CDC and Elk Caddis

I have to tell you that sometimes it bothers me that the simplest flies seem to catch the most fish. I’ve spent countless hours at the vise perfecting technique, improving speed, scrutinizing proportion and using a fly that takes less than a minute to tie sort of undermines all this. No, I’m not saying it’s always the case, but there are situations where this fly in particular has produced fish from fish-less waters.

The fly is quite versatile in that I can fish it dry or wet. I will start off fishing it dry, but after a couple fish, the fly loses most of the high floating properties and becomes an even more effective damp or wet emerger. I tie mine with a wing of bleached hair so that t is easy to see on the dark waters I fish. One other small modification I made was to tie the fly on a light wire scud hook. This turns the patterns into more of an emerger style fly, and Ive found my hook-up rate to improve from the change. I fish this fly in a number of ways. I cast upstream and let it dead drift through pools and use a slow retrieve back, I can cast across the current and skitter the fly back or a combination or these things.

If you have not fished this fly on trouty waters, you are missing out. Do your self a favour and tie one on. Full instructions are found at Hans’ site –

Hans Weilenmann - CDC and Elk

Hook: Standard Dry or Light wire curved scud hook
Thread: 8/0 to match CDC
Body / Legs: Type 1 CDC feather
Wing: Elk or Deer hair


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