I typically have a mug of green tea or a cold beer on hand, the clock radio on to NPR (which works out well since I typically tie in the evenings and that's when they have their jazz shows playing). Otherwise, since I've only been tying a few years, I don't have any set ways; I just do whatever is required of the pattern to get "something fishy".
I'll have to try one of those whip finishers you guys are talking about; I must admit, the one part of my tying that needs the practice is using a whip-finishing tool. I'll have a look at Hunter's and see what's cooking. I finish my flies with (gasp) a few overhand knots... and they look fine and are very durable. Still, I'd still like to learn to whip finish.
John - I had to do a double take on that fly. At first, I thought the tail was olive-dyed deer hair... that would be an interesting pattern. Oh, and frankly I don't think that the fish really care if the hackle is a bit too long; bass, for instance, aren't noted for being picky about such things.