“The average fly fisherman can have a bug in his hand and 90% of the time the will think that a size 18 is a size 14. This is particularly true when the bug has taken flight and they are observed in the air. A little caddis flutters by and Billy Bob reaches for his size 14 Elk Hair Caddis when in all reality he’s been fooled by the flapping wings and should be pulling a size 18. Nymphs are very much the same. An angler seines up a glob of crap off the bottom and all this bugs are crawling around in it. His eye will be drawn to the largest bug first and in a lot of cases, all brain function ceases at that point. He ties on a size 14 Pheasant Tail Nymph despite the fact that the rest of that glob of goop is crawling with size 20 Baetis nymphs. We have a tendency to fall into the “Big Mac” syndrome and think that the fish are going to eat the biggest meal available when in reality they are going to eat whatever they have to expend the least energy to take.” Poudre Canyon Chronicles
This is so true. We tie many patterns too large because it is easier and rationalized. We don’t recognize bug size and consequently reduce our odds of contact with fish during certain hatches/drifts. The size 14 is easier to see than the size 18. The hook up seems more likely with the bigger fly. Of late, I know that my larger ties are primarily an issue of eye sight and tying station backdrop. I will say that I tied 4 of these pupa’s before I got the wire wraps worthy of a photograph and only knew that after the photo was taken. Definitely need smaller beads. Midge patterns, small midge patterns, do not have to have obsessive attention to detail (wire body above). Simple thread bodies in different colors, ribbed with ultra fine wire, or contrasting thread or fine tinsels will do.