Split Wing CDC Olive

CDC Split Wing – Tying how to?

Author: Kieron Jenkins

This method of tying the wings can be applied to any upwing fly. When the Olive (or other upwing fly) just hatches it’s at its most venerable stage of its living life. As the olive hatches out of its shuck, its wings are wet, forcing the olive to stay on the surface until its wings have dried out and are light enough to fly. If you ever catch an olive that has just hatched, its wings are spread out in a ‘V’ Shape, making them easier to dry off and enabling them to become airborne. The profile of the V shaped wings show perfectly from beneath and the fish seem to recognise this as being an easy target.

sw1 Split Wing CDC Olivesw2 Split Wing CDC Olive

Fly Tying Materials needed -

Thread:- Trico 17/0

Hook:- Partridge SLD 16

Tail:- Coq de Leon

Body:- Olive Turkey Biots

Thorax cover:- Black Aero dry

Wings:- CDC plumes

Thorax:- Olive opossum

Set a hook in the vice, something suitable, such as a light dry fly hook. Here I have used a Partridge SLD, size 16, and run the thread down to the back end of the hook. For the tail, tie in four strands of CDL, something durable. I like to use the CDL as a tail as its very realistic, comes in many different shades, although it is classed as light medium and dark on the packet.

sw3 Split Wing CDC Olive

For this fly, I will split the tail so it gives a very realistic resemblance of an olive, and a good footprint to hold the fly up on the surface. Take a piece of thread and loop around bend of the hook and hold the two ends together. Separate the tails by pushing your finger nail, scissors or what ever comes to hand up against the underneath of the tail, this will push them up hopefully separating each one making it easier to pull the thread through.

sw3.5 Split Wing CDC Olive

To split the tail into two – bring the thread up between the four strands, two on each side, and lie on top of hook shank. Make a loose wrap of thread to secure the piece just pulled through. Pull the thread used to split the tail to tighten it and splay the tails at different angles, tighter it is the bigger the angle.

This method of splitting the tails is my favourite; there are many ways of doing it. This is quite simple and easy as it doesn’t tend to trap any of the tails and keeps them on top of the hook.

sw4 Split Wing CDC Olive

Tie in one strand of the Turkey biot by its tip and wind half way up the hook shank and tie off. To make sure you get the correct side of the biot showing, tie the biot in with the piece thats curled (the part that is left by stalk that it’s been pulled from) facing downwards.

sw5 Split Wing CDC Olive

Tie in a piece of black aero dry to be used as a thorax cover and to also split the CDC to create wings. This could be substituted with anything really.. more cdc, black floss you name it…

sw6 Split Wing CDC Olive

Take 3 CDC feathers – pull off each side of the feather and place on a flat surface so it doesn’t get damaged or blown away.

sw7 Split Wing CDC Olive

Take one of the ‘bundles’ of cdc, cut any unwanted stalk off the ends and tie in with just a few wraps of silk, Repeat this process three times, each time leaving a small gap between each wing.

sw8 Split Wing CDC Olivesw9 Split Wing CDC Olive
Try and keep the CDC on the top of the hook, as you want the wings to sit up, not flat on the water.

To cover up the unsightly thread which is trapping the wings in, dub a small amount of Olive opossum onto the thread (could use anything with the same colour as the body)

sw10 Split Wing CDC Olive

By “figure of eightin” the dubbing around the underneath of the fly, going behind and in front of the wings, the thorax should now be created and it should also look much more pleasing.

Now to the wings, once you have created a neat thorax,  pull the aero dry forward evenly between the bundles of CDC. This should split the CDC pretty evenly and the thorax should lie perfect in the correct position. Then tie off.

sw11 Split Wing CDC Olive

To shape the wings, take the two between your fingers and squeeze flat. Judge the size accordingly to what insect you’re representing, and cut around the shape of your fingers. This should then leave a rounded set of wings pretty close to the size and shape of the fly your tying.

sw12 Split Wing CDC Olive

Whilst dry fly fishing, one of the main reasons a fish is missed or bulges beneath the fly is normally thought because the fly is too big, but in past experience most of the time it comes down to the leader. Your leader choice is just as crucial as you’re presentation. A light tippet will always present a fly much better than heavier tippet. This is because heavier tipper is usually stiffer than the lighter stuff and causes the fly to drag across the surface, making the fly less realistic. Fluorocarbon is heavy. It sinks beneath the surface resulting in two things. It causes the fly to be submerged and water logged, although sometimes this can be good, accidently fishing in the surface film can result in more confident takes, it’s not what you’re trying to aim for unless fishing an emerger type fly. Alternatively the nylon used is the competitively priced Airflo co-polymer because of its properties. It is very subtle, and allows the fly to float freely downstream. Co-polymer also floats, which allows the fly to sit high in the water, as if it was a real dun you’re trying to imitate.

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