Red TBH damsel


I first used this fly in Canada in 2016 at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships. Tied by Josh Flowers from Tasmania I doubt that a session on the lakes passed without every team member tying this fly on their version of this fly on for at lease some of the time. I have since learned that it’s a very successful fly in Central Tasmania at any time when damsels are around.

Last November during our Snowy Mountain’s damsel season I also used this fly with recurring success on Lake Jindabyne and a couple of times on Lake Eucumbene.

I didn’t have the exact materials with me in Canada that Josh had used in the original fly so the fly below is tied using the material I had on hand and still use.

So for me any time that there are damsel or midge around I’ll be giving this fly a swim on the point of my team of 3 flies.

A streamlined fast sinking fly that will anchor your team. The UV mirage tinsel is just a fine line along the spine but is enough to ensure that the fly is seen at darker depths.


Hook Head Thread Extra weight Tail Tail flash Rib
Hanak 230BL #10 to #14 2.5 mm black tungsten bead Olive Uni 6/0 thread 0.020 lead wire Marabou Hends angle hair – gold #AH02 Fine copper wire



  1. Most beads have a large opening at one end and a smaller opening at the other.
  2. Slide a black tungsten bead over the point of the hook small opening first and position it behind the eye of the hook.
  3. Tie your thread in behind the bead.



    Adding extra weight to the fly.

    On this fly my preference is to keep the bead size down a little and to add extra weight to compensate for that.

  1. Take a length of 0.20 lead wire and push the front end into the back of the tungsten bead.
  2. Lock the lead wire in along the top of and half way down the hook shank.
  3. Worry off the excess lead wire.



    Adding a marabou tail to the fly.

  1. Worry off the rest of the lead wire.
  2. Wind the thread down to the bend of the hook.
  3. Wind the thread back up to behind the lead wire tieing in a length of fine copper wire as you go.



  1. Tie in half of the tail marabou directly behind the lead wire and along the top and down to the bend of the hook forming a tail which is about as long as the hook.


  1. Take the thread back to behind the lead wire.
  2. Tie in 5 or 6 strands of angel hair behind the lead wire and extending down along the top of the tail.


  1. You can see the angel hair better in this photo taken from above the fly.


  1. Take the remainder of the marabou tail material and tie that in at the bend of the hook.
  2. Tie the butt ends of the marabou in along the top of the hook shank all the way to the bead and return the thread to the bend of the hook.


  1. Trim away the but ends of the marabou behind the bead.
  2. Add some scrap marabou to your thread to form a dubbing rope.


  1. Wind the thread forward to behind the bead head creating a uniform body.


  1. Wind the fine copper wire forward forming 6 or 7 segments along the body of the fly.
  2. Take a couple of extra turns of the fine copper wire behind the bead and worry off the excess.
  3. Build up a thread collar behind the bead head and trim away the excess red thread.
  4. Apply fly varnish to the thread collar and the bead.


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