I have grown to live with things as they are. I’m the type who doesn’t deviate from the standard. I used to mix it up a lot as a younger man, always tinkering with things to change them, most of the time with subpar results. My father told me, “They make it like that because it works.” When I took up fly tying, I went with my adult philosophy on the patterns I tie: read the dressing, tie the fly. No need to alter them much—maybe a different shade of hackle or body color, but for the most part, when you look at one of my flies, there is no argument as to what it is. In a nutshell, I guess that I am not a pattern designer.
However, I am happy that others are, and I never tire of reading about or seeing the “new” patterns that people think up and, better yet, use with success. Let’s face it, there are thousands of “new” patterns tied every year. Some are variations on a standard and some are totally different. And sometimes someone takes two standard patterns and morphs them together to make something different, yet familiar.