Marc Petitjean didn’t invent Croupion De Canard* feathers nor was he the first to use them to tie flies but when it comes to this particular material he’s one of if not the best in the field so getting the chance to watch and hear Marc demonstrate one of his patterns is not only a treat but an enriching experience. be sure to pay attention to all the details as this pattern encompasses just about every cdc technique there is. enjoy !
* contrary to popular usage, CDC actually means Croupion De Canard which translates from french as Duck Rump, the not very specific region where these feathers are located whether it be duck, goose or other waterfowl.
the more popular moniker of the first C, Cul is the vulgar translation of butt or arse (think old school here. let’s say the word wouldn’t have been pronounced on tv until the 70’s or 80’s) and while those two bird parts aren’t very far from each other and even if butts tend to be nice generally speaking, waterfowl butts are rather inexistant and mostly consist of a hole that isn’t very exciting to say the least… and while its function is secretion, its nothing that would help any feather float.
where the more common Cul comes in (that was a fun thought), is when Henri Bresson, a long ago dead frenchman created a pattern using the very same feathers and made a slightly vulgar play on words when giving it its name. somehow that name stuck even if the very vast majority of fly anglers around the world have never heard of Bresson or that particular fly pattern. funnier still, is there’s no available image or tying description of his fly, only written stories so, for all we know it all might have been a dream.
sorry to be so anal but this butt stuff makes it fitting…
part 1 – some ranting
bamboo fly rods:
depending on where you mention those three words you’ll typically get reactions such as oooing and ahhhing and conversations will inevitably lead towards notions of purity, tradition, nobility and who knows what other hobnob sentimentality hastily shoved down your ears with very little regard to how they actually perform.
having had the great honor and opportunity to be invited to demonstrate casting at several Cane meetings and fairs and having the chance to try out hundreds of different rods, quite honestly most of them perform like something that’s better off staying on a wall and aesthetically speaking, a good portion of them would be an insult to the wall.
the dismal truth is the vast majority of cane builders i’ve met are poor casters and thrive on outdated notions. i’m not saying that every builder should be as anal about fly casting as i am myself but i’d expect them to at least have descent control of the line and produce consistent loops regardless of their style. among others, i’d also expect them to understand that a fly rod is not a spring and that slow actions do not result in a more ‘relaxed’ way to cast.
like most, i can try out a rod and decide for myself but i find it extremely difficult to respect the opinion of a rod builder that doesn’t even understand how a rod functions and doesn’t know how to use the tool they made themselves.
part 2 – the good part, some praising !
friend and FFF certified casting instructor colleague Christian Strixner based near Munich is on the other hand, one of the rare cane rod builders who knows how to combine the essential qualities of both a finely tuned casting/fishing tool while being a beautiful high performance piece of art.
(rods that would put to shame the finest of walls )
at first glance we’re struck with their exquisite aesthete but when we pick one up for a cast the real magic happens.
and that my friends is something to realy oooo and ahhh about…
for more info on Christian’s rods visit his site Split the Cane. enjoy !