Over the years I've met some talented and quite gifted fly tyers. Their skills are such they can tie articulated flies - flies that look almost real. Upon looking at their creations it is hard to deny that a fish would not eat the offering.
There are times, however, that ugly flies seem to work best. On some patterns, rough texture or the disheveled look is what triggers the fish we seek to strike.
One example is the Bird's Nest.
I quickly tied this interpretation of a Bird's Nest this afternoon and as you can see there is nothing pretty about it and there shouldn't be. Although, not articulated in anyway, I'll bet you a six-pack of anything you desire to drink this fly will capture trout.
Another fly that comes to mind and is often tied too pretty is the Hare's Ear. At fly shops I've purchased Hare's Ear patterns that are tied smooth and there is no spike to the fly. In my opinion, a Hare's Ear needs to have a spikey body and thorax to fish well.
There has been times a fly is being fished and without knowing or checking the fly it has come to unravel and fall apart, but is still catching trout and at times at a faster clip.
There are some flies each of us have that we give a certain hierarchy in the way they produce for us. The Hare's Ear has always been one fly that is at the top of the echelon of favorite flies for me. However, the Hare's Ear is not so lofty that it can not share a spot in the same fly box along with the hoi polloi.
And... it's most likely because I tie my Hare's Ear ugly and not common to so many beautiful patterns that exist these days.