Scruffy Damsel

Fly Tying

Scruffy Damsel

Scruffy Damsel

The Scruffy Damsel is a go-to pattern for us here at MFF. An old reliable favorite, it has the potential to catch any month of the year. 2011 looks like being a massive year for damsel flies, so be prepared!

Originally inspired by the “Alley Cat” a pattern popularised by Bill Sibbons, our key differences are, a sparse tying, rib variation, weighting via dumbell eyes, and body colour variation.


  • Hook: – Kamasan B175 size 8-14.
  • Thread: – Colour to match body.
  • Eye:- Dumbell or beadchain on top of hook shank, sized and weighted proportional to hook size (e.g. large to large etc.)
  • Tail: – Marabou, in various shades of olive, plus brown, black and yellow.
  • Body: – As tail, wound around hook and eyes to splay feather. Tie off behind hook eye.
  • Rib: – Floss or fine wire in silver, red, yellow or fluoro green.

Differing sizes and colours replicate damsel nymphs at various stages of development over the whole year. Play at the tying bench and waterside to find out what works for your local waters.


This fly will work in both lake and river situations, though is most commonly associated with lakes. Heavily weighted versions make superb flies for stalking sighted trout, while any version is perfect for fishing on floating, intermediate or medium sink fly lines according to situation. During summer, fairly fast figure of eight or erratic retrieve styles generally get the best from this fly, making positively pulse with life.

Have fun!



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