Sometimes when fishing, it's all about profile. How much water your fly moves, how much movement is generated by materials, and how visible is your fly from a distance (presenting a head on, or broadside profile to the fish can be super important too, but that blog's still sitting on my phone somewhere).
Too heavy or big a profile and the fish get wary. Too little profile and your flies just don't stand out.
In clear water conditions I will usually start off with a team of rather sparse patterns, each individual pattern bringing something different to the game. These imitate pretty much what the trout want in most situations: a short, tapered bully, a slim, shimmering smelt or whitebait pattern, food items that trout dine out on daily and so do not generally sound alarm bells. Takes can be soft and super relaxed as the fish feeds comfortably - 'nothing to see here'.
However some days when the fish aren't present in big numbers, the food isn't abundant enough to lock them into a feeding pattern, or when the weather, or water clarity suffers you need to step it up a notch. These small, slim bread-and-butter flies just don't draw the attention they need to.
Here's food for thought: charging in there with your mega streamer may catch a fish or two... but how many didn't it catch? In certain situations, a big sex dungeon, or double bunny will become my first selection, however most times a pair of small rabbits, matukas, mini buggers or killer style flies will fill the net more regularly than your heavy hitters.
New for 2017 in the Manic Fly Collection is the Slick series of flies, a super slim, fishy version of a few of our old favourites, and I'm looking forward to slinging around our tidal estuaries over the next few weeks. Be sure to give these a pull this springtime... the trout sure will!