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Floating Damselfly Nymph
by Gary LaFontaine
• HOOK: 8-12; TMC 5262—2X long nymph hook
• FLOTATION: an underbody of high-density foam, wrapped along the hook shank as a thin strip
• TAIL: olive marabou and clear Antron fibers (combed together)
• ABDOMEN: olive fur and olive Antron dubbing (chopped, blended, and dubbed)
• THORAX: olive fur and olive Antron dubbing (chopped, blended, and dubbed)
• HACKLE: grouse fibers (tied as a collar and swept back)
This pattern is designed for the Yo-Yo Retrieve. A sinking, shooting-head line cuts through the weeds, stirring up insects and flushing minnows, and the floating fly swims above the weeds right through this chum slick. This is a fine searching technique when nothing much is happening. Also, during a heavy hatch of damsel nymphs, when the abundant naturals make the fish turn their noses up at imitations, this technique is often the only chance of catching a good number of fish.
Sometimes, emerging damsel nymphs also swim just under the surface instead of along the bottom. This usually happens in shallow bays. The fish roll and break the surface as they take the naturals. This is the time to fish the Floating Damselfly Nymph with a floating line and a strip retrieve right on top.
Two other patterns, the Floating Emergent Sparkle Pupa and the Floating Marabou Single Egg, also are designed for the Yo-Yo Retrieve. These floating variations are simply the regular flies with a buoyant, foam under-body.'
(This was written for still water trout, which are generally lumped with other trout as being selective.* But knowing bluegill... I'm thinking this will be a good pattern to substitute for the regular popper. It should land quietly and make the minimum of disturbance. When they fish are skittish and not committing to the splashy,popper, this might do the trick
* Trout are, in my opinion, garbage mouths. They will take whatever comes along, as long as they don't feel pressured. This seems especially true for still water trout, which have more water around them in which to feel comfy. I'm gonna tie a few [they are simple] and give them a try.)
Got to have both the floating and sinking. Can't have one without the other, since you don't know what they will strike. Sinking head to stir up things at the bottom is great, but when you have structures, you're done for.
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