Last week, Tightline Productions’ Tim Flagler taught us the CDC (cul-de-canard) basics—we know that the feathers come ducks or geese, near their preening glands. These feathers have lots of surface area, which helps them trap air and keeps the afloat quite well.

Above, Tim shows us how various CDC feathers are used in common fly tying—and how to choose either the larger feathers or the small “puffs,” depending on what you’re tying. Puffs are generally used for emerger patterns, like the RS2, which is a great mayfly emerger pattern that I love to use in the fall and the spring during Blue-winged Olive hatches.

By Chris Hunt.