At the Vise: More CDC Caddis

I had tremendous luck last year while fishing CDC Caddis emergers. They’re among the most effective dry flies in my fly box. They sat low in the water, and the CDC feathers added a lot of life to the flies.

They resulted in many takes, and, if not, often encouraged fish to show themselves. So, the flies were great searching patterns, too.


There’s something special about CDC; it makes a fly look different. I think that matters if many anglers are throwing a standard Elk Hair Caddis. I want to show the fish something new.

To save money, I buy large packs of CDC. I also find that the large assortment gives me the freedom to pick the right size of feather, too, depending on the fly I’m making (I use CDC for size 30 midge emergers, too).

I’ve written in the past about some of the patterns I make (here and here). I also add a CDC under-wing when I make the X-Caddis. It’s magical material, and I’ve added them to multiple nymphs, too.

This winter, I’m tying up some variants, using different colors and materials. We’ll see how they do.

The only downside to the CDC Caddis is that a fish in the net often means a gummed-up fly. Once dry the next day, the fly is good to go. But, it’s hard to clean off a CDC dry fly while at the river.

The solution? Bringing quite a few CDC flies to the river. So, that means more fly tying, which is more than fine with me!


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4 thoughts on “At the Vise: More CDC Caddis

  1. While I agree these CDC Caddis emergers work, I always find it puzzling why do they, like the Standard EHCaddis work. I see a lot of trout chasing hatching emergers and leaving the water while doing so vs sipping mayfly emergers floating in the film. Anyone have a theory?

  2. Those are good flies, Jo. I have plenty of those in fly box too. Another fly I had success with last fall was the triple threat caddis, a very scruffy fly that one can fish on its own or as a dropper below an elk or deer hair caddis. Hans Weilenmann on youtube has a good video of how he ties it.

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