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Damsel in Distress
By Tim Lunceford (MOturkE)

About the fly: I've been watching damsel flies tease the bass and bluegills most of the hottest part of this summer. Many fish will jump completely out of the water to get at one of them. I looked around the internet for an easy pattern and never found one I liked, so I decided to make one up. The poly rope used for this fly was broken and tossed out at a loading dock where I picked it up. Don't throw out that old poly rope, tie some damsels with it.

Materials List: Damsel in Distress

    Hook: Your choice (Mustad 9671 size 12 used here).

    Thread: Your choice (8/0 olive used here).

    Extended Body: 4-5 strands of Poly rope any color.

    Wing: 6-8 strands of Pearl Krystal Flash Wing Material

    Thorax: 2 strands of Peacock Herl or any dubbing, your choice.

    Hackle: Any dark colored, oversized hackle (Furnace used here).

    Eyes: Plastic beads, any color (green chain type used here).

Tying Damsel in Distress

    1. Start thread on hook and wrap back to the bend. Select 4-5 strands of poly rope at least 3 times the length of the hook, melt one of the ends together to form the tail.

    2. Use a fine tip, permanent marker to color segments on the body. Tie the body onto the hook leaving one hook length extended over the bend of the hook.

    3. Wrap over the body to the center of the hook shank and lift the remaining body material up and make a couple of thread wraps on the shank. Cut 6-8 strands of wing material and fold into thirds to create more width and tie this in front of and against the raised body material. Center the wing and lock in using figure 8 wraps.

    4. Tie in the peacock herl or dubbing material against the wing, then tie in the hackle. Wrap the thorax a bit bulky, make sure to leave room for the eyes and a head. Lock this in and trim the excess.

    5. Palmer the hackle with tight turns along the thorax making sure to create the appearance of thick legs, lock the hackle in and trim the excess. Add the bead eyes just in front of the thorax and hackle, tie them in using figure 8 wraps.

    6. If necessary, push the beads and other material back against the wing with your thumbnails. This will keep everything tight together and insure space for the head. Pull the remaining body material down over the bead eyes toward the hook eye. Tie it off in front of the eyes, then make a few turns behind the eyes to help lock the eyes in.

    7. Trim the excess body material off just behind the eye of the hook. Wrap the thread forward and create a slightly tapered head in front of the bead eyes. Whip finish and cement the head generously around the bead eyes. This keeps the eyes from twisting around the hook shank. When the head dries be sure to clear the hook eye of cement. Cut the loops in the wing material open and trim the longest strands to leave each wing one body length.

    8. The finished damsel prepared for flight. ~ MOtrukE

Floatant is a must with this fly since there's not much bouyancy to the body. It should sit flat on top of the water similar to a dead damsel and the hackle should cause a wrinkle in the surface film. I use the plastic bead eyes because the metal ones will sink the fly. I'm hoping to get some blue poly rope to tie the blue damsel soon, although I could color it with permanent markers. Since I created this pattern a week ago, I've only fished it a bit and it presents very well. I use a few false casts to keep it dry. When I tried it out the weather was off from a cold front, so the only interest was from a very small bluegill who couldn't get the bug in his mouth. If you have trouble with the extended body interfering with the hook, bend it up away from the hook bend to allow more hook exposure under the surface film. I hope this damsel works for you. And I hope you enjoy tying it.

About Tim Lunceford:

Tim spent 9 years in the U.S. Air Force, with 3 years working on the F-117 A Stealth Fighter, and is a veteran of Desert Storm. He lives and fishes near Kansas City, Missouri. He's a recovering bait fisherman having taken up fly fishing last summer and fly tying shortly thereafter. He's been married 22 years and is the father of 4 kids - 3 have Fragile-X syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes retardation and autism. He now works as a Heat and Frost Insulator for Local Union #27 in K.C. Tim also enjoys web design, graphics and digital image manipulation, watercolor painting, playing guitar, and writes contemporary Christian songs - none of which have been recorded,...yet.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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