Simplicity and elegance can be one in the same when it comes to trout flies. If you open almost any fly tying book you'll see pages of Catskill dry flies. Most everyone of these patterns will show you just how elegant a fly can be. Most of the Catskill flies are tied very sparse, their bodies of hair are very thin and the wings so precise it's almost as if every fiber were counted by the tyer. Some of these flies have tails that are set in with two or three thin fibers with a barring to them that is precise. Yes these flies although beautiful will be tough enough to hook and hold many wise trout.
The flies I have tied in this post are not of the Catskill style. These are flies that take on a different style, a style more like "meat and potatoes" flies but they to have a certain elegance in there style and do they catch fish.
This is a variant of the "Partridge and Yellow soft hackle. In this fly I used somewhat longer mallard feathers in place of partridge. The longer feather gives a life to the fly that trout find hard not to eat. As it drifts it looks to be a struggling birth, a still-born, perhaps a dying spinner, or an insect that fell of a log.
The first two patterns in my hand are Hornberg dry flies. Simplicity to the max. Silver tinsel body, yellow hackle underwing, mallard overwing, and a few turns of grizzly hackle. This fly either fished dry or wet has been a good fish producer for me. You don't need a fly box full of fancy flies, flies from 10 to 28, to flies with that perfect shade of olive dubbing. Just give the trout what they like.....
A beautiful male wild brook trout, who could not resist a simple Hornberg.