Posts Tagged ‘cdc


Dusting off the vise…

Spring is near. The Winter doldrums worse than usual. Tying some flies might rekindle the anticipation.


CDC bead head pattern…


This pattern is tied on a straight shanked hook, size 12 here. The trailing material is mylar tinsel for movement and flash in the upper strata. The body is a wound dubbing brush, but of course you could dub a similar body, in olive. The wing is a couple of stacked CDC feathers.  This pattern has done very well on rivers and lakes as a diving/emerging caddis imitation. This would be an equally good pattern without the bead and fished below the surface or in the film.



The Oracle Wet Fly

Oracle+Fly Pattern-SwittersB-flyfishing-macro photography


The Mirage: diaphanous CDC

“I noticed a…feather resting on the surface…going down with the current. A slight breeze was making it do small movements in the foam and the feather slid lightly on the water so as to make it look like a living thing.” Agostino Roncallo

magie_cdc_1_75mm_webI recently came upon a simple, enticing concept for a fly pattern at Tom Sutcliffe’s The Spirit of Fly Fishing called The Mirage by Agostino Roncallo. A single, delicate, buoyant CDC feather, the tying thread and the hook comprise the dry fly.

Delicate and may sustain some damage after a fish or two, but given the simplicity of the tie and the reputed effectiveness, who cares. Tie a row or two and dance along the surface. A delicate fly for selective and non-selective fish: trout/grayling


Agostino Roncallo first started tying this simple fly in the 90’s and later wrote about the magic properties of CDC: Cul de Canard



Photography: Macro Puzzles

I struggle for consistency with my macro photography. Sometimes it is there and other times it just isn’t. Today, I wanted to photograph a small (size 16) emerger pattern I simply call a ‘Puff’ given the wing material is called a CDC Puff Feather. I tried to present a contrast to the flies size by shooting it in front of a U.S. Quarter for a point of reference. The flash was dialed way down. Yet it still washed out. You still get an idea but not as crisply as I would have hoped. The beauty of the macro lens or magnifying goggles is one can readily see the faults of one’s tying (sloppy thread head/cut starling hackle for example).

camera fly quarter SB puff quarter vise SB

sb cdc puff


Fly Tying: Simple Wet Fly to Tie

cdc-starling-emerger-14SBIn honor of and in response to…the early season mayflies and caddis: a simple wet/flymph (I don’t want to debate what a flymph is picky fly tiers!) here is a simple to tie fly pattern. 

The fly can be fished in the film (surface) or sunk for a straight or swung retrieve.

The ‘recipe’ or pattern for this very simple fly is as follows:

Size 14 heavy wire hook

Size 8/0 thread, black

Tail:  A half dozen strands of Zelon fibers to represent a trailing shuck

Abdomen: A simple thread body wound forward, back and forward over the  Zelon fibers up to the thorax area

Thorax: A spun collar of tan CDC fibers (Duck Butt feathers that float well)

Wing: One plus turns of a Starling feather so the tips of the feather reach back to the abdomen area.


Fly Tying: Rusty CDC Caddis

Rusty CDC for the wings and legs give such suggestibility of life. The hackle added to the lower patterns gives a higher floatation in the surface film. Do not add floatant paste etc. to the CDC. 


Fly Tying: Trailing CDC Suggests Life


The fuzzy abdomen and Starling hackle in their own ways suggest life and the silhouette of the emerging natural. I added the CDC but left portions to trail away. More suggestive of action and perhaps more enticing? The longer pieces of CDC may not be durable in the long run if fish maul the fly (does a trout maul its prey?). But, I am excited to try this more. 



Marjin Fratnik’s “F” Fly Revisited

I have highlighted Marjin Fratnik’s F fly series before. I think it is a perfect beginner’s fly pattern that has many variations in color, size and applications (caddis, mayfly, chironomid, stonefly). My only personal caveat is regarding cutting the ends of any feather. I would rather spend the time to stack/sort the feathers so they are uniform in length rather than trim them….just my personal choice. None the less, it is a simple tie and the CDC is magical. I am linking to the always helpful FlyForumUk for the step by step (SBS) visual tutorial on tying the F Fly.

Fratnik’s F Fly at The Essential Fly



Fly Tying: CDC Review & Moustique’s

CDC is one of those fly tying materials that has seemingly magical properties.  CDC is a fragile feather that imparts life like movement and flotation to fly patterns. Remember the admonitions to never add floatant materials to the CDC as this will destroy the natural buoyant properties. Hans Weilenmann writes at the Global Fly Fisher (GFF) about Tying With CDC. There is a great deal of information and links re CDC in the GFF post.

As I was studying up on CDC, I saw references to the Moustique style of fly pattern. This style of pattern uses a hackle collar of CDC at the front of the fly (as you would wrap a normal hackle in a dry fly or wet fly, you wrap the CDC feather). Normally, I have used a CDC plumes or puffs as a swept back underwing on wets and emergers. I have on occasion wrapped it once beneath an overwing of Elk Hair on Elk Hair Caddis to suggest legs.

The Moustique pattern is a simple pattern and the wing is one to two turns of CDC only. Check out the link at Rackelhanan re a simple Moustique Pattern

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