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CDC & Elk

t.z. | Friday, 29 April 2016

This Fridays SFTS is about another flytier I admire. His name is Hans Weilenmann. I have met him in person on several occasions, mostly on fly fishing shows where is sat hours after hours tirelessly explaining his flies to the audience. His very calm and extremely patient attitude – mixed with a real good sense of humour makes listening and watching him a real pleasure.

Hans and I agree that the biggest development of or for of fly tying was, and still is the internet and digital photography. The opportunities of learning from each other and sharing information have exploded. It has become really amazing … and Hans played a big role right in the beginning of this development. He was one of the first publishing, not only his own – but other fly-tiers work. His website was one of the first places showing high quality closeups of flies. Hundreds if not thousands. He has put a lot of effort into that website and I visit it often to look what´s and even more who is “new”.

Hans is also known for the “CDC&Elk” pattern. A rather simple pattern, but that is the genius behind. Tying simple but effective flies, Please refer to the attached video for the tying instructions.


Hans, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a “why” person. I like to understand what makes things work, what makes people work. And, I am always looking for the better mouse trap. A way to improve what is already working, but which I believe can be made to work better, more elegant, more effective. This drives, in part, my enjoyment in both flytying and flyfishing.

I like simplicity and elegance in flies. Both in the final product, the fly itself, but also in the steps to get from a bare hook to the finished pattern. Each turn of thread should serve a purpose. If you cannot explain why it is there, most likely it shouldn’t be there to begin with.

What is your favourite type of fishing?

My favorite type of fishing is prospecting a medium size stream or river for trout and grayling. I am a running water addict, who lives in a country without gradient. This both means I do not get to enjoy river fishing as often as I would like, as it typically involves travel, but it also makes for absolute focus and dedication when I am on a fishing trip. There is always a river somewhere…

When did you start flyfishing?

I have been a keen angler from the age of six, but flyfishing came later, at 18. To fast track I joined the Casting Club of Amsterdam to get familiar and more comfortable, and to explore, the ways of the flyrod and line. 

How long do you tie flies?

*smile* At times it feels like I have been tying forever, and other times I sit down to tie like an eager freshman. It really never gets tired. I am into my fifth decade of tying as we type.

Who are you influences?

That is not an easy question to answer, and at the same time it is. I will start with the latter – the fish and the materials are my influences, each invite me to expand, innovate, refine and refresh.

This is not, however, how you intended your question – so I shall try to address it as you meant it. Flytiers the world over, past and present, have influenced and inspired my tying over the years, often in small and subtle ways – and I am grateful to all out there. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, past and present, and continue to walk in their footsteps.

Paul and I would like to thank Hans for his great contributions to the fly tying an dfishing world.
I hope we fish together soon.

Do not miss out visiting Hans´ website
and his youtube channel

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CDC Mohican Mayfly

Following up on the foam extended body fly from last Friday. The concept originally began with Oliver Edwards Mohican Mayfly, which featured deer hair and a regular cock hackle aside from the foam body. I tie them with CDC as well.

water buffalo hair from the neck as tails
you can use goat hair as well for exapmple

tie the segments as shown in the extende foam body dragon fly

the only differnce is that in this case it is one folded strip
and the tying starts at the tip of the needle

hook with thread base

tie in the tail fibres
and fix the body to the hook by the first segment

tie in two CDC feathers for wings

spin CDC in a split thread dubbing loop

and wind the CDC hackle brush around the wingbase

bring the foam forward each side of the wing
and tie it down

form a nice head


fold back the foam and whip finish in the “neck”



the finished fly

I have used this pattern rather successfully in Vulgata Ephemera and Marginata hatches.

The original Oliver Edwards pattern. Already a variant as he uses a regukar dry fly hook in his video. I tried, sort of by accident, tying it on a large Partridge CZ, and bingo. That must have been at least 10 years or more ago. I tied a few only and send one to Hans Weilenmann for his fly tiers website. Hans Weilenmann is a fly tier from the Netherlands and one of the first advocates for rather simple flies I came accross.

mohican_mayflyMohican Mayfly tied by t.z. – picture Hans Weilenmann