When you take the steps to start tying flies, you take a class, buy books, go online and study, go to fly tying shows-expos and undoubtedly learn about the basic patterns that are considered proven fish catchers. Proven based upon success and proven because they were, over time, matched to the food chain of fish. Makes sense, so we all tie pheasant tails, hare’s ears, elk hair caddis and PMD’s. Great done. Identify the 20-30 mandatory patterns and tie each in the required stages and sizes. Perfect…Done. Jesus Cristo! My head hurts. My brain is fogging over more than usual.
Perhaps we could do a little bit of that, and then let the ol’ ADD take over and create, based upon those general tying skills, entomology we can grasp, and the search for the unique. Trout flies tend to be toward the doctrine, which is carved in stone. Steelhead, Salmon, Pike, Bass etc. tend toward the exciter-stimulation. The kill instinct….the reflexive smack.
Regardless…learn the skills to tie regardless of your mental bent or allegiance to tradition. Then decide traditional pattern ‘slave’ (geez, is my bias showing?)….renegade hodgepodge of ineffective patterns, out of which comes a gem…..or somewhere in between. This may vary depending upon your life’s state, whether you are healthy, employed, getting any or just flitting from steelhead to Spring trout patterns. I say live a little….