Home  About Us  Mick Hall  Bugwatch  Guest Flytyers  Fly Talk
Photo Gallery Flyfishing Stories Products  Workshop Days  Sponsors/Links  Contact Us
barry ord clarke's
cdc detached body mayfly

1.     Place the upholstererís needle in the vice. You can use a regular straight needle for this if you would like to make a body that lies flat in the surface like a spinner.  The upholstererís needle can be bought from most good hardware stores.

Stage 2

2.     Apply a little fly tyer's wax to the area of the needle that you will use to make the body.  This will make removing the body later much easier.

Stage 3

3.     Attach your tying thread and run a foundation of thread the full length of the intended body on the needle.  I only use Dyneema tying thread; this is a multi-filament thread that if spun in the bobbin anti clockwise will open the filaments and lie flat on the hook shank.  If spun clockwise the filaments twist together and reduce the size of the thread down to 16/0.  This thread comes in only one colour, white, but can be coloured with waterproof felt pens.

Stage 4
Stage 5

5.     The dubbing that I use is Flyrite but you can use any synthetic dubbing that has long fine fibres.  The long fibres help you wrap the dubbing around the needle and again make the body strong.  If you use a straight needle, once you have tied in the tail fibres you can attach the dubbing material and remove the needle from the vice.  You can now roll the needle between finger and thumb of one hand while you feed on the dubbing with your other hand; this makes super fine and even bodies.

Stage 6

6.     Attach your dubbing to your tying thread and begin at the base of the body.  Make sure that the dubbing is applied firm and even but not too tight, this will make it difficult to remove when finished.

4.     Select 3 long Peccary fibres.  I like to use Peccary fibres for the larger mayflies and moose hair for the smaller patterns.  Tie in the Peccary fibres as shown.  Itís a good idea to choose fibres that are long enough to run the full length of the body and then some, this will make it stronger and more durable.

Stage 16
Front View
Barry Ord Clarke Home Page

Front view

16.     Whip finish and remove the tying thread. And there you have it, the finished CDC Mayfly.

stage tying & instructions

This is a simple but effective mayfly pattern that fly tyers of any level can tie with a little practice. Once you have mastered this technique, all you have to do is change the size and colour to match most mayfly hatches.
The small fibres of the CDC in combination with the natural water repellent oils of the duck that it came from, traps a small pocket of air that is just large enough to keep the hook afloat in the surface.  CDC is also extremely hydrodynamic - under the water every filament flickers with life, as its mirror surfaced air bubbles reflect light and life.
The choice of colours and sizes of fly to be used when tying this pattern is determined by what mayfly you intend to imitate and under what conditions.  In still water fishing, trout can be extremely selective when feeding on mayflies; they have good time to check them out before sucking them in.  This is especially true in very calm conditions when the surface water is as flat as a mirror.  Under these circumstances it is also important to remember to sink your leader.  It wonít help presenting the right pattern to a trout that can see your tippet.
In rougher conditions or in the surface of a rivers running water your tippet will be less visible and the trout also have less time to examine it.  In lower light fishing situations I like to give my mayflies a nice bright CDC wing for better visual contact at distance. 

Body form:             Upholstererís needle
Hook:                      Standard dry Mustad 94840 #16-10
Thread:                   Dyneema
Tail:                         Peccary or moose hair
Body:                      Flyrite dubbing
Wing:                      CDC fibres

Stage 7

7.     Once you have made a couple of turns of dubbing you can now apply a little glue to the foundation of tying thread; Copydex or super glue are best.  The wax that you applied earlier will stop it being glued to the needle.

Stage 8

8.     Now you can dub the whole body.  Make sure that you get the taper correct and the right size for the species you aim to imitate.

Stage 9
Stage 10

10.     Secure your hook in the vice and attach your tying thread.

Stage 11

11.     Half way down the hook shank you can now tie on your detached mayfly body.

Stage 12

12.     Once your body is secure apply a little dubbing on your tying thread and dub the rest of the rear of the body.  Again make sure that you take your time and get proportions correct.

Stage 13

13.     Select a good bunch of long CDC fibres and tie these in almost paradun style to form the wing.

Stage 14

14.     Once the wing is secure proceed with dubbing the rest of the mayfly body.

Stage 15

15.     When the body is finished taper off the dubbing to form the head.

All you need to do is change the colour and size of this pattern to cover many different hatches.

9.     When you have finished your body, tie it off at the base and make 2 or 3 half hitch finishing knots.  You now place thumb and index finger each side of the body and carefully loosen the body from the needle by rolling it between your fingers and ease it off the needle.  You will now see that the dubbing, tying thread and glue have merged into one hollow body tube that should have retained its shape.