Jan’s Flies Issue 89
It’s Christmas time again and that means dry fly fishing is well underway. There are not many fly fishers who don’t look forward to fishing the dry. Seeing the fish take the fly really starts the adrenalin flowing.
The fly this time is a very well tested emerger which I suppose is nearly a dry but does sit rather low in the water surface. The entire fly except for the tail is tied out of CDC feathers. The cul de canard, or CDC, feather comes from around the oil preen gland of the duck it is this feather fly tyers love to use.
These feathers are not impregnated with oil as some think, but rather they are coated with the oil from the gland, which gives them bouyancy. The barbules trap air in the form of air bubbles and this gives floatation. So with oil and air this feather is a very useful addition to any tyers kit. Never put floatant on this fly. Adding to the oil already there overdo it and crush out the air.
The following pattern is one I use a lot. It is great for mayfly hatches yet it will work as a caddis pattern. The feather is a natural coloured one which is greyish in colour I tend to try and stay away from dyed feathers as in the process of the dyeing most of the oil is removed.
Hook: Light weight shrimp or buzzer hook size 10, 12, 14
Tail: Black cock fibres
Body: Barbules off the CDC feather
Wingcase: Two fairly broad CDC feathers
1. Take the thread at least two thirds the length of the shank tie in four black cock fibres for tail.
2. Strip some CDC barbules off a CDC feather. Roll and dub together and place them on the thread. Whilst spinning on the dubbed barbules make sure the ones at the top are much finer than the bottom so you end up with a yarn like strand. Shaping this into a nice tapered body.
3. Wind the dubbed body forward two thirds back along the shank. Finish the body there.
4. With two nice wide CDC feathers pull the bottom barbules off each feather stem leaving the top half with barbules on. Place the feathers together tie them in so they lay over the shank of the hook so you should have the feather stems over the eye of the hook. Tie them in very firmly and cut off excess feather stems.
5. Now with some more dubbing form a nice thorax in front of where the feathers are tied in finish this back from the eye a little.
6. With your fingers pull all the barbules toward the top of the feather now with them all pulled up together roll the feathers over toward the eye forming a nice sized loop for a wing. Tie down firmly.
7. You should have two wing tips left protruding over the eye. Pull one each way and tie them back so you have a little wing and tie them back so you have a little wing on each side of the fly. If these wings happen to be too big trim them to the desired size. These little wings will give the fly balance.
As this is the last article for 2010 may I wish everyone a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year with some great dry fly fishing.