Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Flies of 2013: CDC Sedge

CDC Sedges
The title "Flies of 2013" is perhaps a little inaccurate for the CDC Sedge because it has been a top performing fly for me since 2010 when I first became aware of its powers of attraction. I actually got hold of this fly in 2009, but it sat dormant in my fly box for 12 months with me not realising its potential...

...It was on a trip to Croatia with my friend Tony when we came across this fly in a set we'd bought from a local flytyer. We never used it that year, perhaps not liking the look of it, but by chance we did the following year on our return visit and it gave us immediate success. 

It continued to be successful on my return to the Yorkshire Dales but I felt I had to alter the dressing slightly to give it a better profile and so it would float longer. The problem with the original was that it had one long CDC wing and I always find that the longer the CDC the more prone it is to waterlogging. Shorter CDC is more springy and repels water much better.

CDC Sedge
CDC Sedge (CDC Caddis if you prefer!)
All I did was split the wing, one bunch of two CDC feathers tied at the mid-body point and another at the head. This improved the profile and greatly reduced its tendency to waterlog. It is still what I consider a high maintenance pattern if you are to get the best from it though. I have found it is essential that it is sat high on the water; once it starts to sit down it quickly loses its attraction. I tend to fish it in batches of about six flies, rotating them as they start to dampen. As I remove one from my leader I dry it and treat it as though I'm about to recast it, but instead put it in my fly patch to make a return later, then I tie on a new one and continue to do this rotating about six flies. I would add here, though, that discovering Frogs Fanny* has changed this and I am now able to continue to use a single fly for much longer periods by treating with Frogs Fanny - brilliant stuff (but very expensive for what it is)!

The CDC Sedge is now possibly my top search pattern throughout the summer months. I often use one in pools where once I'd have used a nymph. It still amazes me now how good this fly is at bringing up fish blind and they usually take it will the utmost confidence, just slowing swallowing it without the crash and splash often associated with trout taking sedges.

I sell them from the Fly Shop on my website, but if you tie your own here is the dressing:

CDC Sedge
Hook: Dry fly size 14, 16 and 18.
Thread: Uni-Thread 8/0 Dark Brown (or your own favourite).
Body (front and rear): Very Sparse, Flyrite Extra Fine Poly Dubbing, Chocolate Brown. Any fine dry fly dubbing will do. Can also be tied with tying thread only but the sparsely dubbed body gives some protection to the thread.
Wing(s): Mid grey CDC tied to end just past bend. There are 2 wings each with 2 CDC feathers. The first wing is approximately half way along the body and the second wing further forwards but leaving sufficient room for the CDC head.
Head: CDC fibres dubbed to thread and wound forward to produce a small head area, then velcro’ed backwards to give a leggy appearance.
Tying Instructions: Thread to bend, dub body approximately half way, tie in first wing, dub forward to head leaving room for CDC built head, tie in second wing, dub CDC and form small head, tie off.

*Frogs Fanny is available from Joel at Tungsten Beads Plus