Let's have a little discussion about keeping those dry flies floating. Especially those with CDC wings. If you haven't guessed by the fly selection here in our store, CDC, or Cul De Canard (Butt of the Duck), feathers are a favorite natural material in many of our flies. The soft nature of the material allows it to move in a very realistic and lifelike manner on the water. I use it in the creation of wings, trailing shucks, legs, and even bodies of flies. But CDC can be tough to keep floating once it's saturated, if you don't know how to treat it. Rule one, is to never use any gel floatant on it as that will only gum up the supple fibers and cause them to stick together eliminating the properties that allow CDC to float.
So how do we solve this problem of keeping CDC up on the surface of the water? As we know with many things there are several right ways to do it. Many people have their own slightly different methods, and in the end there's no wrong answer as long as the result is a floating fly.
My favorite floatant for CDC dry flies, and really, all small dry flies, has long been one of the many brands of powdered desiccants out on the market. Frogs Fanny, Doc's Dry Dust, Loon Dust, or one of many other names it comes under, all will work very well. They work especially well for reconditioning flies that have become waterlogged. I have been highly dependant on this powder for a while now, but it's not the only way to keep those flies conditioned to float.
Such a natural material as CDC deserves another natural material to keep it afloat. Enter Amadou. Amadou is a highly absorbent natural material that makes drying those flies a snap, and adds nothing to the fly to change it's color or appearance on the water. Simply shake off any excess water from your fly then squeeze tightly in the patch and the water is sucked right out of the fly. Amadou patches are a wonderful alternative, and can be used in conjunction with your other floatants, or often in place of them. An Amadou patch, for instance, can make that $5 bottle of powdered floatant go alot further.
Recently a Jump Creek Flies customer and friend put me in contact with an individual who has a source of some very nice amadou that he hand crafts into these nice looking Fly Drying Amadou Patches. I jumped at the opportunity and purchased a few of his patches to offer for sale here in the store. I believe with my selection of dry flies that offering such a great product for keeping those flies dry will be a wonderful addition. These amadou patches are handmade, and the amadou is hand selected with the thickness and quality of the amadou as a top priority. These patches blow anything I have found out there on the commercial market away in the thickness of their amadou. He does a very nice job, and because these are coming straight from the source I am able to offer a very good price on these as well.
If you have any other questions on the subject or would like any further details on keeping those CDC Flies floating feel free to contact me.