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