As our stillwaters heat up later in May and through the month of June, nature’s original hula dancers, the damsel nymphs get active and become readily available for foraging fish. Damsels are found around weed beds and migrate toward shoreline vegetation to emerge into adults. They are characteristically slender, move with a pronounced wiggle and have prominent eyes and legs that stick out. The Jean Claude Van Damsel captures the skinny profile, tail movement, translucency and big eyes of a natural damsel, and like it’s namesake, is pretty badass. Though most damsel nymphs I’ve observed don’t have red eyes, a lot of damsel patterns employ them and they certainly seem to get noticed. Whether chasing trout or panfish, the JCVD is a great pattern to fish on a floating or intermediate line around weedy portions of your favorite lake. A green-eyed version works well too and the body materials can be easily changed to match the predominant colors of the naturals.
Jean Claude Van Damsel Recipe
Hook: Tiemco 200R #12
Thread: Chartreuse 70 Denier Ultra Thread
Eyes: Small red Killer Caddis Glass Beads melted on #25 mono
Tail: Golden olive marabou
Body: Light olive D-rib
Wingcase: Olive Thin Skin
Legs: Olive dyed partridge
Head: Emerald Senyo’s Fusion Dub
Confluence Beer Pairing: Since much of your damsel pattern fishing will be taking place in sunny weather, we highly recommend a very drinkable sunny weather beer. For such an occasion, Kulshan’s Sunnyland Ale is really hard to beat. Look for the bright yellow can, load up a few in the cooler next time and enjoy!