What Is a CDC in Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is a popular sport that involves the use of lures, artificial flies, and light tackle in order to catch fish. Fly fishing is especially popular with trout and salmon anglers due to the unique techniques and strategies involved in this type of angling.

One important tool that fly fishermen use is a CDC or Cul de Canard feather. This type of feather is used to create realistic imitations of insects that may be found on the surface of the water.

CDC feathers are derived from the preen gland or oil gland of ducks and other waterfowl. The feathers are harvested from ducks when they molt, which happens throughout the year.

The feathers are then treated with a special solution which makes them float on the surface of water, making them very attractive to fish. The feathers have several advantages over other types of lures, such as being more visible in low light conditions and being able to move naturally in the current.

CDC feathers can be used for a variety of different fly patterns, including dry flies, emergers, nymphs and streamers. They are especially effective when fishing for trout because they imitate adult aquatic insects that trout feed on regularly. In addition to being used as lures, CDC feathers can also be used as part of larger flies such as attractor patterns or hairwing streamers.

How To Use CDC Feathers

When using CDC feathers for fly fishing it is important to select the right size and colour for your pattern. Smaller CDCs will work better on smaller flies while larger ones can be used on larger patterns. Additionally, lighter coloured CDCs will work best in clear water while darker colours should be used in murky or stained waters.

Tying Your Own CDC Flies

Using CDC feathers can be tricky at first but with practice you will soon master it. You’ll need a vise, bobbin holder, threader and scissors along with some other items like beads or hackle pliers depending on your pattern.

The process begins by securing your hook into your vise then tying on your threader followed by attaching your bead or hackle if desired before finally tying in your CDC feather.


What Is a CDC in Fly Fishing? A CDC or Cul de Canard feather is an important tool that fly fishermen use to create realistic imitations of insects found on the surface of water bodies. These feathers are derived from ducks and other waterfowl and are treated so that they float well making them attractive to fish when used as part of various fly patterns.

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Daniel Bennet