I’m crazy about CDC, and it’s kind of a weird material to be enamored with since it comes from a duck’s ass and all. But I love it for lots of applications, most importantly, realistic wings that hold a dry fly right in the film where fish are most likely to take a swipe at it. This pattern from “The Feather Bender” is a great traditional-style green drake from across the pond that will surely take fish on the rivers of western Montana. Lots of green drake patterns these days are flashy and loud, and I get the sentiment of the tyer: A big mayfly is the prefect chance to show off a little. But the reality is these bugs are often in the ugly slow water, where silt-bottoms allow their nymphs to get chunky and hatch. The bugs aren’t so much flashy as they are bland. But fish love them, and I have a feeling some of these would do nicely in your box this season. It’s a chance to use some of that lovely CDC you’ve got, and your custom dubbing blend you know you want to bust out.
This time of year, if you’re not carrying a few solid green drake patterns when you hit the water you could be stuck watching fish not eat your fly all day. The abundance of bugs on the water means the fish have lots of choices on the menu, but sometimes the big mayfly is the choice above all else. That said, it could be the tiny caddis they eat, or the giant golden stone, depending on the day – but you gotta carry them all. And when it comes to fly tying, it’s always good to look to the masters. Bob Jacklin is one of the greats, and is a wonderful instructor as well. He ties his version of the green drake for the Yellowstone river drainage, but that doesn’t mean it won’t knock them dead over the divide. When fish key in on the drakes, this is a great pattern with a traditional look and a sturdy construction. Find the materials, grab your thread and spin up this fly before you hit the water this week and try the drake when the going gets tough. It’s a great fly for June in western Montana, and a fun tie as well.