The January fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter is the Eyed Fraser Nymph. To see the fly of the month for December, click here.
Hook: Sprite all purpose wet size 12-14
Thread: Primrose 14/0 Sheer
Rib: Pearsall’s primrose gossamer silk
Tail, Body & Thorax Cover: Hen pheasant centre tail
Thorax: Primrose/cream rabbit dubbing
Legs: Partridge hackle fibres
Eyes: 25lb fluorocarbon melted to create a dumbbell
Believe it or not, January is capable of providing us with top quality nymphing action, close to the surface too. Stature wise, immature damsel fly nymphs might not amount to much when compared with their summer cousins, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in numbers and for whatever reason they appear extremely active at the turn of a New Year.
Perhaps their restlessness is due to searching out dormant weedbeds for the initial signs of spring growth, which will be evident if blessed with mild weather. In doing so they inadvertently present themselves to foraging trout that are quick to take advantage. The best part is that these tiny nymphs usually migrate close to the surface when fish seize them with a classic head and tail rise. Naturally, more sheltered bays are your best bet, as little wind ruffles the surface here, making rise forms far easier to detect and track.
We’re all familiar with the rich, olive hues of inch long damsel nymphs, yet in their infancy they appear a curious straw, almost transparent colour. A pale looking Fraser Nymph dressed on a size 14 hook has served me well, though the inclusion of monofilament dumbbell eyes gives this pattern a new lease of life when imitating winter damsel nymphs.
In an attempt to copy that wishy-washy straw colour so evident on naturals, choose pale hen pheasant tail fibres. These coupled with a primrose coloured rib and pale yellow/primrose thorax copies tiny damsel nymphs to the letter. During the tying procedure, remember to counterwind (opposite direction) the rib, which crosses every pheasant tail fibre that not only provides protection, it creates an improved segmented effect too. Dumbbell eyes are formed by gripping a short length (1-1.5cm) of 25lb fluorocarbon in a pair of tweezers. Using a lighter, each end is then melted.