Well foregoing the accuracy of the commentary by Mr. D.P. to avoid an argument, I'd agree that it's one of two things, me or the fish. LOL.
I obviously am not convinced of the accuracy of the list. If behavior means tying to mimic the naturals movements , then behavior is right up there in importance. I've commented here at FlyFlasher many times that silhouette (shape) is very critical.
I apologize for accidentally hitting the post button. Sorry.
As to color, I remain totally unconvinced of its importance when ranked with behavior and shape. I'm getting into a favorite subject here. Again, my apologies to all. I could give quite a number of examples for all these points and why (or why not) I think them crucial. I'll shut up.
One last point to make. Presentation is not part of the tying process but it is crucial to successful fly fishing.
Thank you Cooper for sending the photo. I am ultra critical of myself and no one else, even the fish. I'll stick with blaming myself for my lack of success.
Absolutely correct Cooper. Input/experiences are why I frequent this group so much. I like hearing about other's experiences and in no way do I consider myself an expert on anything. Like most of us here at FlyFlasher, we have certain notions about what works and what doesn't.
The book you so kindly posted is mostly about dry fly fishing for selective trout. Everyone has their own ideas on how to elicit a strike from these fish and I was really just trying to provoke some others into commenting on their experiences. I learn so much from others and this is a " friendly " site that allows free exchange of not only flies but also ideas. What could be better for all of us?
There is one other key in my mind regarding getting "picky" fish to strike that never seems to make the list of critical factors. That key I'll call " vulnerability". I can recall (I'm old) the first few fly patterns tied as "cripples". They are so common now as to be mainstream. My experiences and experiments make vulnerability an important factor for me in designing flies.
I'd really love it if you would share your unnamed keys.
Hey cooper, I thought I'd make this post a bit longer... strongly agree with bill (again), I find shape/silhouette are number one, size a close second but presentation is key to hooking up with fish. Getting advice and hearing stories is wonderful but to me, experience and getting time on the water is the best way to learn. Another note: I don't know a whole lot about tenkara but from what I understand is they traditionally only use a half dozen patterns and believe more in presentation rather than matching the hatch. Again I don't know much about tenkara but it might interest you and improve your success with fish and tying. I'm always open to more knowledge and wisdom in all areas of my life.... especially fishing! Hope this helps.
The 5th corner of that list is confidence. If you don't have confidence in your fly you are facing an uphill battle..... it's the mindset of confidence that's important. For example, if you are not really happy in that BWO you fishing with - for whatever reason - you'll not be catching too many with it.
Also agree with John #Nicholls. Confidence is surely a key to success. I know I fish my "sure thing" patterns in a way that I believe adds to success. Those "try it, it looked good on FlyFlasher" patterns often really work well but until I prove them on my own waters, I do fish them with less "confidence".
On FlyFlasher.com you can find 33,965 flies from all over the world. Flash your own fly patterns, upload your current work or search for inspiration. The flies are tagged, so you easily can search for them.