Posts Tagged ‘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


Fly Tying: Marjan Fratnik’s F Fly

A most elementary, simple fly for the beginner. A CDC winged wet fly…the F Fly. For the beginner…leave it alone. Tie it as described. Sometimes the nemesis of the tier is to not leave well enough alone. Not sometimes, often. Partly experimentation, partly boredom, the tier takes simplicity and adds this and that. I suggest tying  some basic patterns and fishing those basic patterns to remind your self now and many times later that simplicity has its aesthetic rewards also. I notice in some of the renditions they trim the tips of the CDC to form an even wing tip. I would rather maintain the natural tips than cut them off; much like the tier is cautioned in trimming the ends of marabou to a blunt finish.

F Fly (



Fly Tying: Over Wing & Under Wing (Hair and CDC)

October Caddis (SwittersB)

Size 8, straight eye hook, brown 8/0 thread, two herls of dyed orange peacock for abdomen with touch of orange dubbing for thorax, then one wrap of CDC and  one wrap of barred orange hackle, under wing: three CDC feather, over wing: deer hair.


October Caddis (SwittersB)

Same recipe as above except no barred orange hackle wrap. I tied in the under wing of  CDC then dubbed in front of it before tying in over wing of deer hair. An unnecessary step, I think.


October Caddis (SwittersB)

Dubbed orange abdomen here. One turn of CDC feather and then the under wing of four CDC feathers. The over wing is elk hair . The deer hair was nicer to work with. I left the heads scruffy and untrimmed. Just experimentations with my recent infatuation with CDC. The hook is too small and light wire for a steelhead skater. The head is also too small. A more pronounced head would be needed to better displace water/wake ‘n skate.

The under wing/over wing, comprised of CDC and deer or elk hair, will add considerable buoyancy. Another trigger or excitor factor I like are the dangling, busy, life giving CDC fibers. You might get some of this by simply tying in the under wing. But, I like the suggestion of life from wrapping a CDC hackle one to two times and allowing for the trailing fibers to work their magic on/in the water.


Fly Tying: CDC & Thread (And, a Touch More)

Been tying more with CDC of late and fishing it more. I love the low in the film quality this material imparts to flies. I was experimenting with a simple pattern. Nothing unique…but it is effective. Call it what you will…emerger…dun…(I was going to say hairwing dun, but the wing is not elk or deer hair). At any rate, this pattern has been working in the midst of caddis and mayflies and I am going to continue to experiment with it. I tied one with a dubbed thorax and one without. You can see by the cant of the wing how that influences the wing angle. The wings are a touch long. They probably don’t need to extend back past the bend of the hook. Notice on the second pattern that I rolled the Antron tail off the top. This was not visible to the eye…the lens detects such slips. The bottom of the hackle could be clipped short to float the fly even lower in the film. I wanted to build up a thread abdomen with the 8/0 thread. That was ok, but once I tied in the CDC, I maybe should have used 14/0 thread to tie in the hackle and finish off the thread head.  Not too inspiring, but that is the point…experimenting. Fine tuning. Trying something different. Part of the fun. Just sharing the less than perfect. All fishable, but not pretty.

CDC Emergers (SwittersB)

The hook is a size 18, down eye (I photographed a pack of straight eye, I didn’t know I even purchased); 8/0 olive thread for the abdomen and overall tie, dark green Antron for tail; BWO dubbing for thorax; CDC for wing and medium dun hackle.

Materials for CDC Emerger (SwittersB)

CDC Emerger (SwittersB)



Odd CDC Wing (SwittersB)



Fly Tying: CDC & Cool Pic

Perusing the always fascinating PlanetTrout, when I came upon a blog at Foldis Fly. Found a very interesting pic showing the use of CDC on an emerger pattern. Nice shot.

CDC Emerger Pattern at Foldis Fly

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