Originally Posted by rogue runner
It turns out He is the worlds largest supplier for synthetic fly tying material, and believes that it is the future of fly tying.
Well therein is exactly WHY he may think this =)
There isn't much that substitutes for the real deal when you're tying trout, salmon and steelhead flies IMNSHO. Especially the imitative and art flies, or subsurface patterns and anything in smaller sizes for fishing spring creeks or other clear, slow moving water.
There is a place for synthetics in the brackish and salt water arena, as most of them are a bit more durable, and if not destroyed by some toothy critters, they can be washed and dried and reused. Salt does a number on a lot of naturals, especially things like bucktail, calftail and ANY feathers.
But I've seen what some people can do with things like EP Fibers, and synthetic dubbings (or blends) and some of it is pretty impressive.
But while it is more durable, it doesn't act the same- it has more (or less) "give" than natural fibers, it tends to either be too stiff or too soft in some cases, but I'm sure this is being addressed and materials are being created to fill voids that exist now. When you're tying longer wings on some flies, it seems more likely to foul a hook because to have a similar profile to say bucktail, you're using as pretty large bunch of soft materials.
So, YMMV... I openly admit I use some synthetics (like nylon floss, plastic tinsel, shredded yarn in dubbing, etc) and I have dabbled with synthetic winging materials... but they aren't my favorites.