Dry Flies

The dries I fish have evolved from:

  1. Trying to vaguely imitate trout food and its behaviour.
  2. The enjoyment of tying flies with material I collect from hunting.
Mr preference is for CDC patterns mainly because:
  1. They float and drift better and for much longer than conventional hackled dries.
  2. They can be skated (on a greased leader) and they more realistically to the point where they can be pulled under to “emerge” as they will float to the surface.
  3. They are very simple to tie.
  4. They are very good fish takers under a variety of circumstances and I have found them to out-fish conventional flies in my hands.

The Dry Flies


CDC Caddis size 10, 14, 16

The size 14 has become my non-descript dry. I use it as a 1st line attack in the tailers. polaroiding, midging fish, searching dry fly even on caddis feeders. The larger version is a night fly mostly. I dead drift and skate this fly. The body of the fly is seals fur and I vary the body colour from “burnt orange” to chocolate brown. The wing and tail are CDC (natural Black Duck or Teal). I think the commercial CDC is useless (especially the dyed stuff). It is the structure of the feather that traps air and floats the fly not the oil. Commercial CDC’s structure is compromised by the dying.

CDC Dun size 10 & 14

Similar to the caddis in seals fur body and tail and CDC wing but the wing is tied erect, whereas the caddis is down winged. As a high floating dun this fly has no equal. It always lands wing up, and will out float 3 of any other pattern you want to test against it. (This test must be conducted in a swimming pool or trout will continuously take the CDC Dun spoiling the test.)

CDC Emerger size 12 & 14

This is the same nymph previously described with a “wing” of CDC at the head of the fly. This pattern will float the nymph in the water but still be very visible. It is my most productive mayfly pattern and is also used a lot on tailing fish.

Black Spinner size 12 & 16

This is a standard pattern, black whisks for tail, chocolate Antron body, blue and black hackle. The small fly is a good pattern for tailing fish in calm weather and the larger for occasions when fish are feeding actively on Black Spinners.

Dahlberg Diver size 8

A deadly night fly. One hint with this fly as well as any other deer hair fly is to use silicone and work it into the deer hair so that it is totally waterproof. This enables you then to keep using the fly at night after a fish is caught without it becoming soggy and losing its floating ability.