The CDC & Elk is one of my favorite dry flies for fishing small creeks throughout the season, but always one of the first I tie on. This is one of my most productive variations on Hans Weilenmann’s infamous original. I tie the fly in a variety of colours using CDC in yellow, olive and dun. Hans recommends using a type 4 CDC feather to tie this pattern(check out this excellent CDC article for feather types http://globalflyfisher.com/tie-better/tying-with-cdc). Luckily, most of the CDC you get will be type 4. I use a single feather for sizes 16 and smaller and 2 feathers on #14 or larger. I change up the wing between dark or light hair and often carry both in the box, using the wing as an indicator on a dropper set-up. The contrasting wing color makes the fly easy to spot on the water.
For the olive color, the golden brown ice dubbing is a nice compliment. For other colors, UV pearl is my goto color for ice dubbing. I like to just add enough for an accent and not to overdo it.
CDC & Elk Variant Fly Pattern recipe
Hook: Firehole 315 #12-18
Thread: Olive 8/0 (70d)
Body: CDC type 1 or 4
Accent: Ice Dubbing (Golden Brown)
Wing: Elk or deer hair
I ventured out to check out how my local stream fared over the winter and decided to tie a fly streamside. With a little luck, I was able to pind pretty much everything I needed to build a fine little Frenchie variation. I was hoping to find a pheasant tail, but what I ended up using actually worked pretty well. Enjoy.
Grizzled Frenchie Fly Pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad S82-3906B #10-16
Weight: Lead wire
Thread: What ever you find
Tail: any feather fiber you find
Body: Grow a beard and trim as required
Rib: Scavenge from a utility box
Dubbing: shredded plastic
Years ago, my cat Mags, got under my feet and I ended up stepping on the hair of his tail. A big chunk of hair was left behind, pretty much even tipped, and so I figured I would put it to good use. I decided to tie the cat hair into a Clouser pattern and this was the result. Fox is a good substitute for the cat hair, besides, it might be too noticeable to have the cat walking around with a bald tail.
I put the fly in my fly box and a couple months later found myself fishing in a northern Alberta lake. I decided to try the fly and trolled it behind our boat. I was soon tangled up with one of my largest pike on the fly.
Mags’ Clouser Minnow Fly Pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad R75-79580 #4-8
Thread: Rusty Dun 6/0 (140d)
Barbell: 4.0mm brass
Tail: Cream fox body
Body: Pearl Flashabou or Mirage
Flash: Pearl crystal flash
Wing: Red fox body