One material that I like very much to work with is the CDC. On the market you’ll find a lot of tools that help you work with Cul de Canard feathers. I worked with a lot of models and types: PetitJean clips, paper clips,foam blocks etc. but the best seems to be the Vosseler Xpert Tool Clip. I tried this tool right after visiting a fishing exposition. I saw this tool in the hands of a great German fly tier. He used it very easy, fast and without wasting material.
The tool has 3 grip levels
Fixing the feathers
Cutting the barbs
Grip down the barbs
Forming a hackle loop:
Working with marabou:
Working with deer hair:
Here you can see a very good grip even for a lot of hair:
Catgut, a natural absorbable suture is obtained by longitudinally slitting the intestinal submucosa of sheep and goat, twisting the ribbons and joining them in wet condition giving monofilament finish. Catgut have 2 colors: natural or plain (ivory -cream color) and Chromic (dark brown color).For a long period, catgut was the most common material for the strings of harps, violins, and as well as other stringed musical instruments.
Catgut is a great fly tying material and lies tied with catgut looks very realistic.
Here is a few pictures with nymphs tied on size #10 and #12
Flies tied with size #16 and #18:
A simple and very efficient method to increase the visibility for small CDC dry flies tied on #16-22 : adding a small bunch of white CDC barbs in front of the wing.
In certain cases I use yellow or pink instead of white, especially at sunset when the light and the shadows become metallic.
Here is the step by step:
Materials for this fly:
Hook: Maruto Dohitomi D04 BL #16
Thread: 70Denier Olive
Body: Devaux yellow thread for bodies
Tail: coq de leon indio claro
Torax: mad rabbit dubbing
Wing: CDC Khaki Campbell feathers
Hi-Vis: white CDC barbs tied in front of the wing