Fishing The Fly Scotland Forum

Sandy Nelson

Adapted CDC spider
« on: 13/04/2022 at 16:14 »
Hiya, most of you are very familiar with my favourite CDC spider, the last couple of years I have taken the basic fly and been adding traditional spider feathers to them to match the hatch a bit closer. They have proven very successful so Iím going to share the tweek in a bit more detail.

This is the March Brown variant.
I use a FM ultimate dryfly hook in a size 10
Rust unithread
Reddish coc de Leon for the tail
Petitjean old yellow cdc feather for the body (this is an almost perfect greenwells colour when wet)
Ribbed with superfine gold wire
Two natural CDC feathers and a brown partridge back feather for the hackle.

Step 1.
Hook in vice , Start the thread


Step2.
Add 6-8 fibres of the coc de Leon roughly the same length as the hook shank and put one turn off thread under them to kick it up a little


Step3.
Tie in the gold wire and the tip of the Yellow CDC feather


Step4.
Twist the feather and wind on as the body, tie down and wrap the wire.


Step5.
Assemble the two natural cdc feathers with the partridge in a sandwich


Step6.
I use a Petitjean Magic tool to make this easier to handle, insert the sandwich into the big clip


Step7.
Transfer to the smaller clip and trim away the stalks


Step8.
Create dubbing loop and insert the ends of the feathers, releasing the clip


Step9.
Spin the twister and stroke it to make sure no fibres get trapped


Step10.
Wind the hackle forward making sure to stroke each turn backwards to prevent trapping fibres


Step11.
Whip finish and stroke  fibres forward , apply a finish to the head


I fish this as a dry, itís highly visible and looks like a cripple or even a dun on the surface and if it starts to sink a little, it fishes like a spider. It dries really fast and I find it extremely versatile. The original had no extra game feather and it works really well as a general olive/upwing pattern. I have been experimenting with matching the naturals a little closer and these seem to work even better.

If you tie it with a lighter coc de Leon, gray dun thread,  light natural cdc and grey partridge hackle on a size 10 , then itís a great olive upright.


On a size 12 with Olive dun thread, a dark coc de Leon tail and dark natural cdc with a waterhen hackle it makes a superb Large dark olive


I did some March browns with woodcock instead of partridge and they work well too, so there are no hard and fasts, itís more about the suggestion of patterns and shades


I used one yesterday during the March brown hatch and christened the New Steffen Iíve  just made. You can see the fly in his jaw.


Had a nice one at long range with it too


Mike Barrio

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #1 on: 13/04/2022 at 16:33 »
Great step by step Sandy  :z16

Just what I needed to get back some enthusiasm for fly tying - and I know just how well these flies fish too  :!

Sandy Nelson

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #2 on: 13/04/2022 at 16:46 »
Itís relatively simple and fun to tie.  So no excuses.
It would be cool to see if anyone adapts it to anything else with different feathers.

I have a simple orange dyed cdc body one with natural hackle that I use as a spent spinner and a yellow cdc hackled one for yellow mays.
Iíve been playing with light olive and  blue dun cdc bodied ones but they arenít anywhere near as effective as the old yellow cdc

Fred Hay

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #3 on: 14/04/2022 at 04:36 »
Nice looking flies and obviously successful for you.
I like the way you use the Petitjean clip to hold the hackle prior to spinning - that's where I usually struggle as I've not got that tool and have tried a bulldog clip which doesn't appear to have sufficient grip to hold the feathers prior to inserting in the dubbing loop.
But nice flies and good tying technique plus they appear to be quite durable

Sandy Nelson

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #4 on: 14/04/2022 at 09:33 »
Thanks Fred  :z18

Removing the stalks , removes bulk from the hackle making the fly neater, I have found the twisted thread is also stronger than hackle stalks too so you do end up with a much more durable fly. CDC is much softer than a cock hackle too and I believe because it folds like the natural would in a fishes mouth then you get less rejections and more hook ups.

I know you watched me miss that big one on Tuesday, but that was me being too quick. I got him to come again about 15mins later to a large klink but he refused it at the last minute and then didnít show again. At least when he missed the CDC spider he didnít spook.

Sandy Nelson

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #5 on: 14/04/2022 at 11:37 »
For those of you who arenít familiar with the original pure cdc hackled one, it looks like this



This is the aforementioned orange version that I use as a spent spinner



This is the yellow May variant , using grey partridge.



And this is the blue dun variation with a waterhen twist. It works well when there are small olives on the go.



I donít often tie them smaller than a 14, as you can see I tie them quite short so the flies tend to be one size smaller than the hooks, which seems to help me with the bigger fish.

You can see which colour is best from a quick look in my box


Allan Liddle

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #6 on: 15/04/2022 at 07:59 »
Love those Sandy and never thought of tying in a mix of hackle and CDC like that, brilliant.

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #7 on: 20/04/2022 at 07:59 »
They look great, will need to try a few of those.

A black version with a couple of legs could make a good Hawthorn or Heather Fly.

Sandy Nelson

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2022 at 16:47 »
Thats not a bad idea.
My hawthorn imitation is actually a size 10 APT (proctor) with two legs added. works a treat and is fast and easy to make.

I did get to thinking about the CDC spider heritage, i first tied the fly in 1999 following a visit to a fly-tying evening run by Flyfishing and flytying magazine in Perth (when the tackle shop was just over the bridge by the river), Marc Petitjean was tying that evening as a guest. I found his methods fascinating and that is where i first saw the Old yellow CDC. I got some and the CDC spider was born as North country style variation to what MP was doing. Its been one of my staple patterns ever since and the only one in my box that i regard as Mine  >)

Iain Stewart

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #9 on: 23/04/2022 at 10:00 »
I do struggle as you know Sandy with that dubbing loop and transfer of fibres , so am going to perceiver and double my efforts this trip offshore. Great step by step and a lovely box of flies.

James Laraway

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #10 on: 24/04/2022 at 21:37 »
You probably have one but the petitjean magic clips are ace. Huge amount of money for a pit of plastic and  a spring but they do work 😆

I do struggle as you know Sandy with that dubbing loop and transfer of fibres , so am going to perceiver and double my efforts this trip offshore. Great step by step and a lovely box of flies.

Mike Barrio

Re: Adapted CDC spider
« Reply #11 on: 24/04/2022 at 22:43 »
I think I may have just taken my 'scruffy' fly tying to a whole new level ..... Sorry Sandy, my effort looks nothing like yours!  *smiley-lol*


 




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