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The Specimen

Argia Damselfly NymphArgia  Damselfly Nymph View 3 PicturesMy friend Willy captured this early instar (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.) damselfly nymph and brought it to me for identification. It is more robust and stocky at this early stage than the spindly appearance of the later instars (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.), and its appearance is less familiar.
Collected August 28, 2005 from Fall Creek in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by on April 14, 2006

The Discussion

AdirmanJune 28th, 2012, 1:52 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Whenever I go up to the Adirondacks in midsummer to fish, I always observe alot of damselflies aroundand know the trout take them, at least occasionally, because I've watched them do it. I was wondering what size the nymphs were and if a black stone fly pattern of correct size might imitate the nymph well enough.

Thanks!!

Adirman
EntomanJune 28th, 2012, 2:33 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
The short answer is yes. Some of the families have genera who's nymphs are darker and squatter than the nymphs of the damsels most anglers associate with the common Blue Bottles seen hovering over ponds and lakes in mid-Summer. I would use a pattern with a little bushier and more flowing tail rather than the sparse stiff ones usually found on stonefly nymphs. A dark Hare's Ear would be excellent. I've had good luck on a local river that has a fair population of them using a simple peacock bodied nymph with a grizzly olive marabou tail in size 10. The old Black Martinez (a general mayfly style) was popular for this purpose in the Yellowstone country and other areas out West some years ago. I think it would be a killer pattern for you if fish are found feeding on these nymphs. As to size, depending on stage of development they can run as small as mid-sized mayflies up to mid-sized stoneflies. I seined some last Spring from a riffle on a small freestone that were under a half inch long. As with everything else, check on the correct size by sampling when you are fishing.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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