Mark's Olive Damsel Nymph
It is unclear how the fly got stuck behind the maxillary flipper, but it makes a very good background for Mark's Olive Damsel Nymph when it is in the water.
Damselflies are those delicate iridescent blue or red insects that you
see flying around lakes and ponds. In the nymphal stage they range from
olive to tan, are free swimming and often exposed to cruising trout.
Bass and panfish will also feed heavily on damselfly nymphs. Damselfly
nymphs are strong swimmers. While swimming the body of the nymph
undulates very much like a fish.
When hunting for food, nymphs usually
swim in short erratic bursts at a slight upward angle and then slowly settle
while they rest. This swimming motion is fairly
violent, but carries the nymph only a few inches. This action is very
noticeable and is a definite key. Your retrieve should duplicate this swimming movement. Most anglers retrieve their
damsel nymphs too fast.
Damsel nymphs can be productive as soon as the ice leaves your favorite lake. The smaller early season naiads or immature nymphs are usually light olive green. During this part of the season,
Mark's Golden Olive Damsel Nymph can be the best fly on the lake. But they can be in very short supply, and we may be out of them some of the time.
Fishing a Mark's Olive Damsel Nymph very slowly, within inches of the bottom with a sinking fly line, is often productive from ice-out until mid to late summer. Since the water can be cold this time of the year, the strikes can be very soft. Every angler has to stay alert.
During May and early June the water starts to warm. Predacious damsel fly nymphs hunt vigorously in and around and underwater vegetation. They become a staple fish food. Fishing a Mark's Olive Damsel within inches of the weed tops can bring savage strikes. The fly must be fished slowly.
An intermediate or slow sinking fly line, such as the RIO InTouch CamoLux can aid this presentation.
Damsels are most vulnerable to trout during their migration to hatch on above-surface structures. Damsels flourish in weedy alkaline desert lakes. They also do well in clear lakes, such as Oregon's Rocky Ridge Ranch's Wild Rose Lake, and Crane Prairie Reservoir. Damsels can migrate in
such masses that they can create nervous water like miniature moving shoals of fish.
The trout can become so gorged that they become very difficult to catch. The fish will key only on cripples, but this is uncommon. During mid summer, try a Mark's Olive Damsel Nymph in very shallow water. Wait until you see a trout cruising and feeding on nymphs that are migrating to shore to hatch. Use a dull colored floating line and 12' 5X leader and pretend you are fishing bonefish on the flats. Pick a target on the feeding path of the fish, and place the fly so that when the trout is less than two feet from the fly you can retrieve the fly slowly for six inches. Then do it again when the trout is about a foot from the fly. Strikes are usually automatic.
This is the floating line that we like for working edge water or dry fly fishing on lakes: InTouch Perception Floating Fly Line
9' - 5X Fluorocarbon Leaders: Fluoroflex Knotless Tapered Leaders
Add 36" of 5x Tippet: Fluoroflex Plus Tippet 30yd Spool