The Dry Damsel Fly
Rarely will you see flies that can tease trout to the point of jumping multiple feet out of the water the way they will for these colorful flies. I have literally seen fish jump up onto the bank, only to fall back in a few seconds later while trying to catch a damsel fly. Fish love these things, yet most people don’t have any of them in their fly boxes. If you like catching fish, you need to tie some of these up. There are hundreds of easy ways to make these patterns using common household materials. Probably the easiest way to make a great floating damsel, is to use old fly line for the abdomen. Since this line should float decent, you will be a step ahead of the game.
Tying the Wings
The wings of this fly can be made from poly yarn or simply saddle hackle (as shown in the image). The floating poly yarn is my favorite style. Make sure you use some crystal flash material for the wings as well. These insects are flashy and should really catch as much light as possible. The more they glisten in the sun, the more likely they will catch lots of trout.
The underside of the thorax should be some type of synthetic dubbing to keep the water out. While the upper side of these flies should be closed cell foam. This will keep them upright most of the time. Once the bottom starts to get slightly water logged it will become heavier than the foam on top. This should keep this fly floating in the proper position all day long.
The eyes in the example shown are just plastic dumbbell eyes. They can be purchased at any fly tying shop and even a lot of craft stores. You can also use most types of plastic. Just burn the ends a little bit in advance and they will flare nicely and really look good.
The damsel fly is a perfect place to experiment and make a “frankenfly”. There are so many ways to customize it with various materials laying around.
Synthetic dubbing material works best for the base of the thorax.
These flies will often get trout excited enough to jump clean out of the water to eat them. They can be found on most trout streams throughout the entire late spring and summer season.