K.I.S.S. Damselfly Nymph Step-by-Step

K.I.S.S. Damselfly Nymph Step-by-Step:

Anyone following this blog knows I’m a fan of simple flies.  They’re cost-effective, quick to tie, and, as a result, hurt far less when inevitably donated to unseen snags and overhanging limbs.  Given my propensity for the latter, especially while fishing my local waters, it is safe to say that my boxes are dominated by patterns I can whip up in moments.

AOne such pattern dominating my warmwater boxes is a small, nondescript damselfly nymph imitation tied on a #10 or 12 B10S Stinger hook in varying shades of Olive and Black.  Consisting of only five materials including hook and thread, it can be tied up in a matter of minutes and has proven effective on several warmwater species.

While I’m sure an actual name exists for this pattern somewhere within the fly-tying realm, I’ll simply dub it the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Damsel for the purpose of this tutorial.  It is after all a good reminder that all we really need to entice fish is a buggy profile and a bit of movement.

Gamakatsu B10S (#10-12) 70-Denier (Black) Bead Chain (Sm. or Med)
Material Lead-free Wire (optional) Materials Marabou (Black)Materials Hare’e Ice Dub (Black)

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K.I.S.S. Damselfly Nymph Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge or rotate phone to landscape)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Color Selection – While I’ve tied this fly in chartreuse on a handful of occasions, I’ve found it to be much more effective in natural shades. Stick with Olive, Black or Brown for best results.
  2. Size Up – In general, I keep this fly fairly small and sparse when imitating a damselfly nymph. However, if dragonfly nymphs or small crayfish are on the menu, consider upsizing that hook and adding a little more bulk to that dubbed body.
  3. Going Deep – As noted in the material list, consider adding some wraps of Lead-free wire as an underbody when fishing deeper water. This can also help bulk up your fly’s profile when attempting to imitate a dragonfly nymph or small crayfish.
  4. Substitutions – There’s not a great deal of room for substitutions on a pattern this simple. However, there’s no harm in experimenting with dubbing options for the body. I’m partial to the Hare’e Ice Dub dubbing, but feel free to try any “buggier” dubbing that you have on hand.

Proof of Concept

This simple pattern found its way onto my line with regularity during August and September of 2023. During those outings, it accounted for a variety of species including Flier sunfish, Largemouth Bass and even the small Tallapoosa bass featured on the right.

Tight Line!


Species Caught on the K.I.S.S. Damselfly to Date:
  1. Tallapoosa Bass
  2. Redbreast Sunfish
  3. Flier
  4. Bluegill
  5. Warmouth
  6. Rio Grande Cichlid
  7. Largemouth Bass

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