Dennis Collier Fly Illustration - Copyright Dennis Collier 2015Fly Patterns

DC’s Bunny Damsel Recipe and Tying Sequence

Click here for the "Of Seagulls, Damselflies and Hair of the Hare" article.
By Dennis P. Collier

DC’s Bunny Damsel Recipe:

Hook: Size 12 – 16 Daiichi #1150 or TMC 2499 SPBL
Thread: Olive 8/0 UNI-Thread
Wing Case: Olive Swiss Straw
Eyes: 30# Mason’s Hard Nylon
Abdomen: Olive rabbit under-fur
Thorax: Olive squirrel or rabbit dubbing
Legs: Olive-dyed hen-back or partridge hackle

Before you start tying...

  • Prep-1:

    Fig. 1: Dyed olive hen back hackle prepared for tying the leg set
  • Prep-2:

    Fig. 2: Eyeball manufacturing tool kit
  • Prep-3:

    Fig. 3: 30# Mason’s Hard Nylon colored with P31 Olive Chartpak magic marker prior to melting
  • Prep-4:

    Fig. 4: Formed eyeball set with color permanently fused into the material


  • Step 1:

    Tie in a short, one-quarter-inch wide piece of Swiss Straw immediately behind the hook eye. Grip a three-eighths-inch long piece of 30# Mason’s Hard Nylon in the tips of a small set of hemostats. Pre-color with a dark-olive waterproof magic marker and melt with a lighter to form the bulbous eyes. Tie the eyes on top of the hook shank and Swiss Straw right behind the hook eye with several figure-eight thread wraps.

  • Step 2:

    Clip a small gathering of rabbit fur from an olive Zonker strip. Grasp the tips of the guard-hair and base of the under-fur between the thumb and forefingers of each hand and pull the two apart. Discard the guard-hair and tie in the remaining base of under-fur to the hook shank. Damselflies have slender abdomens so don’t over-dress with too much material.

  • Step 3:

    Dub some olive squirrel or rabbit to the thorax area and figure-eight a small amount around the eyes. Return the thread to a position just behind the eyes. Note: I prefer the spike of squirrel body dubbing to add some texture.

  • Step 4:

    Strip the stem of an olive hen-back or partridge hackle leaving only the hackle tip. With fine pointed scissors, clip the center stem from the hackle tip leaving a "V" shaped leg-set. Tie the leg-set on top of the thorax and just behind the eye with two loose wraps. Adjust the legs to the desired length by pulling forward on the hackle stem. Secure with a couple of tight figure-eight thread wraps.

  • Step 5:

    Move the thread to a position behind the legs and at the junction of the abdomen and thorax materials. Pull the Swiss Straw back over the eyes and secure with a few tight thread wraps. Clip the end of the Swiss Straw leaving a short section to represent the tips of the wing case.

  • Step 6:

    Move the thread forward under the thorax and to a position just behind the eyes. Secure the wing case a second time, creating a segmented appearance, with a few tight thread wraps. Move the thread forward under the eyes and whip finish right behind the hook eye. Clip and cement the head.

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