Peter, I agree in regards to the ">" and also swiming movement on a swung "river" fly. I pre test flys for a close up look in a sink or bath tub................I know crazy
I also tie a piece of 10# test mono to them and swim them
. (if you just hold the hook eye they all move, much differant with mono tied on) All to many fly's look very nice at the vice, but, de-funk in the water. Also many look great when pulled out wet, but de-funk when in.
"De-Funked" means materials splay or > , seperate in a un-natural way,etc, hooks may flop, lack of swiming movement from materials is a big one.
Even marabou when over clumped as in a tail or wing has little swiming motion. It has much more when sparcely palmered or sparcely wraped spider style. Arctic fox swims , Arctic Goat fairly well but both are "picky" to work with. Matched hackle wings add profile to say palmered marabou, but little swiming movement in it's self. For synthetics craft fur moves like arctic fox but then synthetics drop off fast from there. Most with less movement than bucktail. Great for profile and striping to feeding saltwater fish on a blitz but, not for enticing river fish into striking. Certain flashy stuff like flas-a-bou or k-flash added to fly's can "entice" with sparkle which looks like movement. Game bird feathers swim pretty well if sparce. I have seen nothing to date, swim and hold profile (no >) like a zonker strip though (now in more colors and sizes than ever)...........they flat out swim.
In my "bathtub tests
" I also test, weighted to slightly weighted flys. A lead wire wraped hook shank kills the movement. No weight is good (if the fly rides right with a wing............many don't). I find a small amount of weight near the eye best (to much dead again) like small size lead eye ,brass eye or medium - small bead chain eyes, a bead, six wraps or so small .15 wire. I see the "West Coast" guy's talking about this...............and I agree. Second no weight.
Of course this is all just my nutty conclusions and ramblings and when a Steelhead wants to smash a basterdized nothing fly.................it surely will.
But, you get more takes swinging & twitching a good swiming
fly while the other flys
need to be striped.