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Thread: Tenkara High Lake Food Forms - Damsel Flies

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Fresno, California

    Default Tenkara High Lake Food Forms - Damsel Flies

    Right off the bat I want to make it clear that I do not carry or have I ever fish an adult damsel fly imitation. They really look cool in your fly box and in the fly cases in the shops but I have never seen a high lake trout eat an adult damsel fly, not even the much weaker flying tenerals. But I have caught more trout than I can remember out of high lakes on wet damsel fly patterns, my current favorite of which is the Sparkle Yarn Damsel Fly Nymph. Eventually I will post a picture of this pattern, a materials listing for it, and detailed tying instructions on how to tie it. But until then, here are some links to information on damselflies, how to fish their imitations, their fly patterns, and their tying considerations: and, plus.

    Now all of that is well and good. But, how are you going to know just when a damsel fly emergnce is taking place? Bring up this link: Then scroll down to the 3rd large photograph, which will be a picture of two adult damselflies perched on a vertical reed stem. Below the adult damsels is the two empty nymph shucks that the new adults just crawled out of. Fresh shucks will exhibit some of the nymph's residual coloration. But as the empty shucks age and spend more time in the sunlight, they will turn to a white-ish color and eventually become almost clear and transparent, so shuck coloration or the lack there of is an indication of how recently the damselflies emerged from the empty shucks. On lakes with prolific damsel populations, many if not most of the sedge and reed stalks sticking up out of the water will have from 3 to 5 or more empty shucks stuck on them. Now this is not something that you are going to be likely to see if you are not looking for it. But the above links will give you the general time frame to know when to be looking for a damselfly emergence. I have caught trout that were stuffed to the hilt with mature damselfly nymphs within a week or two after ice out. So, even though there may be no adult damselflies visible in the air over the lake you are fishing, a damselfly nymph pattern can still prove to be an extremely effective fly pattern to use. You just never know when a damsel fly nymph pattern is going to turn the trick for you and the fish, and not just for trout. They work equally well for bass, bluegill and crappie. Damsel nymphs are also pretty Tenkara friendly patterns to fish on just about any Tenkara line style you care to use. Specific presentation and retrieve tactics are given under the links I have provided above....Golden.
    Last edited by Golden; 11-04-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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