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#1 the DFG

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:10 PM

Being a long time dry fly fisherman you’d think I’d have been down this road by now, but being also relatively new to fly tying, I have actually never tied a fly with CDC.  I’m thinking I may change that over the coming winter months, and would be interested in hearing any pointers on selecting this material, tips or tricks for tying with it, and any other information you’d care to share on tying and using flies that incorporate it.  I’d also love to hear what your favorite CDC flies are.


Thanks for the input.




#2 Chris Knox

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    Chris Knox- London, England

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:40 PM

Yeah, i'm a big fan of CDC. It can be used on both dry flies and nymphs. When cast, the fibres pull together, opening out as the cast slows and the fly touches the water- they are therefore really good for delicate presentation. Flies eventually become waterlogged after several drifts, although an amadou patch or any form of adsorbant material will soak up moisture. Additional CDC oil may be appiled, although I find this is only really needed after a fly has been covered in fish slime. In most cases, ill simply swap for another CDC fly- they are typically simple and inexpensive to create anyway.


Dyed CDC from domestic ducks (can also be taken from geese too) tends to be generally bigger than willd.Shop bought CDC can be expensive, and very often lacking in quality- so if you have the contacts- freshly shot waterfowl are the way to go.


Fly wise- probably the best known would be the F-fly (any material- dubbing; herl etc of any colour you wish for the body & 2-3 CDC tips for the wings- butts cut to form the head), although there are countless others.



"Why fish for tinsel when you can fish for gold ?"- Frank Sawyer on the subject of Grayling

#3 Silver Doctor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:23 AM

This is my favorite CDC pattern, a #20 Blue Wing Olive that is prolific on our Alberta streams with at least 8 major hatches year long.  Love to hunt “snouts” with this fly, the Browns love it. You don't need a lot of CDC to tie these flies most people overdo it.



#4 Dale A. Darling

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:08 PM

Silver Doctor's fly is a real winner. Chris' comments on feather quality ring true. If you have duck/goose hunting friends, show them were the CDC is on a bird and  send them with a few bags, ask them to pull the feathers for you. But there is good stuff out there it seems to me that Nature's Spirit material is excellent.


As with any fly you tie, proportions are based on the hook, what the pattern imitates, how you'll fish it. Always observe the insects that trout eat, and take note of the fullness of sleekness of them. Often, too much material is used, but apparently trout don't know the difference and eat fat flies - some tied by fat tiers! HA! (Not GEERT!!!!!!! He's a skinny little fellow.)


And like many feathers, some are fuller than others. Double or treble sparse ones as required, but select the right amount of the right material, and put it on the right spot on the hook with the right amount of thread.


Enjoy the process; good luck!



Dale "Fly fishing: a pleasantly addictive affliction"

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