BWO Series Videos - Part III CDC Sparkle Dun

Posted on 20 May 2020

Series Overview Intro

In this new video series, I hope to teach you about the major hatches of the Eastern United States and how to select flies to best represent those bugs. The thinking with these videos is that I wanted to not only show tiers how to imitate these insects, but also to teach every angler about my thinking in approaching each hatch and how bug behavior can impact fish behavior. After working for TCO for over a decade now, I have seen what troubles most anglers in selecting flies for a given hatch and my hope is that these videos will provide some insight into my process and hopefully provide some new information to help you be more successful on the water. With that, check out the first set of videos in this group of videos, The Blue Winged Olive Series. Please let me know what you think of the videos and what else you would like to see us doing.

Lenny Gliwa

*PLEASE NOTE - Mobile devices must be turned sideways (landscape) to properly view posts.

CDC Sparkle Dun

When Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi first created the Comparadun style of fly tying, they forever changed dry fly fishing across the globe. These deer hair flies sat lower in the film than their Catskill style predecessors and showed the trout something new. And the trout liked new… a lot. While the original Comparadun still dominates a large portion of each of my dry fly boxes, there are a number of incredibly effective variations on this style of tying. Craig Mathews, of West Yellowstone, MT and Blue Ribbon Flies fame, made a major contribution to tying with the addition of a zelon trailing shuck, and the Sparkle Dun was born. 

From there, numerous other variations have come out of these two base patterns, such as Mathews’ Improved Sparkle Dun, but some of my favorite changes have come in the form of different winging materials. While the deer hair of the originals is perfect for larger flies, many tiers struggle with creating clean flies in smaller sizes. This is where CDC comes into play. Cul de Canard, or CDC, is a fine soft feather coming from the rear portion of a duck. These wonderful little feathers do a great job of trapping air and float incredibly well as a result. By utilizing CDC, anglers can comfortably tie Comparaduns smaller than ever compared to using a deer hair wing. The flies float high and provide a great visual cue for the angler to see on the water. CDC comes in a multitude of colors and by changing the color of the wing, the dubbing color, and hook size, tiers can easily produce CDC Comparaduns to cover nearly every mayfly hatch they encounter throughout the season. Give these simple patterns a try this season, I think you’ll be quite pleased with the results. Check out the materials list below and be sure to stop by your local TCO, give us a call, or shop with us online for these materials and all your fly fishing and tying needs.

CDC Sparkle Dun

Hook: TMC 100SPBL sz. 16 (any standard dry fly hook will work)

Thread: UTC 70 Brown Olive

Shuck: Mayfly Brown Zelon 

Dubbing: Olive Brown Superfine

Wing: Natural Dun CDC


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