Dry fly fishing on Montana’s Missouri River requires delicate presentations with small flies that look very realistic. Big bushy dry flies just don’t get the job done in most scenarios on The MO. This is why we love using emerges, cripples, and spinners. Especially ones that use CDC.
Cul De Cunard, or CDC, is a feather that comes from the bottom of a duck. “Cul De Cunard” is a french term that literally means duck bottom. These feathers are located around the preen glad which secrets an oil that naturally makes the feather waterproof. So why not use a naturally waterproof feather to tie dry flies?
The first CDC flies were during the 1920’s in Western Europe near the French boarder. These flies were known as Moustique patterns. In modern times there are many flies that use the advantage of CDC to make great patterns. Rene Harrop, a innovative fly designer from Idaho, has some great CDC patterns that work wonders on fooling picky trout. We carry quite a few of his signature patterns here for a reason.
If your not out fishing and trying to beat the hot August weather, take a look at this article Tying with CDC by Hans Weilenmann on The Global FlyFisher. It has everything you need to know and more about the infamous CDC feather. Stay tuned for another post about what the guys at CrossCurrents think make the best CDC dries for The Missouri River.