Crystal P-Quad

Crystal P-Quad

- By Bob Sheedy, from Bob Sheedy's Top 50 Fly Pattern book

Over the years I have peeked into many fly boxes and fly shop bins, and I have been given just about every combination of damsel fly nymph tied to date. All were verified infallible. Most, with the exception of John Newbury’s hinged version, were so stiff that I wondered if any of these people had ever seen a real damsel fly nymph swimming through the water. True, a few of the longer patterns worked well, but then so does a size 10 olive Woolly Bugger tied with a gold bead head. I’m strongly convinced that the answer when fishing damsels flies in imitation rather than exact representation.

One spring day Tony Dean came north to inject some fly fishing into his popular TV show, Tony Dean Outdoors. Since such productions cost considerably, they stack proportionate pressure onto the “guest” -- the local expert who is supposed to know the water. Fortunately, we hit a damsel hatch that morning and it went on for several hours. First contact came with a Crystal P-Quad, the most unlikely representative in my box. Then I quickly tried a “real” damsel nymph, but soon went back to the modified P-Quad, and since then have seldom tried anything else. This has also been the case with fragments of my more knowledgeable friends.

No hatch is required, for most lakes host damsels at some stage of development. Trout take these lateral-line stimulators readily in all seasons, but really pig out on them in late fall, especially immediately before freeze-up, when the Crystal P-Quad appears to think that it’s still June.

The Crystal P-Quad is tied much the same as the original P-Quad with the substitutions listed in the pattern table.


Type Notes


#10 - 2x Long


Under Shank


Olive 3/0 Monocord or Equivalent


2 short lengths of Olive Krystal Flash with a short tapered clump of Medium Olive Marabou over it


Medium Olive Crystal Dubbing


Fine Gold Wire


Well Barred Teal Flank


Single Gray Partridge Neck Feather from the Lighter Barred Sections