a water depth of four to eight feet for best success. The nymphs are not the best of swimmers but they do waggle their tails as they move. After casting along your preferred water bed permit the nymph to sink several feet. The natural insect often swims a number of feet and then rests. The most effective technique to repeat this is the long retrieve followed by a pause. At the end on the retrieve lift the fly unhurriedly out from the water as there might be a following trout that could attack the escaping nymph. Damselflies are related to dragon flies (order Odonata) though they are generally smaller and slimmer. Damsel nymphs are fierce predators that feed greatly on insects, small crustaceans and even little fish. You will discover 17 different in Britain. The female adult of some of the species is a dullish green instead of the brilliant electric blue body of the males.

Trout will kill damsel nymphs over the year. The olive, claret or brown colored mature nymphs tend to be more prevalent during late May up till August. The colour and time rely on where within the world you fish. The hottest part of the day either side of noon is a perfect time to view the mass migration of damselfly nymphs on dry land. During early part of the season this pattern can be fished very slowly along the bottom. Damsel fly Nymphs like shallow bays where weed is prolific as they kill crumbling vegetable matter.

Cast your nymph as close to the weedbeds as possible. Fish this pattern very slowly along the bottom, to represent the insect stalking prey, but occasionally move it along a small distance at a faster speed. Wade down the perimeters of large, slow pools and fish the fly slowly along the bottom. Cast down and across the stream at an angle and give the nymph time to sink towards the bottom. Every now and then make use of spurt pause spurt retrieve to imitate an attack. Use a three inch strip with your line hand and pause for about ten seconds to permit the water current to drift the fly slightly downstream, afterward strip again. Continue using this process all across the pool. As the fly moves, its tail will wiggle enticingly, just like the real insect's abdomen would do as it swims along.

During the warmer months the nymphs are far more active and wriggle towards the surface, whereupon they proceed to swim to the shore or towards surface weed so they can hatch into the adult damselflies. As soon as they arrive at it they crawl up and out from the water. They clamber up anything from an angler’s waders to water's edge reeds and rushes. It will be during this trek to shore that trout actively feed on them. They even grab them while they are climbing up reeds prior to hatching. To mimic this action, fish the fly with a floating line, allowing it sink to the bottom prior to retrieving smoothly so that the fly lifts up in the water near the surface.

Where there are actually rushes or reeds it can often be more productive to cast and retrieve across the shoreline. While these are above the surface level they hatch from their nymphal skin. They battle to liberate themselves for as long as 10 minutes. It requires an extra hour for the new adult, called a 'Teneral', to completely pump up its wings. Through this process the're very vulnerable if they have not got clear of the water. On a breezy day a lot of new adults will get blown back on on the water and drown. Throughout mating the coupled flies land on undergrowth either in or very close to the water. the female climbs down and into the water and lays her eggs. This final act only occurs when the sun is out. On dreary days the adults wait on the shore for the sun to appear.



Author Resource:-> The Essential Fly is one of the superior fly fishing flies, fly fishing tackle and fly tying materials. Supplying world-wide. The Essential Fly carries a range of over 1500 fly fishing flies from size 2 to size 24 for trout, salmon grayling, salmon and saltwater fly fishing as well as specialist fly fishing flies.

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