CDC & Elk
This is a super fast to tie fly that uses only two materials. Created by Hans Weilenmann in the early 90’s it has become really famous around the globe as a universal pattern that works well in most situations. It’s of course a variation of Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis which we’ve showcased earlier on this site.
The brilliance of this pattern is the use of only one CDC feather to form the body and fuzzy front end of the fly. You tie the CDC feather in by the very tip and then twist it and start wrapping it to the front. once you get to the end of the feather you will notice that the last fibers will spray around the hook shank. Then it’s just a matter of tying in a wing of nicely stacked Elk hair.
As with the Elk Hair Caddis you want to tie the wing in the same way in CDC & Elk. Tie the Elk hair straight on top of the hook with few tight wraps so it’s well secured. Then take the thread front through the butt ends at a 45 degree angle and finish the fly in front of the ends of the wing. This will make for a much more sturdy wing.
For good step by step instructions and more info on selecting the correct feather visit Hans’s site. Getting good CDC is often hard and I’ve used most of the good brands from Marc Petitjean to Benecchi. Both of them are really nice and I can recommend them but the best I’ve found has with no doubt been the SwissCDC Super Select line. It has the best selection of colors and every feather in the bag is usable.
Hook: Any regular dry fly hook #10-16
Body/Hackle: one CDC feather
Wing: Elk hair or fine Deer hair