CDC and Elk

CDC & Elk: Caddis Pattern

This classic caddis pattern was originated by Hans W Weilenmann, a great fly tyer from the Netherlands.  The beauty of this pattern, in my opinion, is its ability to gently skim the surface of the water when given a twitch.  This is a very similar action to a caddis adult skittering on the water.  In addition to the added motion the flowing CDC fibers give it on the water, it also floats very nicely and is relatively durable.  The CDC fibers also multi-task as legs, antenna, wings etc so they serve many purposes when it comes to imitating caddis flies.  Also, because we're dealing with CDC, you typically don't want to treat the fly with gel-based floatants, so instead dress the fly with dessicant to restore is flotation.  So give this pattern a try.  It's simple, effective and deserves a place in your caddis fly collection.

Imitation:  Caddis Adult
When to use:   Summer/Fall but year round as well.
Where:  Most streams and rivers with caddis
How to fish it:  Fish as dry fly on a floating line.  Can also be a great dry fly searching pattern.

Hook:  Daiichi 1170 #12- #18
Thread:  UTC Ultra thread 70 Denier Tan
Body:  Nature's Spirit Olive/Gray CDC
Wing:  Elk Hair

Tying Instructions:
  • Attach the thread and work back to the bend of the hook.  Take a single piece of CDC, preen the fibers to align the tips and tie in the CDC at this point, tips first.  Work the thread to the thorax area and then wrap the CDC up the hook to form a body.  As you approach the thorax as you wrap, the longer CDC fibers will be loose.  Make sure to preen these fibers back over the body as you wrap forward to just shy of the eye, leaving enough room to tie in the wing.  Clip and stack some elk hair for the wing.  Tie the wing in and secure with the thread, clipping the excess elk hair at the head.  Whip finish and you're done!  Simple.
And here's the tutorial: