Fly Tying- a CDC indicator Caddis and the difference between Croupion and Cul

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…

ethel the streaker

having had a handful of these great flies tied by great buddy and fantabulous tier Niklas Dahlin (and caught quite a few nice fish) this is a highly recommended fly to have. while running around naked can certainly be sort of fun, this kind of streaking is a blast because we don’t have to worry about drag-free drifts as the objective is to on the contrary, pull the fly across the current or lake and takes are usually explosive and we’ll often see the fish run after it, sometimes from far away, further upping the adrenaline levels compared to most other forms of fly fishing. cool !
now, i’ll gladly admit that working with deer hair has always left a hmmm… feeling, one of finding substitute materials which can lead to great working flies but not advancing and expanding my tying technique. having saved this one a while ago to pull out as a winter project, i thought i’d share it here as well as i know i’m not the only one with deer-hair-yuk tendencies.

as always, Davie demonstrates his perfect technique and explains this tie remarkably. of notice as well is his explanation on dubbing without wax as with most materials it’s completely unnecessary and even hinders the process.
for a lot of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the caddis season is well over which will leave us (me !) plenty of time to get this fly down pat before tying one on but then, they also make excellent indicator flies for fishing heavier winter nymphs. enjoy !