Great background on the fly and very interesting story.
There are Atlantic salmon fishermen that are starting to use skated flies for salmon and, your thoughts are correct, they work well. When I first sent some bombers to Russ they were tied with upright wings for dead drifting. Knowing that I was also a steelhead fisherman Russ advised that I should tie the wings slanting forward so I could also use them as skaters for steelhead and this is now how I tie them. It makes no difference how the wing is tied for dead drifting the fly and now if I feel the situation calls for a skated fly I can use it for that purpose.