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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tie flies and I have used CDC, but when I was cleaning ducks yesterday I kept a few feathers and did not know where to pull CDC from. I understand it is from oil glands (and read a little article after the fact from http://www.flyfisherman.com/ftb/hwcdc/) but it did not really look the same as the stuff I have bought. Also, does it matter what species of duck you get them from, especially if you are looking for different colors?
Thanks,
Scott
 

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I believe you get it from the rear of the birds back, just ahead of it's tail. I have heard that CDC from wild birds tends to retain more oil than the store bought died CDC. Not sure if that's good or bad. I have no idea if different species have different colors. I think most CDC you buy is dyed.
 

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Yes. From just above the butt. The stuff you buy is cleaned and usually dyed, and also the best feathers are selected out. If you go through those on your wild duck and do all that, your's will look pretty much the same. Those that have not been cleaned and dyed like you have on your wild ducks will retain more of the natural oils better than those you buy at the store. Its cool to use feathers from birds you shot, to tie flies on your own, to catch fish. Good luck. You are on the right track.
 

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I had a buddy give me a mallard drake a couple years ago which yeilded some decent CDC feathers as well as a good supply of flank feathers, matched wing feathers, and biots. The CDC feathers surround the preening gland just above the tail of the bird. The natural color of the feathers is perfect for one of my favorite searching patterns, the CDC and Elk (superior to the EHC in my opinion). It is a good idea to put feathers from wild birds in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs and bug eggs.
 

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I don't think you will find better CDC anywhere. The stuff you pull from the ducks you harvest never needs treatment to stay afloat. Just false cast a couple of times to dry it out and your good to go.

A friend and I have almost used up a gallon sized ziplock bag full of wild CDC feathers this year. It is the best. We use it on everything we can. Mine came from mostly Malards and Gads.

It's time to do some restocking. The only time when color has been an issue is when tying cream or tan CDC caddis patterns. Thats the only time I buy my CDC. The washed stuff just doesn't float the same.

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You can get some very good CDC- also off geese- I think it's really the structure of the feather that carries air bubbles that floats your fly not the oil on the feather though.
 

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welcome here packfish. nice to see you made it over here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the insight guys. I have been pulling feathers but have not had a lot of time to tie, maybe that will change when the duck hunt is over :)
 

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I used to get all of the CDC I could from the ducks I killed.

Like packfish said, the structure of the individual feathers is just as, if not more important than the oils in them IMO.

I used to use a lot of teal and mallard flank as well, they are fun to tie loop wings with, as well as standard applications.

I'm sure a lot of you have read his book(s) or visited with him, but Rene Harrop ties some wonderful patterns from CDC and talks about some very interesting presentations and techniques using them. I highly recommend stopping by Trout Hunter or reading his books. Definitely a world class fisherman.
 
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