Since all of my warm water haunts are not so warm this time of year, most of the blog posts over the next few months will be focused on fly tying. One of my favorite fly patterns for panfish are damsel fly nymphs. Damsel fly nymphs are probably some of the most productive nymph patterns I use on a regular basis. They can be tied ornate or extremely simple. For bluegill and other panfish I lean towards simple versions. The adult insects pictured above are an important food source but fish are in contact with nymphs in various stages year round. As an added benefit, they are the perfect pattern to present to fish when fishing from the shore. Damsel flies spend the majority of there lives under water. When they are ready to molt the nymphs will actively swim towards shore where they will crawl onto lakeside vegetation. This shore bound migration is easily imitated when retrieving a cast fly back to shore.
Once on dry land they split their exoskeleton, climb out of the shuck and emerge as an adult damsel fly. After a short waiting period, as their wings dry, they take to the air. They will live for several weeks before returning to the water to mate and deposit their eggs on the stems of aquatic plants. They are voracious predators in both the nymphal and adult forms.
The pattern I am highlighting in this post is a simple one, only three materials if you don't count the hook its tied on. Marabou in a color matching the nymph, a piece of wire for segmentation and a bead to provide weight and a proper silhouette in the water. There are no wing buds, legs or mono eyes. Very simple, very quick to tie and very effective.
Step by Step Instructions: