Published Sep 20th 2006

But a small emerger


Have you also experienced the perfect evening by a lovely stream? The trout are rising, it is cooling down and the sun is painting the clouds and sky using a palette in gold, red and purple?

Nothing -
The box is filled with a new collection of hi-floaters, foam wasps, caddis flies, magic ball emergers etc. all tied in two or three favorite colors and variyng between size 18 and 10.

You are more than prepared. And yet, the trout refuse your flies time after time and they are clearly feeding on something hard to see.
Are they taking emergers? You tie one on, and they look at it but still refuse to take.
You need something small and maybe emerger-like. Something, which is almost not there. You need to attach Nothing to the tippet.

I have been in that situation in the Czech Republic, Colorado, Italy and last time on the banks of a Danish stream. Finally I concluded that I had to bring Noting with me, where ever I went - and I wish I done that a long time ago. When Les Austin gave me a bunch of hooks, I started tying.

A danish stream - next time I will have a box with Nothing.
A danish stream
Prepared - But there is no Nothing.

It is just a tiny emerger made with CDC to make it float well. You can make your own variant by varying the color, adding a short tail of antron, a parachute hackle, a rear body made of a quill or whatever you fancy... The small size and the loop wing is the key to the efficiency of this fly.

The point is that it is a good idea to bring a very small fly, just in case. Here is the step-by-step instruction:


HookDry or emerger, size 22-28
Thoraxcdc-dubbing, grey/olive/black
Wingcdc-feather tied as a loop wing, grey/white/olive

Tying instructions
  1. Attach the thread
  2. Dub the Thorax. Be careful not to use too much material.
  3. Tie in a CDC-feather. Pull it towards the hook bend. Stop when 3-5 mm of the feather is still in front of the hook eye.
  4. Make a few locking turns.
  5. Cut off the point of the feather.
  6. Wind the thread a little bit towards the hook bend.
  7. Dub sparsly with CDC.
  8. Make the CDC-feather come forward forming a loop.
  9. Lock it loosely with the tying thread.
  10. Pull it over the hook eye, forming a nice little loop.
  11. Lock it with the tying thread.
  12. Cut off the excess.
  13. Whip finish.

Step 1 -
Step 1
Step 2 -
Step 2

Step 3 -
Step 3
Step 4 -
Step 4

Step 5 -
Step 5
Step 6 -
Step 6

Step 7 -
Step 7
Step 8 -
Step 8

Step 9 -
Step 9
Step 10 -
Step 10

Frog view -
Frog view
Top view -
Top view

User comments
From: Bob Miller · flyfish14·at·  Link
Submitted October 24th 2009

I will try this on the Farmington River in Connecticut (U.S.A.) The olives are size 28 and the browns are very selective. This looks like a winner

From: Ted · Tedandwendy·at·  Link
Submitted March 16th 2007

Used some on picky trout pa stream. Worked very well.

From: Mr Mcguinnis · tommaslar·at·  Link
Submitted January 13th 2007

I fished this fly in Russia last week and caught a mail order bride on my backcast. Should have used a lighter tippet and stronger vodka though.

From: Jerry · spectrum233·at·  Link
Submitted December 26th 2006

While fly fishing a tail water, I noticed the trout were hitting my strike indicator more then my fly. So I decide to fix that problem and took a dry fly hook and used orange rabbit fur for the thorax and orange cdc for the loop wing. My next discovery was don't use a lite leader, they hit so hard it was amazing. This happened in spring 1994

From: Sarunas_St · sarunas_st·at·  Link
Submitted October 20th 2006

Hello Ripley,maybe you already tested this fly in Lithuania? :)

From: SJSanford · sarahsanford·at·  Link
Submitted October 6th 2006

To dry a cdc fly, brush on a silica powder sold in the US as Frog's Fanny. Blow off the excess powder and keep fishing!

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach · kasper·at·  Link
Submitted September 23rd 2006


thanks. Let us know if you catch any.

Tight lines,

From: ED MaDan · emadan·at·  Link
Submitted September 23rd 2006


good looking fly with c.d.c.,always looking for a new way in tying with c.d c..
will work up a few for a trip later this week to the junction in N.C. U.S A.

From: Les Austin · Leslie·at·  Link
Submitted September 21st 2006


It didn't take you long to fill those hooks! Have you tried them on the stream yet?

Thanks for your company over the week-end.


GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach · kasper·at·  Link
Submitted September 21st 2006


I'll send you a bunch.


From: Brian Larson · blarson·at·  Link
Submitted September 21st 2006

Steps 9 and 10 pictures need to be switched around and there are a few misspelled words, not referring to the European "grey" either. (Martin writes: Fixed most of it) Nice fly though. I found a similar fly somewhere only tied with the opposite loop. I've caught fish on them when nothing else was working. They are a one fish fly for me though. Never found a way to perk them up other than putting on a new fly and drying them off.

From: Ripley Davenport · admin·at·  Link
Submitted September 20th 2006

Hey Kasper,
Dam nice fly. I think that'll work big time. I'll try and throw it around in October in Lithuania.

Comment to an image
From: jerry · jerry·at·  Link
Submitted September 24th 2006

small can be deadly

Comment to an image
From: greg · greg_canter2000·at·  Link
Submitted March 30th 2007

Wow! someone owns more klinkhammers than me!!
What sizes do you tend to use? Anything really tiny?

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