I am a very, very poor fly tier. I am not sure when it all went to hell because I learned the basics relatively quickly, and enjoyed it to the point that I became relatively adept and my flies looked like what you could buy in a shop (for the most part) but somewhere along the line I realized that you don't need "shop" flies to catch fish. A down and dirty dubbed brown nymphy looking cat puke fly fished just as well as a perfect pheasant tail with the correct number of tail filaments. It got worse when I started carp fishing. My personal theory is that carp don't see worth a crap when the moment is nigh. The second they are faced with a close encounter with your fly they are as like to miss it as they are to eat it...and I have come to believe those instances are less refusal and more "where in the hell did that bug go?" So I simplified further, and my skills (meager to begin with) melted away.
But I tied today. One fly. Inspired by Jay at Colorado Fishing Reports I grabbed a sculpin head that I had bought a while back but not used. These heads are sweet.
As I look at those beady eyes (glued on with zap a gap, and my fingers are still stuck together) I am envisioning the flats of lake MI. Big, meat eating carp are prowling for gobies and I am chucking monstrous, rabbit strip flies and cackling gleefully as the beastly carp chase them down like smallmouth bass. Throw this sucker at a Columbia River fish and everything within a mile will spook...so Lake MI is on my mind when I finish off my one fly for the day.
Not pretty, but it will fish. Good material (beads, hooks, etc) make a difference in my opinion, but if you want to see what a really good tier can do with really good materials, head on over and check out Jay's work. Absolutely outstanding stuff Jay.