Fly of the Month – Denny’s Delta Damsel

Fly and Notes by Dennis Collier
Photo by Hans Weilenmann
Used by permission
From June/July 2013 newsletter

Hook:Daiichi 1150 or TMC 2488 – size 16
Thread: Blue or green 8/0
Abdomen: Braided-butt Damsel – blue or green
Thorax: Blue or green dubbing of choice
Wing/Wingpost: Fluorescent white Antron
Hackle: Grizzly saddle

While stillwater damselfly fishing is most typically associated with the migrating nymphs, there are those occasions when fish dial-in on the adult stage of these prolific insects as they cling to floating vegetation and shoreline weeds during the mating and ovipositing stages of their short lives.

In my experience, it is not uncommon to see the backs of large ranch pond and lake fish, cruising the perimeter of such venues, looking for damsel adults that have landed just a little too close to the water for their own good.

With the extensive surface area of the pattern design, when dressed with a good fly floatant, the Delta Damsel rides like a cork on the meniscus and is highly visible even at a distance – a consideration which is missing in most of the adult damsel patterns that I see around. The delta wings represent the crystalline, splayed wing of a resting or spent insect, and the overall profile is delicate just like the real bug.

317I tie the Denny’s Delta Damsel in both blue and olive to match the more common hues of the species, but most often fish the blue. Of note: Damselfly nymphs and adults can vary widely in size and coloration depending on the geographic local, water type, etc, so it’s a good idea to do a little research to match the hatch on your home waters. One never knows when the fish will become selective so it’s best to go prepared.

More flies by Dennis are at