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I'm starting this thread as an overflow from the "Pheasant Tail" thread. Just wondering what patterns you tyers have difficulty with and have given up on. For me, it's pheasant tails and scuds. Don't know why, they aren't that hard but I can't seem do make them look right. I call mine "mutants" that I don't have confidence in to actually use in my precious fishing time--who knows, they might actually work well. I can do tiny emergers all day, but these two particular patterns just kill me.
 

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You should try fishing some of your "mutants".  Many (too many, some would say) of my flies look like mutants but they catch fish.  I think it's because the fish see them and say, "I don't know what it is but it looks dangerous...I'd better kill it before it can breed!"

Seriously though, you owe it to yourself to give the fish a chance to tell you whether a fly works or not.  Remember, just because it looks good to us out of the water doesn't mean that it won't look appetizing to a fish under the water.

All that being said, I have to admit that I'd given up on everything except nymphs and big streamers for a while because they didn't look right, and they didn't catch fish.  Then I started to use the internet to find tying instructions and lessons and learned more in a few hours than I had in 10 years of tying (if crudely lashing fur, feathers, and roadkill to a hook is tying).  If you have a fly or technique that gives you fits, try doing a search online...you might be pleasantly surprised!
 

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I agree with FishDr and feel you should give some of your mutants a shot.  I do know how you feel about the flies needing to be perfect, but sometimes you have to let that go.  I use to have a fishing buddy that had some of the ugliest flies know to man, but at the end of the day he almost always caught more fish then me.  That's when I realized that all your flies don't need to be perfect to catch fish.

SB you mentioned having a hard time with scuds and I was wondering if it was the entire pattern or just certain parts of the fly?  Also here is where a big bushy scud would do a lot better than a nice clean scud. 
 

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I wish I could fish the mutants, but I am to anal about what flies Ihave hitting the water. I think with time though, you should be able to get the scuddies and pt's down. Just give yourself a couple hours and crank out as many as you can. You will start to find little tricks that work for you. There is no exact science to tying any particular fly. Just find a way to get er done!
 

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Practice makes perfect. The advice of tying one fly over and over again is a good, it allows you to become familiar with getting the right proportions of materials and technique down. after a dozen or so in a row it will become much easier. Also make sure the material you use is the right stuff, this will help you tremendously...poor materials make for poor flies, so it pays to buy the best stuff you can afford...especially when you are dealing with hackle on dry flies.

as far as mutants, fish em. some of my best luck was on flies that didnt look "perfect" or were torn up by catching lots of fish. im anal about my flies too, but i have had days on the river or lakes when my picture perfect fly just didnt fish as good as a buddy fishing something that looked like a reject from a drunken bout of fly tying. its all about presention sometimes....
 
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