But most of the time I would say that the fisherman's skill is 80% of the formula, the equipment is 10% and the fly is the final 10%. The fly is just part of the "tool kit". It is up to the fisherman to know how to present the fly and "work it".
This is why over the years I have worked to reduce the number of flies I carry (though I always have a few "experimentals" along). Instead I am concentrating on a smaller selection of flies. By doing this I have become more confident in the flies I am fishing.
A couple of the the subsurface flies I have concentrated on in recent years are the Conehead Combo (clickable for recipe and pictures) which I now carry only in olive and only in two sizes, and the Hare and Herl Bugger (clickable for recipe and pictures) which I carry weighted with 10 wraps of lead and in only one hook size.
There are two other simple subsurface flies that I have enjoyed fishing that I have not yet reported on. The first one is tied with just one feather. The second pattern requires two feathers.
I plan to follow up this post first with step-by-step instructions and photos for the "One Feather Fly". But until I do, pictured below are the simple materials required: 5/32" beadhead, sizes 8 Tiemco 1xl hook, and one rump feather from a ring neck pheasant.
If you had to tie a fly with only these materials, what would it look like?
Directions for the One Feather Fly