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Ken Hanley’s Furled Damsel


I have featured Ken Hanley’s creative flies in this column a number of times.  At the Sacramento ISE show, Ken showed me how to properly furl Antron yarn (see instructions below).  His technique produces excellent furled fly bodies every time, if done properly.  Damsels, dragons, baitfish, alevins, and many other flies can be tied with furled bodies.  For this month’s fly, we will tie Ken’s furled damselfly. Color is a matter of choice; however, because so many damsel nymphs are olive in color and hue, olive is a good choice.  This fly imitates the insect during its last maturation stage before becoming an adult.  Damsels are delicate insects, so the body should be small and fine in its mass.



Daiichi 1130, #12


Olive 8/0


Olive Z-lon, Zelon, or similar material

Eyes (optional):

Olive mono, size small

Tying instructions

1.       Smash barb on hook, and cover the front of the hook shank with thread. When doing this, leave a blank area equal to two eye-widths just behind the eye. This is true for virtually all patterns.

2.       Separate out about 20-30 fibers of Z-lon yarn; length should be around 4 inches. Place one end in the jaws of your vise and hold the other end in your right hand, stretching the yarn out toward yourself.

3.       Twist the yarn counterclockwise using both hands. The yarn should be twisted tightly. When you will it warming between your fingers, stop twisting. Hold the yarn tight in your right hand, and with your left thumb and forefinger grasp the strand in the middle and twist it clockwise so that the strand furls back on itself. You will see that this technique produces a finely tipped furled body that stays put without unraveling.

4.       If you desire eyes on the fly, tie them in now. Tie in the furled body about 2 hook eye lengths behind the eye. Don’t trim the butts just yet.

5.       Grasp the butts of the yarn in your left hand and pull them

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Copyright 2005 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.