Why aren't blue flies popular

Gdog

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Damsel flies got a mention above, but does anyone use a dry damsel imitation?

In the early nineties when I lived in London I fished Pitsford Reservoir and saw rainbows jumping out of the water attempting to catch adult damsel flies, but back then I never heard of anyone using a dry damsel imitation.

I spent 8 months in Seattle 94/95, one day in Kaufmann's Streamborn, 4th Avenue, Seattle I saw my first dry damsel imitation. I bought 3 of them for about $2.50 each, very pricey back in 1995, but very nicely tied.

20201022_084457.jpg

These flies never saw the light of day until I was fishing for rainbows on a small Stillwater in Co. Wicklow about 5 years ago, there were a huge amount of adult damsels and trout were somersaulting out of the water trying to get them. Another guy was catching rainbows of 4 to 6 lbs on a dry damsel. I tried this pattern but the trout didn't go for it. I assumed the head was too big and too much hackle for the bright calm conditions.

I bought Veniards kingfisher blue seals fur, black and blue Sharpie pens and I used some braided backing and I came up with this fly which is an imitation of something I saw on Ebay.

The following year I was back at the same fishery and I caught a few 4lbers on it. I could see the trout coming for this fly from about 20 feet away and smash it. I've had further success with this pattern at the same fishery a few times.


20201022_084426.jpg

Tying - Gdog dry damsel.

Hook Kamasan B175 (heavy wire hook needed for the big trout) size 12.
Thread - Veevus 10-0 black.
Body - Veniards kingfisher blue seals fur.
Tail - 20 lb braid coloured with blue and black Sharpie pens, singed at end (not to well on this fly).
Wing post - White antron.
Hackle - Metz Grizzle cock.

I know I won't win any prizes for the tying, I normally tie it with a shorter hackle, but the other patterns I have are scruffier than this one as they have seen some action.
 
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Wee Jimmy

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Damsel flies got a mention above, but does anyone use a dry damsel imitation?

In the early nineties when I lived in London I fished Pitsford Reservoir and saw rainbows jumping out of the water attempting to catch adult damsel flies, but back then I never heard of anyone using a dry damsel imitation.

I spent 8 months in Seattle 94/95, one day in Kaufmann's Streamborn, 4th Avenue, Seattle I saw my first dry damsel imitation. I bought 3 of them for about $2.50 each, very pricey back in 1995, but very nicely tied.

View attachment 31858

These flies never saw the light of day until I was fishing for rainbows on a small Stillwater in Co. Wicklow about 5 years ago, there were a huge amount of adult damsels and trout were somersaulting out of the water trying to get them. Another guy was catching rainbows of 4 to 6 lbs on a dry damsel. I tried this pattern but the trout didn't go for it. I assumed the head was too big and too much hackle for the bright calm conditions.

I bought Veniards kingfisher blue seals fur, black and blue Sharpie pens and I used some braided backing and I came up with this fly which is an imitation of something I saw on Ebay.

The following year I was back at the same fishery and I caught a few 4lbers on it. I could see the trout coming for this fly from about 20 feet away and smash it. I've had further success with this pattern at the same fishery a few times.


View attachment 31860

Tying

Hook Kamasan B175 - needed for the big trout.
Thread - Veevus 10-0 black.
Body - Veniards kingfisher blue seals fur.
Tail - 20 lb braid coloured with blue and black Sharpie pens, singed at end (not to well on this fly).
Wing post - White antron.
Hackle - Metz Grizzle cock.

I know I won't win any prizes for the tying, I normally tie it with a shorter hackle, but the other patterns I have are scruffier than this one as they have seen some action.

I've seen fish jumping and grabbing damsels on the wing but I've never bothered trying to tempt those fish with a dry because I've always took the view that the fish will be tuned into looking at getting the moving insects in mid air. Damsels don't tend to sit on the surface in a prone position and the fish wont be getting the opportunity to see them sitting that way. Therefore a dry imitation presented in that way would likely be ignored. Ill revise that thinking and tie a few of those up,they look good.. (y)
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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Iron Blue Dun anyone?

Bert

I have a bottle of Veniard's iron blue dun dye. The term blue seems to refer to 'blae' = slate grey. The iron seems to refer to ferric oxide rust, as it has a red cast to it. I used it as the grey component to do a sooty olive cape. I was working on the CMYK recipe for olive being:
50% black : 100% yellow.

So, I was thinking 50% black must be middle grey? I dyed the cape in iron blue dun and then overdyed it fluorescent yellow...



Here it is under UV light...



Col
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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I've seen fish jumping and grabbing damsels on the wing but I've never bothered trying to tempt those fish with a dry because I've always took the view that the fish will be tuned into looking at getting the moving insects in mid air. Damsels don't tend to sit on the surface in a prone position and the fish wont be getting the opportunity to see them sitting that way. Therefore a dry imitation presented in that way would likely be ignored. Ill revise that thinking and tie a few of those up,they look good.. (y)

Get the dapping rod up lad! (y)
 

Gdog

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I've seen fish jumping and grabbing damsels on the wing but I've never bothered trying to tempt those fish with a dry because I've always took the view that the fish will be tuned into looking at getting the moving insects in mid air. Damsels don't tend to sit on the surface in a prone position and the fish wont be getting the opportunity to see them sitting that way. Therefore a dry imitation presented in that way would likely be ignored. Ill revise that thinking and tie a few of those up,they look good.. (y)

I would say that this would be a tactic that might work occasionally, the pattern I tied worked whenever there were damsels present on that particular water. I haven't seen that type of behaviour anywhere else in Ireland, not to say it doesn't occur. But I did see trout chasing adult damsel flies on a few waters in England when I lived there.

You won't know if it works until you try it.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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As you know Col...I would rather staple my nutsack to the nearest coffee table....:D

You could always try it with something like my 11 ft 3-wt Czech nymphing rod. 😜 That 15 ft Greys trotting rod I have is a great rod for it, and it's light as a feather.

I've never seen trout trying to catch damsels. Jimmy and I had a day on our club water this year when there were biblical numbers of damsels hovering about a couple of inches above the water. Don't think we saw a single trout try to catch one. However, I have seen rainbows jumping out the water to try and catch mayfly spinners. The difference there is that the spinners are ending up on the water, and a dry spinner imitation works fine.

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Yep, tie up a real big bushy dry damsel with about 20 turns of grizzle hackle on it.
Go out and try in a two foot wave. 😜

I much prefer to dap in a light breeze. When it's a big blow, you can't work the fly with any control. I like to make it dance and do runs up and down the water. Much easier in a light breeze. ;)

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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You won't know if it works until you try it.

Absolutely.... presentation issues aside, the lack of a decent looking adult damsel pattern has probably helped to put me off the idea. Also,while I've been in amongst fish chasing and leaping at adults, I've never been stumped by them not being willing to take anything else whilst behaving that way.
 
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Gdog

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I much prefer to dap in a light breeze. When it's a big blow, you can't work the fly with any control. I like to make it dance and do runs up and down the water. Much easier in a light breeze. ;)

Col

I was only having the craic there. I've seen guys out dapping on a big wave on some of the Midland lakes in Ireland and complaining about getting numerous rises but few hooked trout. It's hardly surprising that a lot of trout miss a dapped fly dancing around on a big wave, I would agree its easier to control the fly in a ripple or small wave.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I was only having the craic there. I've seen guys out dapping on a big wave on some of the Midland lakes in Ireland and complaining about getting numerous rises but few hooked trout. It's hardly surprising that a lot of trout miss a dapped fly dancing around on a big wave, I would agree its easier to control the fly in a ripple or small wave.

Aye, it's just that a lot of folk who don't dap have a misconceived idea of it as something that you do on the salmon and seatrout lochs when it's windy - wet flies in a light breeze - dap in a big blow. I prefer to do it the other way round - dap in a light breeze and wets in a big blow. I know some guys who like the dap so much they will do it in a near flat calm! 🤪

I find seatrout and salmon have days when they miss it a lot, even in a light ripple - I think a lot of the time they are just toying with it. When the brownies are on the mayfly, they don't miss it too often. Rainbows can be bad at missing it - I suspect because they have been reared on pellets and don't have their eye in for taking something that's skittering across the surface.

But when you get a day when the seatrout are taking it well, it's great fun. We had a day this August when the dap totally kicked the wets into touch...







Col
 
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billy fish

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This is my favourite colour for bomber fishing in northern Norway.

06F19A70-08AB-4B87-A2E5-C42D42B0C676.jpeg
I like them tied on tubes as you can always replace the hook .
 

Wee Jimmy

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Rainbows can be bad at missing it - I suspect because they have been reared on pellets and don't have their eye in for taking something that's skittering across the surface.

That one you got at the lake within five seconds of getting the dap on the water didny miss it....:LOL:
 

Gdog

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Absolutely.... presentation issues aside, the lack of a decent looking adult damsel pattern has probably helped to put me off the idea. Also,while I've been in amongst fish chasing and leaping at adults, I've never been stumped by them not being willing to take anything else whilst behaving that way.

Try the version I tied, I'm sure you'll tie it better than me. The Kaufmann's fly is more like a damsel fly that's being going heavy on the cheese burgers, fries and coke.
They tend to tie their dry flies heavy in the western United States, I've still got a few enormous Simulators that I bought in Kaufmann's that were too big for imitating Green Peter's.
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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That one you got at the lake within five seconds of getting the dap on the water didny miss it....:LOL:

Aye, that's true. I wonder if it had been practicing on mayflies and had got its eye in? I'm minding the time we fished Bhac. I had a go with the dap and the wee wild brownies were nailing it but the rainbows were all missing it.

Col
 
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