Favorite Flys “Fly Tying Terms”

Welcome to the Fly Tying Terms section. We hope this section enables and encourages you to become a fly tyer, or to enhance your fly tying skills.

From Perrault's Standard Dictionary of Fishing Flies
by Keith E. Perrault
Terms — C
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~ C ~
Canvasback:
This duck provides some of the finest nashua and flank feathers used in fly tying. Wing primaries are of top quality for dry fly wings in grays and gray-browns.

Capras:
Chinese goat hair. White in color. Also Capra.

Cast:
Hue or shade of color.

Cat Gut:
Term given to silkworm gut. Actually a comparatively heavy silk used prior to nylon material for leaders.

Catskill Style Flies:
Flies originated in the watersheds of the Catskill mountains of Eastern U.S. Tied sparse, with thin bodies, unsplaved tails. Dry Flies of the Catskills emulate neatness and daintiness and have set a precedence for a type or style of trout fly since the era of Gordon, Hewitt, Steenrod and Christian.

CDC: (cul de canard)
The feathers found near the oil glands on primarily ducks. The unusual structure of the feather itself provides floatation.

Center Joint:
A buildup of wool, chenille or herl near the center portion of the fly body, similar to the butt. Used mainly in fancy and salmon fly patterns. Sometimes called mid-joint.

Cerise:
Color - a cherry-red.

Chartreuse:
Color - Yellowish-green.

Chatterer:
Species of this bird provide silver doctor blue, dark blue and other shades of blue feathers used for wings, tails and some hackles on smaller flies. Also used for trailer feathers and cheeks on some salmon flies.

Cheek:
Short feather tied in over the shoulder area and just behind the eye. Found mostly in salmon flies.

Chestnut:
Color - Rich light brown.

Chin:
Term sometimes used to refer to beard.

    See- Beard and Throat.
Chinchilla:
The fur of the chinchilla rodent. Also a term given by some tiers to grizzly hackle.

Chinese Biot:
Strip of fibers taken from the short side of a primary duck flight feather, used to simulate extended dorsal fins of baitfish.

    See - Biot.
Chuck:
See Groundhog and Rock chuck. Guard hairs usually white tipped, and make excellent hair wing flies.

Chuckor:
Partridge of mountains of New Zealand. Well marked plumage makes this bird a very desirable material for tying.

Claret:
Color - Purplish-red. Sometimes called Wine.

Closed Wing:
Formed with two matched wing sections placed downwing with concave sides together.

Coachman Brown Hackle:
Dark, flat brown with dull finish.

Cochin:
Large domestic Asiatic fowl, having thick plumage, small wings and tail. Heavy feathering on legs and feet. Colored white, black, brown and mottled brown.

Cockatoosh:
Style of hackling. Same as palmered hackle, but in case of cockatoosh style, hackle is wound on shank only, with no body underneath other than a possible single thread wrap.

    See Lady's Fish Finder.
Cock Of The Rock:
The deep orange and brown feathers are used for wings and hackles on some smaller flies. The orange feathers are used as shoulders and trailers on some salmon patterns. A dyed or orange hen hackle is a good substitute.

Coch-Y-Bondhu:
Brown hackle with black center stripe or list and with black edges.

Collar:
Hackle wound at the very front of the fly. Usually only one or two wraps and usually of a brighter color than other hackle on the fly. Also called face or facing, or, front hackle. May also refer to any shoulder hackling.

Coot:
Body feathers from this water bird provide some fine dun to iron dun winging material. Wing feathers run darker in shades of gray than most duck feathers.

Copper Pheasant:
The mottled deep red, golden, and varying shades of white feathers from this bird are most useful in fly tying.

Corn Drake:
Not common, this rail type bird comes from Europe. The wing feathers are used for fly wing material .

Counter-Rib:
Ribbing material such as tinsel or wire wrapped in the opposite direction of the hackling. Process binds palmered hackles more securely to the fly. Used mainly in Atlantic salmon Spey fly construction.

Covert:
Term sometimes used to describe wingcase on nymphs. Also Cussette feathers on duck wings are called wing coverts.

Coyote:
Fur of this North American animal comes in all shades of brown to white. Black-tipped guard hairs effective as streamer wings. Hair has quick drying property.
    See - Montana Coyote dry fly.

Cream:
Color - Off white. May have yellowish tinge.

Cream Hackle:
Deep ivory white hackles.

Cree Variant Hackle:
Barred gray, white and ginger.

Cree:
Brown grizzly.

Creme:
Color - Refers to a very light ginger.

Creme Hackle:
Another name for Cream but may be also a transluscent white.

Crest:
Feathers from the top-knot on the head of some birds. Golden Pheasant crest is the most popularly used form. It is a brilliant golden-yellow and appears like spun glass fibers. Used for tails and toppings on flies.

    See also - Topping.
Cuckoo Hackle:
British term for grizzly or Plymouth Rock feather.

Curon:
Synthetic material similar to floss, used to build up fly bodies. Trade name.

Cussette:
Wing covert feather.

Cut Wings:
Usually body feathers, with center rib, but to shape and size desired to use as fly wings, placed usually upright and divided on dry flies.


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