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Spring Creek Flycraft & Guide Service

Ben Byng’s CDC Caddis

Ben Byng is a master fly tyer who ties at many of the fly fishing shows we attend in winter and early spring. At the Cal Expo International Sportsman’s Exposition show, where I am responsible for recruiting good tyers and running the “How-to Center” for fly tying, I watched Ben tie a beautiful, buggy looking CDC Caddis pattern. Ben says it also serves as a mayfly emerger. I believe that, if tied in the proper color combinations, it could serve as a Callibaetis emerger on still waters or perhaps as a PMD emerger on streams such as Fall River—and I intend to find out!


The pattern looked so buggy to me that I decided to ask Ben if I could feature it in this column. He graciously agreed, and provided tying instructions and a list of materials.

Ben calls this type of fly a “60/40 fly,” meaning that the body/wing makes up 60% of the fly, and the hackle makes up the remaining 40%. The materials list specifies tan for the body and thread; however, if you tie some of these bugs, also try olive thread and body.



Standard dry fly hook such as Daiichi 1180, #14-20


Tan 8/0 or size 7/0 waxed nylon


Haretron (or similar dubbing), olive or tan


Light tan CDC—two feathers


Dark speckled partridge feathers from the back of the bird by the tail


Light ginger saddle or cape, dry fly quality

Tying instructions

  1. Smash barb on hook. Dub a thin, football-shaped body on the rear 60% of the hook—don’t go any farther forward than that.

  2. Cup two CDC feathers together and place them on the top of the hook at the forward end of the body. Tie them in at that point, measuring their length to the back of the bend of the hook. The wing should be tent-shaped when completed. Do not trim the butts of the CDC feathers yet, as they will be used to form a head similar to that of an Elk Hair Caddis.

  3. Wrap the thread forward to just behind the eye, to lay a foundation for the hackle, and work the thread back to the tie-in point of the wing. There should be no more than these two layers of thread to avoid adding too much weight to the fly.

  4. Pull or cut 6-8 barbs from a well marked dark speckled partridge feather and tie them in on top of the CDC wing, spreading them out in the process across the top of the wing. Again, don’t trim the butts just yet.

  5. Tie in a hackle at the same point, and wrap it forward to fill the space between the wing and the eye of the hook. Whip finish behind the butts of the CDC and partridge.

  6. Trim the butts short so that a stub sticks up, imitating a caddis head.

Ben says that this fly has been good to him on California waters, so give it a try!

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Copyright 2005 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.