Thanks everyone. I appreciate the replies!
I've stopped using the flies as practice after I noticed (what I now know to be indicators) in the rest of the found gear. Quite a bit heavier than a fly, I know, but I think it's helping me. I think the wife has some yarn that I will try out for a more realistic fly weight.
My plan is to tie my own flies. I may be a stranger to actually fly fishing, but that's about where it ends. When I lived in Texas I tied some of my own jigs and bugs for crappie and bass and I have also tied a few trout flies back in high school. I've also been fishing for trout for the past 25 years or so and have even fished flies on a spinning rod a couple of times. I guess that puts me just a touch ahead of the curve for a typical beginner. I just have to stick with it.