Despite my love and success with my favoured Deer Hair Emerger, Comparadun Olive and Dirty Duster when chasing surface feeding Scottish Wild River Browns, there are times when even these are ignored by the fish and a more delicate and finer approach is required which is when I finally concede, put the deer hair and hackle flies aside and reach for the CDC.

CDC is such a versatile material and often overlooked, perfect for both dries and nymphs for different reasons, the obvious one on dries being the natural water resistance and floatability (nymphs its movement and the feathers ability to trap tiny very natural looking air bubbles that I feel is the real attraction to using it sub-surface)

The down side I have with CDC is the fact it takes a little bit of TLC both as you fish it over a prolonged spell as well as immediately after it has been successful which I find at times very frustrating especially in a hatch which may be limited so spending time getting a fly back into service isn’t something I like to do (especially as the deer hair or hackled alternatives pretty much just need a sharp false cast and away you go onto the next target).  But yes it can pay to opt for a finer and more delicate dry (and tippet thickness) especially when fish are proving ‘fussy’, most likely this is when they are ‘sipping’ in flat slow areas giving them a lot of time to look over your given offerings.

Essentially I have three reserve ‘go to’ standby CDC dries; this one, my Blue Wing Olive CDC Emerger and a small flatter profile Black Gnat all of which I am very confident with and all command a place in the armoury.

This one is simplicity itself to tie and has the added bonus of not being too shabby on stillwaters either (loch trout can be very picky also), why not rattle a few of these up just for those times you face fish that need that more delicate touch.




Hook: Partridge K4AY Patriot Barbless Grub and Buzzer #12 - 18

Thread / Body: Uni 8/0 yellow thread (Veniard)

Wing: x2 CDC feathers

Thorax: Olive Glister (Veniard)


Tying Sequence:



Step 1 Set hook in vice and catch in thread




Step 2 Run thread round bend of hook and bring back to head forming thin taper to produce fly body



Step 3 Take two CDC plumes and line up tips



Step 4 Set CDC wing length approx. same length as body



Step 5 Tie in CDC on top of hook facing forward.



Step 6 Secure wing tight then draw wing 'butts' together and trim leaving small 'hind wing'



Step 7 Dub on pinch of Glister to form thorax.



Step 8 Lift front wing and wind on dubbing tight to wing base forcing wing upwards



Step 9 Drop a tiny amount of varnish onto thread before forming head



Step 10 Whip finish and trim off thread.


Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

Facebook UTube