Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tying a Damselfly Fly

By now most of you have likely seen the video, "Damsels in Distress", that Simon Perkins shot of brown trout feeding on adult damselflies.  We posted it a few days ago after seeing it elsewhere, and it has gone viral in fly fishing circles the past few days.  It's an awesome video of the stuff most of us can only dream of seeing in our lifetime; large trout feeding aggressively on damselflies flying just above the water surface.  Orvis then asked Tim Flagler if he would produce a fly tying video showing how to tie an adult damselfly to compliment the video.  And so he did, with me tying a tried and true pattern that I have tied for clients for about 20+ years, and with which they tell me has worked well for them not only in the US, but also in Argentina and New Zealand.

Hook: Dai Riki #305 size 10
Thread: 3.0 Light olive Danville monochord
Extension: Olive deer body hair
Thorax: Peacock herl
Wing case: Dark green antron
Hackle: Coq-de-Leon

I used to use grizzly hackle for this fly, and you still can. But I have found that the Coq- de-Leon works better since it has long, stiff fibers and the stems on the feathers are very thin and strong, so it wraps very well, as you can see in the video.

I have only been lucky enough to encounter trout feeding on adult damselflies a couple of times, and only on waters in Yellowstone Park.  There I used this pattern tied with black thread, a blue deer hair body extension, and black antron for the wing case.  And it worked well.

Sharpen your hooks.


Rick A said...

Hey Matt
Tie up some blue damsels and go fish Foul Rift early July :)
The smallies put on an aerial display that I haven't seen anywhere else on the big D.
I wonder if that type of feeding is a "learned conditioning" behavior since it is not common elsewhere on the river.
I just have to ask...
Do you need a Regal vise to get in the back room at Shannons?

Unknown said...

Having Rite Bobbins doesn't hurt either.

Unknown said...

Hey matt, its Robert "nicko" Gil, the Veteran from the fly fishing show , thank you so much for the videos and congrats on the addition to the family

Matt Grobert said...

Rick, bring your favorite vise, just leave your vice at the door. : )

Matt Grobert said...

Nicko, You are so very welcome. Thank you for your service to our country. It is great to hear from you. I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to meet you. I'm glad you are doing well, and your story is inspiring - I've shared it with my children and many friends, and of course Tim Flagler. Next time we meet, we need to get a photo together. Best, Matt

Drunk in Vermont said...

I'd say the narration is as good as the fly tying.....voodoo magic...and all the subtle touches.....nice work....