As Tim Flagler, of Tightline Productions says at the beginning of this video lesson, “Form, function, and simplicity. What more could you want out of a fly pattern?” Hans Weilenmann’s CDC & Elk is an excellent caddisfly imitation that builds on the original Elk-Hair Caddis. (Al Troth, who designed the original EHC, died in 2012.)
Replacing the original hackle body with CDC gives the fly a less rigid look, and the quick-drying CDC helps the fly stay afloat, even in broken water. Plus, if you strip the pattern underwatersay, at the end of a driftit works as a wet fly. In this video, Flagler demonstrates just how easy it is to tie this pattern, as long as you learn to control the materials. CDC can be slippery and tough to work with, and elk hair can sometimes flare too much or roll around the hook shank. Flagler’s technique solves both these problems, and soon you’ll be able to whip out a CDC & Elk in just a few minutes.
CDC & Elk
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (e.g. Dai-Riki #305), size 16.
Thread: Brown, 8/0 or 70 denier.
Abdomen/Hackle: Single brown CDC feather.
Wing/Head: Elk or deer hair, cleaned and stacked.
Adhesive: Head cement.