Use Fly Patterns with CDC Feathers

Do you use fly patterns with CDC feathers in them? Hopefully, your fly box has a few of ’em. CDC is a marvelous material. It’s like magic. 

What is CDC? It stands for cul de canard. It’s French for “ducks arse” or loosely “butt of the duck”. While I don’t speak the language, I found that “canard” is French for duck, so while we may discuss other types of CDC feathers, like geese, it would be called something else and add to the confusion. So for simplicity’s sake, we’ll lump them all together and call it CDC.

RiverKeeper Callibaetis Emerger


RK Callibaetis Emerger | www.johnkreft.comWhy should you use fly patterns with CDC feathers? CDC has properties to provide what I call floatability. CDC is soft, buoyant, traps air bubbles and create a life-like appearance with the movement of soft feathers. 

Continue reading

Please Share This:

Damsel Flies

Have you ever fished with adult damsel flies? Talk about exciting! These bugs are quick, so when a fish takes your fly, it’s more like a toilet bowl flushing…a big ring from the fish taking the fly with gusto!

Damsel Fly |

At times, there can be massive hatches or swarms.

Here is a recent picture of a great swarm at Crane Prairie Reservoir…amazing! All the reeds we saw were COVERED with damsel flies. Looks like a damsel flag, doesn’t it?

Damsels on Reeds |

Continue reading

Please Share This:

Recent Changes

Well, here it is again. I keep making changes to my webpage and thought I’d highlight a few recent changes you might have missed.

Seems like whenever I write a new blog, I need to develop and provide links to new fly pattern sheets. Remember, even if you don’t tie flies, there may be some helpful information in the pattern sheet. For example, I’ve attached pictures of real bugs whenever I have them.

So here are a few updates:

New fly patterns:

  • Several new callibaetis patterns.
  • Blue Wing Olive – CDC & Biot – if you tie flies, I discuss two different ways to create a biot body…furled or smooth.
  • I’ll be adding several caddis patterns in the near future.

Resources page

Products page

  • I’ve added links to product I use. Hopefully, they will be helpful to you.

Well, that’s it for now. Oh, just a little teaser…here’s what the next blog is about:

Damsel Fly |


Please Share This:

Callibaetis Mayflies

Callibaetis mayflies are a staple of lake fishing.

I fished East Lake last weekend with Central Oregon Project Healing Waters. It was my first time this year on a lake and I’d heard the Callibaetis mayflies were out. So I checked the “provider box” (that’s what my wife calls it) to see what Callibaetis mayflies I had to choose from. It was a little low, so off to the fly tying bench I went. Tied my version of Fred’s Callibaetis Nymph, some Sparkle Duns, and a new spinner pattern I’d found recently – Harrop’s Callibaetis Paraspinner. I’ve tied the Paraspinner for PMDs and wanted to tie some up for a Callibaetis mayfly.

Provider Box

Provider Box |

I got to the lake and found a few spinners on the water when I started fishing around 9:30. I wanted to spend some time checking out the lake before getting a Vet in the boat and trying to get them into fish. Here is a picture of one of the Callibaetis spinners I found on the water. Note the clear wing:

Callibaetis Spinner |

Continue reading

Please Share This:

Fly Fishing with Beetles

Are you fly fishing with beetle patterns? You should.

Why do fish eat beetles? Who cares. All I know is my wife and I have caught some of our biggest trout recently with Beetle Bailey. We were sitting along the river bank waiting for the Green Drake hatch a couple of weeks ago and started reminiscing about all the big fish we’d caught with Beetle Bailey.

And here is proof – a recent fish that took the Beetle Bailey fly in an eddy while a few PMD cripples were floating by.


Rainbow with Beetle Bailey

I’m sure you’ve seen beetles along the river, floating close to shore or stuck in an eddy. I saw this beetle one day and it reminded me I should try one.

Beetle on reel |

Continue reading

Please Share This:

New to Fly Fishing? What Flies Should I Use?

Are you new to fly fishing? If so, you may be like some of my friends who ask “what flies should I use?”

Fly box

I enjoy teaching people things. Maybe that’s why I volunteer for fly fishing related activities. I like to make things simple so people can enjoy the activity.

When you are new to fly fishing, it can be overwhelming. Lots of questions:

  • What POLE should I use? (first of all, we use RODS)
  • Why do I have to match line to a rod?
  • What is leader and why is it tapered?
  • What knot should I use? (Check out my Fly Fishing Knots post)
  • Am I doing it right? (Are you having fun? Then YES)

And finally,

  • How many flies should I have?

Well, that depends. I always hate that answer, but it is the truth. Continue reading

Please Share This: