Though my "home" stream does get some fly fishing traffic, its comparatively light and most of the stress the fish get is from spinning rod lures. In this regard, the changes I make are not so much a presentation of something different as they are making the fly more attractive.
I was told recently that the goal in tying flies is threefold. Make the trout think:
a - must eat that
b - must kill that
c - must feel that with my mouth
I've made some changes to the following standard flies that were already working on streams here and after 5 fishing trips focused on testing them here are the results.
Adding the red collar and gold bead simply made this prince nymph work for me. Fished in line with the same tie without the bead or hot spot...the fly without the flash got no hits. the trout always took the flashy one. Plus, no other nymph or fly in my arsinal worked nearly as well. I've seen others princes with a red collar but not as wide...mine are the width of the bead and it made a difference. Yes, this is a big prince in #8. both 8 and 10 are working well right now though the 12's are also but the trout are smaller on average.
Adding the flashback on this #8 Stone nymph increased the hits compared to the same tie without the flash....9 to 1. The same results were observed on a Beadhead GRHE when adding a strand of peacock herl tail to thorax.
Though not as dramatic an improvement, Adding a few strands of perl crystal flash underwing makes this more visable and increased the hit percentage 3 to 1 compared to the same fly without.
Small mods can also make a fly more usable in the conditions you face onstream. On my home stream, allot of trout hold in riffle sections. adding the wulff wing and heavier hackle with a slightly heavier flattened tail made this "hendrickson/cahill" pattern applicable. A darker tan also brought more strikes than the same tie in traditional pale tan elements.
One of my favorite things about tying my own flies is it gives open ended options for tailoring a pattern to my needs (size, color, elements). Fishing them out, testing against the older/original patterns adds yet another element to my fly fishing experience.
Does anyone here have any pattern changes/additions/mods they would like to share? How about telling some of your secrets!!