Dragonfly Nymph... a new "twist" [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Dragonfly Nymph... a new "twist"

04-04-2003, 07:45 PM
I've been messing around on the bench this evening trying to tie a reasonable imitation of a dragonfly nymph for my outings this weekend. After dubbing a few bodies, I decided to give the "nymph rib" a shot; see what you think...

Hook is a standard sz. 10 nymph hook, Mustad.
Thread is dark olive flat waxed.
Small black mono eyes.
Olive marabou tail, legs, and wing.
Body is olive flat waxed thread, over which is clear nymph rib, giving the appearance of a segmented abdomen.

Any thoughts?

04-04-2003, 07:46 PM
... and one more shot...

Dble Haul
04-04-2003, 08:21 PM
Boy, that stuff looks good....I've seen it, but haven't had the impulse to purchase any until now.

Nice work!

John Desjardins
04-04-2003, 08:45 PM
I like it. I was just tying midges with olive thread covered by tippet stock. The translucency is great. I've been debating using a light thread, then a marker for the back. Let me know if you want an adult imitation.

04-04-2003, 08:55 PM
I see some Bone fish attributes to that fly...probably very versitile....Nice!

04-04-2003, 09:31 PM
Yes - I've used V Rib (similar) on Bonefish flies. I think the original product was marketed as "Swanundaze". I still have some which I picked up in Hardy's of Pall Mall back in 19??;)

04-05-2003, 07:17 AM
JohnD - An even trade: adults for nymphs?

John Desjardins
04-05-2003, 07:58 AM
Sounds good to me.

04-05-2003, 08:38 AM
Okay, PM me your address and the number of flies, and we'll get it taken care of...

04-05-2003, 09:23 AM

Great looking fly and I know it will catch fish when the damsels are hatching....but are you sure this is a dragonfly....looks long and slender like a damsel. Dragons are far more robust in the abdomen. Not slamming the fly at all, it looks great, just thought it may have been a slip up in saying it was a dragon?

Nicely done....tell me how did you do the head? It looks like you carried the nymph rib up and onto the head with burnt mono eyes


04-05-2003, 09:49 AM
Jake - You're right, dragonfly nymphs are big buggers, that's for certain; I remember as a child seeing their husks attached to the underside of our dock and thinking, "What the heck is that?!?" This pattern may be more aptly called a damselfly nymph, as you suggest. I've tied a couple of fatter-bodied flies up that might pass for a d'fly, however the issue becomes trying to maintain adequate gap; I may need to try different hooks.
I bring the rib up to behind the head, which has the mono eyes attached via figure-8, then tie the rib off and tie in the marabou. The marabou used for the legs and wing, as you might suspect, are the same fibers, tied in at the bottom of the shank, then brought up and over the eye and secured atop the shank; the wing is then clipped to the "right size", as near as I can make it.
I may try to tie a couple of dragonfly nymphs up using a waddington shank, but I think that simply using a longer shank hook in general will enable me to maintain the gap needed.

04-05-2003, 10:29 AM
Hi Chris....I used to have the problem with closing the gap on making fatter bodied dragons.....then I found a helper. Go to your local drug store and go into the section that sells toothpaste etc. Look for a style of wooden toothpick known as a " Stimudent"
they are taper tooth picks that can be lashed onto the side of the hook with the long taper to the front. Trim the rear taper rather blunt and you have a nice wide bodied fly with a little floatation , that, when fished on a full sink will keep the fly just above the weedbeds.

When lashing on the stimudents, tie them to the sides of the hook with the edge or flat to the hook shank and the nice taper to the outside edge, you want a nice wide flat look to the hook. I hope I am clear on the directions here. If you did a cross section of the hook with the stimudents tied in place , you should have a nice diamond shape this way. looking from the rear <>. This leaves the gap alone but gives you a nice wide abdomen.

Some of the flytyers I know use the same method to fatten up their Stone fly patterns

Good luck

Best regards....jake

04-05-2003, 10:36 AM
Jake, I must be going senile before the age of 30... I tied some squid patterns using toothpicks to extend the length of the fly off the bend before I started using brads instead (more durability for saltwater use). Yes, I have some toothpicks that are similar in shape to what you describe; I'll give that a try, as the added weight from the toothpicks should be essentially negligible. I've just been at the bench tying something with a fatter abdomen up... here it is...

04-05-2003, 10:38 AM
And again...
This is using beadchain eyes painted with black nail polish, a dubbed underbody, and the rib wound on more loosely to permit the fibers from the dubbing to project out from the bodyl otherwise, it's the same fly tied on a size 6.

04-05-2003, 10:39 AM
... and the view from the front...
Is this "buggy-looking"?

04-05-2003, 10:40 AM
Comparison between the first fly and this newer one...

04-05-2003, 11:39 AM
I like them both.....the damsel should be really thin in the abdomen. And the dragon is chunkier.....I think you have got a couple of real fishy looking flies there.....Now change up the color to a watery colored olive with a bit of a tan undertone to it and you will have the fly at the stage in the dragon flies life known as the "instar". The instar stage is when they are molting or shedding their exoskeleton and waiting for the new exoskeleton to harden....they are the VERY VERY vulnerable to fish,,,and the fish know this. I used to tie my dragons very dark, like a mature Darner Dragon....I got fish, a fair number....but when I switched to a light pale watery Olive with a tannish undertone.....WHAM WHAM WHAM.......the legenday Jack Shaw taught me that trick....shhhhh....keep that one a secret......they will clobber it.

Best regards......Jake

04-05-2003, 06:37 PM
Duly noted; I'll post the "emergence" ;) of this pattern as it takes place...

04-06-2003, 11:07 AM
This site has a couple of good photos of dragonfly nymphs (scroll about halfway down the page) and a damselfly nymph (a little farther down the page). Some interesting info about them and other aquatic bugs as well.



04-07-2003, 08:31 PM
What a difference the proper hook makes; this is tied on a Tiemco 300, which is a 6x long shank I believe... John, these are the ones I'm sending off to you...