Here are a couple of generic patterns from Theo Bakelaar in Holland. His Little Black One is simplicity to tie, but very effective. Body: black ostrich herl, bak, Swiss straw, tail: red yarn. It can be dressed with a peacock herl body or with coarse dubbing, or fine feather dubbing, etc.—color of your choice. The back may be Swiss straw, flash material, peacock herl, deer hair, or a host of other materials. In other words, this is a generic pattern that can be pushed in every direction possible. Want to go wild? Add rubber legs or folded hackle, or…. Note the red tail. This is a strong feature in many imitations from England, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. In other words, it works.
The Sili-Skin sand eel is another example of a pattern that can be modified in many ways. The colors of material used, the type of materials used, the length of materials used, the bulk of the fly, the colors applied with the marker, and so on. Fuss a bit, it’s a fun imitation to build from.
Little Black One
Sili Skin Sand Eel
Thread of contrasting or complimentary color–dependent on final imitation design. Tie in a wing/tail of flash material.
Wrap a strip of “skin” around the hook to build the body to the desired thickness. This can be omitted if the body is to be very thin.
Tie in a wing of whatever materials you wish, mix in flash, of a different color than tail, etc.
Fold a strip of “skin” over the fly–length depends on final design.
Trim “skin” to shape.
Add eyes and color with permanent markers.
Lots of options with this pattern technique.