cdc mohican mayfly

cdc mohican mayfly

t.z. | Friday, 6 April 2018

Extended bodies are flies where the insect’s abdomen is completely or is partly separated from the hook shank. Traditionally, the hook shank is used as the core for the insects imitations abdomen and thorax. This is not the case with extended body flies. On these, only the thorax and / or the wing-case are wound around and onto the hook-shank. The positive arguments for extended body flies are strong. Firstly, you are not limited by the hooks size and shape.  Secondly, the extended bodies have a more realistic appearance as they are not as stiff as abdomen constructed directly on the hook shank. Finally, they also float very well, which enables one to use heavier and stronger hooks. Once one has understood the basic concepts, they are quick and easy to tie.

There are quite a few techniques for extended bodies. In this book we'll look at the three most common methods and materials.

furled yarn body - used in the Carpet Yarn Caddis
foam body - used in the CDC Mohican Mayfly
polychenille body - used in the Daddy Longlegs pattern in the Terrestrial insects Section

... the CDC Mohican Mayfly ... read on

Interactive Inage of the fly - in my ibook you can click the little tags to zoom in and learn more aboyt the pattern

CDC Mohican Mayfly

Almost no fly fisher can deny the fascination for big mayflies. The insects of the ephemera genus are more than special. Their graceful mating dance is mesmerising. Fishing the E. Vulgata hatch in the lakes is one of the highlights of our summer.

The adult insect is between 14 - 25mm, the females being much larger than the male. The main features of this insect are the long body and the beautiful upright, sail like wings when sitting on the water. The Mohican Mayfly by Oliver Edwards is the pattern which made the extended foam body known to the public. 

Be aware of the proportions; the wing is as long as the fly’s abdomen, do not make it too short. Let's have a look at the various parts of the fly. 

Wing(s) - rather obvious - imitates the insect's wing. The wing slows down the fly in the air and helps it land correctly. It should not be too stiff though, otherwise the fly spins the leader, which can be a disaster. Twisted leaders may spook the fish and have a reduced breaking strength. 

Wing materials one can use:

  • Deer Hair
  • Game bird feathers
  • Antron yarn
  • CDC feathers

Please take into consideration that you might need to manipulate or/and cut the wing to give the fly the right proportions. Some materials lose their appeal, others tolerate a bit of a “haircut”. 


The hackle is tied “parachute” style. It works as a parachute in the air and acts like outriggers on the water. So use material which is stiff enough to keep its shape. Mostly, this is achieved by using rooster feathers from birds bred specifically for the task. However, a new world opens for you once you have mastered the art of inserting fibres into a split thread and transform that into a hackle brush.


The body, or better said extended body as it extends over the hook, can be made with bundled deer hair, furled Antron yarn, foam or poly-chenille. When using the latter three, the body is pre made in a separate process. The tail fibres play an integral role here. 


They look cool, that is about it. You will find your fly catches just as well without a tail. Hair or synthetic quill strengthen the foam body core. Try to find very long fibres which do not break; bristles from brushes, natural hair - wildebeest mane, wild boar, moose or VN synthetic quills. What is important is that the fibres are long and thin.

To increase the durability of the fly, one ties these fibres together with the abdomen - foam, chenille etc. 



Last, but not least - use something big enough for the job. It can hang under the fly like a keel. The original Oliver Edwards pattern is tied on a regular dry fly hook. I tried, sort of by accident, tying it on a PartridgeKlinkhamer hook. This version hooks very well, on top the hook works like a keel and helps to stabilise the drift of the fly. 


Foam or better - closed cell foam is very buoyant and robust. The foam in the video is matching the E. Vulgata darker dun and spinner in colour. For E. Danica you should use white foam and colour it with waterproof marker pens. The foam body is pre made. The technique involves a thin needle on which the foam is tied on. The needle used can be a straight or bent.

Anatomy & Materials


Czech Nymph or Klinkhamer hook size 10 to 14



Dyneema 55

Body / abdomen: 

Closed cell foam

Tail fibres: 

Wildebeest mane or VN Synthetic Quills


2 CDC feathers tied in back to back


CDC tied as hackle brush in split thread dubbing loop

The fly rates a clear 3 on the Fly-O-Meter scale

fly-o-meter scale

Step by step video - the one in my ibook is much slower - this video is sped up to fit the instagram 1 minute limit. The original video is several times longer.

(c) t.z. - 2018

on a side note - I'll be hosting a weeks fly fishing fun @Skålestrømmen in Norway. Sign up quickly, there's only 6 rods total - here's the link


Written by 
Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. 

Thomas is the author of "Fly Tying - Modern Classics for Trout and Grayling which is availbale on iTunes -