Hey Brent thanks for posting the patterns. Ever since I saw your demo I was interested in CDC and you seem to really love using it. I have looked to your patterns since then and was glad to see your new additions. I got a laugh again out of seeing the wing material listed under the quigly as that elusive African Mouse Deer Hair. Nice pictures and nice ties man. I bought some CDC mostly in white, black, and dun. Regular feathers as well as puffs. I did buy the puffs in a couple of high vis colors as well as the ones I listed above though just to give em a try.
You say European CDC supply is of higher quality than that we can get here in the states? Why is that?
From what I took it is that you are saying the European stuff is a bit longer and fuller?
Post by BrentKelley on Feb 9, 2010 21:36:34 GMT -5
In my experience the European feathers have been superior in length and fullness right from the very first introductions of CDC as a tying material. That is not to say domestic material is inferior, only that each type of feather has its own application and uses. For using the Magic Tool, for example, the European feathers are almost a requirement. That syle of tying uses very long feathers that have long and consistent barbules- typical of the European CDC but found rarely in domestic stocks. On the other hand, the CDC caddis patterns I tie are often perfect with the smaller and finer domestic CDC feathers. I do not really know why there is a difference and I suspect that someday Americans may find breeder stock that can provide longer and fuller feathers. There is less difference in the oiler puffs (or sometimes called nipple plumes) than in the standard feathers in my experience. It seems to me that part of the reason for the difficulty in getting CDC to catch on here is the lack of really long and full CDC feathers. Many folks I know try to imitate some of the patterns they see with domestic feathers and are never happy with the result. It is not usually their technique or style, but the basic materials that were not compatible with the flies they were trying to tie. Failure leads to discouraged tyers and eventually people give up on CDC altogether. This, I think, is a mistake as the material has many advantages that cannot be found in other feathers. There is some "genetic CDC" around that is fuller but still not extremely long. Once again I cannot say exactly what the bird is that these come from more specifically than saying "goose" or "duck", but they may represent a better option.
Post by Tony Medina on Feb 9, 2010 22:08:16 GMT -5
Hmm that all seems interesting thanks for the info. There is a lot I have to learn about using this stuff. I'll probably have to go pick up a book on the subject. As far as the magic tool goes I know nothing about it. I have seen videos is passing of it but never payed much attention to it. You find it is worth the time and money?
Post by BrentKelley on Mar 1, 2010 21:46:16 GMT -5
Sorry that I did not reply sooner- sort of lost the thread on this one. My apologies. I highly recommend the book by Leon Links that deals only with CDC and uses a tyer profile approach to introduce the topic. The downside of this book is that it is very lean on tying instruction (but great on providing ideas). The book is called, "Tying Flies with CDC, The Fisherman's Miracle Feather". Admittedly this title sounds dubious, but the book is quite good. As far as the Petitjean Magic Tool, I have to say that it is a matter of indidivual preference. I have the set and use it infrequently- but when I need it, it is nice to have. If you look at the flies on my page (Brent Kelley's Flies) that are labeled "Magic Caddis" you can see the result of using the tool and the technique. As I recall, I demonstrated this tie a year or so ago at the shop. Once again, if you only have short feathers (like our domestic material) the tool may be more frustrating than helpful. As an aside, when I use the tool I use a dubbing loop rather than splitting the thread as the instructions suggest. With the 8/0 Uni thread this is much faster and equally effective. If you like the effect but don't want the bother, I might also recommend a product known as Henry's Fork Hackle that is a pre-strung rope of CDC fibers similar to what the tool would yield.