Project Description

CDC Golden Stone, Craven’s

Pattern Description:

This little CDC Stone pattern has was an offshoot of the CDC Pheasant Tail that I have grown so fond of. The use of CDC on nymphs has gained a much stronger presence in my tying than I ever thought it would. The CDC is so lively when wet, and creates so much life-like movement, that it is getting really hard to argue with. This fly is really pretty simple to tie and if you can tie a Hare’s Ear, you will probably have no problems with this one. I use this fly as the “Copper” in the Hopper/Copper/Dropper rig quite often as it’s larger size and weight make it a great candidate for this use. The fact that Golden Stones are so common in Colorado waters doesn’t hurt a bit either. I like this fly on the Arkansas, Colorado and Eagle Rivers particularly, but I know that it will work anywhere there are golden stones. Tie a few up in a variety of sizes, and don’t be afraid of the big ones. I most often fish this in a size 10 and an 8 is none too big.

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5262 #8-16

Bead: Gold Tungsten, sized to hook

Weight: Lead Wire, sized to hook.

Thread: Yellow 6/0 or 70 Denier.

Tail: Dyed Yellow Pheasant Tail Barbs

Rib: 4X Mono

Flashback: Mirage Saltwater Flash

Abdomen: Golden Colored Nymph Dubbing…in this example I used Golden Brown Harrop Nymph Dubbing, but nearly any reasonably coarse dubbing will be fine

Thorax: Same Dubbing as abdomen

Legs: Natural Brown CDC, wrapped as a collar.

Collar: Grizzly Hen Saddle dyed Gold.

Head: Same dubbing as abdomen and thorax

Step 1

Start by placing the bead on the hook and then wrapping about twelve to fifteen turns of lead on the shank behind the bead.  Shove the lead up into the back of the bead so it centers it and holds it in place. Start the thread at the back of the lead wraps and build a small wedge of thread against the back edge. This wedge will keep the lead wraps tightly together and hold everything in place as we tie. It will also make the overbody taper easier to form.

Step 2

Wrap the thread forward and back over the lead in wide spirals to create a somewhat smooth underbody. Continue the thread base back to the bend of the hook.

Step 3

Even the tips on a large (about 15 fibers) clump of the yellow dyed pheasant Tail fibers. I like to use a heavier tail on this fly in the case that some of them break off (they do) I will still have some tail left. Pull the fibers out at a right angle to the stem until their tips are square, then strip the clump from the stem.

Step 4

Tie in the pheasant tail fibers at the bend with the tips extending about a half shank beyond the bend of the hook. Make sure the tails are centered on top of the hook shank. Bind the tails down tightly with several firm wraps of thread.

Step 5

Wrap forward over the butt ends of the pheasant fibers with the thread to just behind the bead. Keep the fibers along the top of the shank as you wrap. These fibers will smooth the underbody out as you go so take care to keep them from twisting around as you wrap over them.

Step 6

Clip the remaining butt ends of the pheasant fibers flush. Now tie in a length of 4X mono tippet material at the front of the hook on the far side of the shank.  Wrap back over the tippet material to the bend, taking care to keep it along the far side of the hook as you wrap. I will explain why this is important in a minute here so try to stay with me. Trust!

Step 7

Bring the thread back up onto just the back edge of the lead wraps and tie down a strip of the Mirage Flash. The wide flash will anchor better over the larger diameter of the lead wraps than it would over the small diameter of the hook shank at the bend. Tying it down on top of the lead will also make it buckle around the shank and make for a more durable fly.

Step 8

Wrap back over the flash to the bend of the hook. Return the thread to the starting point where you tied the flash in.

Step 9

Dub the abdomen with a chunky taper up to the seventy-five percent point.

Step 10

Pull the flash over the back of the abdomen, taking care to keep it centered, or perhaps just slightly toward your near side. Tie the flash down at the front of the body with a couple tight turns of thread, but don’t clip the excess yet.

Step 11

Spiral wrap the rib forward with seven or eight turns to the end of the abdomen. Tie off the ribbing material. The reason we tied the rib in on the far side of the hook is to keep it from lifting the edge of the flash on the near side of the hook. By tying it in on the far side we have made almost a half turn before we get to the edge of the flash and the rib folds the near edge of the flash down nicely rather than creasing it and lifting it up. Try it with the rib tied on the near side and see what happens. Go ahead. I dare you.

Step 12

Clip the stub ends of both the flash and the ribbing and then wrap back over the front edge of the abdomen to about the 60-65% point. We want to make sure the abdomen and thorax transition smoothly together and this overlap will assure this happens.

Step 13

Dub a robust thorax from the 65% point up to about two eye lengths back from the bead. Be sure to leave enough room for the CDC and hen feathers we still have to wrap in this space. The thorax should be about 25-50% thicker than the front edge of the abdomen.

Step 14

Prepare a CDC feather by stripping the fluffy fibers from the butt end and preening the remaining fibers out from the stem exposing the tip as shown here. We are going to tie the feather in by it’s tip and we don’t need a whole lot of tip left over to do this, so try to keep the tip end short. We are only going to make a wrap or two of CDC so we also won’t be needing a big long feather, just something with some fluff. I really don’t pay any attention to how long the fibers are either, as long as they are not WAY longer than the hook shank.

Step 15

Tie the CDC feather in by it’s tip in the space between the thorax and the bead. Be sure to twist the thread a bit so it cords up and will bite into the stem of the feather for a tight tie down.

Step 16

Detail of CDC tie down.

Step 17

Fold the CDC fibers back to the rear side of the feather stem as you would any soft hackle feather. Try to crease the fibers along the stem so they fold back in a V shape when viewed from the top.

Step 18

Make a turn or two with the CDC feather forming a nice, flowing soft hackle collar. I use a pair of hackle pliers to hold the stem as it can be a bit slippery for bare fingers. Tie off the butt end of the CDC feather about an eye length back from the bead.

Step 19

Clip the butt end of the CDC feather as close as you can. Note the tip of the feather is still showing in this photo. If there is a thick stem in the tip you could go in and very carefully try to clip it out,but honestly,I usually just leave the tip of the feather there as it hardly shows and is of no concern to the fish.

Step 20

Prepare a hen saddle feather that has barbs about a half shank long. Cut the fluff from the base then trim the sides of the feather for about 1/8th of an inch leaving these short little bristles. Leaving these stubs will help to anchor the tie down better than a cleanly stripped stem. They do create a little extra bulk, so be careful not to go overboard with the length you trim down.

Step 21

Tie the hen feather in by it’s butt end behind the bead with that twisted thread like you used to anchor the CDC feather. You can twist the thread by simply spinning the bobbin a bit. The twisted thread will bite into the feather stem and anchor it firmly.

Step 22

Fold the hen feather fibers back to the backside of the stem as you did on the CDC feather. You can check the Prince Nymph tutorial for more details on this if it is not making sense…or you can buy my book. Now that I think about it, you should just buy my book anyway.

Step 23

Make a couple turns with the hen feather against the front edge of the CDC collar. Tie off the tip of the hen feather with a couple tight wraps of thread.

Step 24

Clip the tip of the hen feather as close as you can. Hold the hen fibers as well as the CDC back against the body of the fly with your material hand as you wrap just ever so slightly back over their bases to lean them back along the shank. You don’t want the thread to travel very far back at all, just enough to slope the fibers rearward.

Step 25

Dub the head with a thin strand of dubbing wrapped directly behind and against the back of the bead. This head is just to cover the thread turns where we tied the hackles in, so don’t build up too much.

Step 26

Whip finish by laying the thread along the back side of the bead and letting the wraps slide off the back edge of the bead into the void between it and the dubbing. This little trick will hide the whip finish and thread wraps making everyone ask how you tied it off. This’ll be our little secret.