Swedish version

The CDC Loop Spider

By Goran Grubic

  A few year’s ago I started to use very basic flies with CDC as a hackle. They were not unlike the original CDC flies from French Jura – The Moustique. However I preferred herl bodies to the original floss, and pheasant’s tail was perfect for the purpose. That is how the Pheasant’s Tail CDC Spider was born. It is very possible that some other tier already had the same idea and that the fly was invented before, so I don’t claim any originality for it. Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer in their fine book Tying Emergers (2004) have a fly called CDC Spider (its author is Charles Rangeley Wilson) and a fly called CDC Soft Hackle, which are quite similar. Anyway, I was quite happy with Pheasant’s Tail CDC Spider and it caught a lot of trout for me. It was especially good as an emerger when trout were taking insects in the water surface. The interesting thing was that fish accepted the fly in many occasions when hatching flies had completely different color. And the best thing was that it was quite successful when I was not able to detect which insect was taken by trout. It became my “problem solving fly”.

CDC Loop Spider
Pheasant’s Tail CDC Spider

  The next step in the development of the fly came when I started to tie its body with dubbing loop technique, using loose CDC fibers as dubbing. That fly, The Loop Body CDC Spider, was equally successful to the previous one, but it had several advantages. It was better floater and more durable than the old version.

CDC dubbing loop

The Loop Body CDC Spider

  Last year a non fishing friend collected some CDC for me. He was not completely sure which feathers I wanted and thoroughly plucked backs of his ducks. I obtained some regular dun colored CDC, but also a lot of feathers that cover the area around the preen gland. To my amazement I discovered that the downy part of those feathers also had true CDC properties. The feather was not useful as hackle, but it was perfect for dubbing loop technique. Hans Weillenman did a great thing when he defined four types of CDC, and which type is suitable for which flies. He sorted the chaos that previously existed about those feathers. However, the feathers I got were not mentioned. Maybe they can be called “Type 5” CDC, because they are still quite useful for tying.

Duck back feather

  After obtaining a lot of that new CDC stuff I got an idea to tie the fly using a single dubbing loop. The first portion of the CDC fibers is dubbed on the thread, while the second is inserted straight to act as a hackle.

All in one CDC loop

  The loop is wrapped in the usual fashion and the whole CDC Loop Spider is tied in a single go. It takes a bit of time to get an idea about the right amounts of fibers, but even a complete novice can learn to tie it in a few minutes.

The CDC Loop Spider

  During the 2007 season I tried this fly whenever there was a need for emerger pattern, even in situations when I knew that some other fly would be successful. To my amazement it worked almost every time. The simple CDC fly became my favourite “hatch matcher” and caught a number of picky trout. So far I used the fly tied in the original dun color only. Next season I’ll try it in a few variations: white, yellow and olive, but somehow I don’t think that color is its most important feature.

Goran Grubic 2007



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