Viking Lars | Saturday, 10 March 2018
In a recent thread on the Board on small lake tactics, Paul mentioned a damsel imitation as a good searching pattern, and I agree, of course (who am I to argue against Paul's 20+ years in stillwater). Beiing a modest man, Paul of course refrained from mentioning that he's got one of best damsel-patterns I know, and I happen to have a pretty good one myself as well, so read on and learn about the two damsels.
Jonas Fredriksson asked a question on small lake tactics, and I know these small, Scandinavian lakes. The fishing can be good, but also quite difficult - some due to fishing pressure and some, like Jonas', because you can't float them in anyway, which means bank fishing, which means that the big ones are always out of reach. I think almost everyone who's fished these small lakes (tjärns) have witnessed the big ones crusing far out of reach in the middle of the lake.
Paul mentioned a damsel imitation as a good searching fly, and I agree completely - always my own, first go-to fly (because I learned this from Paul many years ago). As mentioned, Paul failed to point out his own, excellent pattern, The Ardem Damsel (the name might be something I came up with - not sure it has any other name - Paul?). The Arden Damsel is easy to tie, relatively durable (marabou tail gets worn), but catches well. I did a step-by-step sequence of it some years ago here.
My good friend, Ken Hanley - from California, did a book on "furled flies" (link to Amazon) in 2008, in which he covers many different styles and patterns, utilising the furling technique. The book and technique caught my eye, and a did a small adaptation of one of Ken's flies and came up with the LCB Furled Damsel.
The LCB Furled Damsel is a closer imitation, not quite as mobile as Paul's, but it does *really* well with picky fish and clear water.
I fish these imitations all year round, but they seem to do best in March and April. I fish them deep and shallow and the fish just seem to like them. The nymph is active all year round, so I suppose the fish are just accustomed to eating them all the time.
If you don't have any in your box, tie up a batch! I need to tie some myself this weekend, and I'll be tying both patterns.
Have a great weekend!