The Damsel is one of the most prolific insects which inhabit our lakes here in the UK. This is reflected in what anglers prefer to fish on small waters and reservoirs with most anglers ‘go to’ fly being a damsel of some sort. Variants consist of chain eyes, gold heads or leaded bodies with marabou tails either woven or stacked, both of these additions add the most possible movement. Kieron Jenkins shows how to tie one of the more modern variants using UV Crystal hackle fritz for the body.
Simply start off by attaching a bead of choice to your favourite hook. Here I have chosen the Fulling Mill Grip Gape Hook size 10, with a 3.8 silver brass bead. Attach your UTC Thread to the hook, building up a section of thread behind the bead to stop any slippage then run the thread down the hook creating a solid platform to latch your marabou tail onto.
Take an inch or so of olive marabou from a turkey feather and trim away the end waste. This makes tying the marabou in easier and it also adds less bulk to the body. Run the thread over the marabou to the bead to form a smooth, flat body then take the thread back down to the bend of the hook. Offer up a strand of crinkle flash to each side of the tail for added sparkle and tie in.
For the body I have used FlyBox UV Crystal Hackle in olive colour. The UV adds some extra sparkle in low light conditions, primarily what we get this time of year in the UK! Take the front end of the fritz, the tip where the fibres fall back down the hank. This ensures that each time you wind the fritz each turn falls perfectly into place and sits right. Latch the fritz to the hook and wind – in touching turns – back towards the bead, pulling the fibres back after each turn. Simply tie in, build a little hot spot with the bright coloured thread and tie off.
This pattern can also be tied in many different colour combinations, all black, black and green, white and green, all white… A great versatile pattern for grown on or stocked fish.
UV Crystal Hackle Damsel Tying Materials
Hook: Fulling Mill Heavyweight Champ Barbless Size 10
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Bead: Silver 3.3mm
Tail: Olive Marabou
Flash: Crinkle Flash
Body: Olive UV Crystal Hackle