This is a dangerous thread to post, but have thought about it for many years.

It is very hard to describe/explain, but I have found that the most effective flies I have purchased have been those tied by locals and sold at the local fly shop. Most, not all, fly shops sell mostly imported flies. Such flies are tied "perfectly" with the best materials. They are tied by folks overseas who have never seen a trout, but were taught how to tie specific flies and do so all day/all year. They are able to tie the flies "perfectly".

BUT, when I purchase flies, I prefer those tied by locals, who are great tiers as well, and just seem to tie the more "realistic" and more effective patterns.

As one example only: In the Trouthunter Fly Shop on the banks of the Henry's Fork, they have bins and bins of well tied flies which I am pretty sure are all or primarily imported flies. Then, they have a lesser section of bins which hold flies tied by Rene Harrop and his wife or daughter. I have always found the Harrop flies to be more effective and to look more "fishy" than the perfect, and seemingly antiseptic imports. I also enjoy Blue Ribbon Fly Shop in West Yellowstone where, I believe, most flies are tied by Craig, Jon, staff, and local tiers.............

Another example is in Bob Jacklin's shop in West Yellowstone. Bob ties quite a few patterns which are in his expansive bins. To identify his personally tied flies, a little paper tag is hooked to his tied flies. They do command a premium price over the imports, but I have found them to look more realistic and to be the more effective ties in the shop.

It just seems that tiers who have seen the actual insects they are imitating, and are skilled tiers, produce the more effective flies than overseas tiers who have simply been taught exactly how to tie a particular pattern and tie it exactly as taught and have most likely never seen the insect they are imitating.

Anyone else feel this way?