I've learned that if I'm not catching anything with a traditional pattern, it is usually one of:
- My technique is bad, ie, poor presentation
- I am not reading the water well and Need to move.
- I have selected the wrong fly to match what the fish are keying on
- Etc, etc
There is nothing wrong with tweaking patterns or inventing your own, but if you're doing it to improve your catch rate, odds are that's not the problem.
As I've improved and started to deliberately target larger fish this couldn't hold more true. A lake is like a microcosm of the theory of natural selection in that sense. There are always on and off days, but for the most part with a basic knowledge of fly fishing anyone can move into a well structured shoal on an ice-free lake (not in turnover ) and at the very least see a lot of action on his fly from little feeder pan-frys. But obviously a big fish is big for a reason, he hasn't died yet. That may not directly translate into the knowledge that a poorly presented fly is on the end of my tippet to that fish, but I honestly think it's a part of the bigger picture.As fish age and mature, they learn what food items look like and how they behave in general terms at least. They will not expend energy moving to eat something that does not possess certain attributes. For this reason, flies are designed to present one or more of these attributes to a wary fish. While I am certain that this collection will entice some action, I think you are likely to get smaller, less experienced fish coming to hand than you are their larger, warier big brothers.