September Fly Tying Tutorial: CDC Blue Wing Olive

Pro-Team member Allan Liddle shows how to tie the CDC Blue Wing Olive

Despite my love for Deer Hair Emergers and Dirty Duster flies for surface feeding river trout there are times when you simply have to go small and delicate in order to get a response or two.

Ok admittedly this isn’t something I have the need to do very often in the wild north as our resident trout seem happy most of the time with size 14’s offered to them, which is small enough especially when your eyesight has seen better days.

However there are still times when wild fish can be very picky and following the recent long spell of dry weather up here with sustained low water levels, this has been one of those times when you need to think about things a wee bit and reach for the CDC.

Thankfully the fish quite like my go to delicate flies as they are simplicity itself to tie although as said a wee bit hard to see, especially during an evening foray, but in the right light and the right angle you can still pick them out and failing that then it’s a case of tracking the fly line and lifting to anything you suspect might be a fish sipping down your dry.

Not much in the way of materials required for this pattern, a quick, easy fly to create and one I’m sure you’ll all have something like in your armoury, if not then do yourself a favour and add a few for those times when the going gets tough.



Hook; Partridge Patriot Grub and Buzzer (K4AY) size 14 to 18

Thread; Uni 8/0 light olive

Tail; Sparse bunch of Coq de Leon (tied long)

Thorax; Natural hare’s ear (sparse)

Wing; Tips of two natural CDC feathers (tied facing forward)

Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Hook in vice and catch in thread behind eye (Note; Allow enough space to tie in wing and thorax as to keep 'bulk' to a minimum)


Step 2 Select sparse bunch of Coq de Leon fibres for tail


Step 3 Tie in tail and run thread back towards eye to form body (Note; Leave tail slightly long)

Step 4 Select two CDC feathers for wing

Step 5 Offer wing to fly and set desired length (I tend to set wing approx 5.0mm)

Step 6 Tie in wing facing forward

Step 7 Tie down CDC ends ready for thorax

Step 8 Take sparse pinch of natural hare fur and form 'dubbing rope'

Step 9 Wind thorax dubbing one turn behind wing and two to three turns in front to set wing into desired upright position

Step 10 Whip finish and trim thread before brushing out thorax