I've actually been pondering this very situation quite a lot over the last couple of weeks. And by "pondering" I mean reading, thinking and experimenting at the vise. Based on my limited experiences and not insubstantial reading, I've developed the following plan of attack for next season...

- Anything I plan to fish floating high will have no flash. This means tying an Adams or Cahill with things like beaver and avoiding the flashy Antron I have. If a dun has escaped the surface film, it's likely left it's shuck and all other shiny bits aside. Flies like the Grittih's Gnat or hoppers are included here.

- Anything that might be called an "emerger" should have some shine below the thorax. Maybe this means the body is antron or I simply add an antron tail. Any shine that looks like it might be a shuck works for me.

- Anything I fish below the surface should have a "touch" of shine. This might be the tinsel body of a Black Nosed Dace, the G in a GRH or the copper in a PT. I came up with an awesome pattern last year (which I'll share here as soon as I get a decent camera) that has shine in "all the right places" and hasn't failed to draw a strike on a single cast. One feature is some gold French tinsel ribbing.

- If I go really deep, go to streamer patterns like the Black Nosed Dace, which have lots of flash.

These decisions are based on both the life-cycle of the bugs we're trying to imitate and what happens to light as it travels through the water. On the bug front, I'm sure everyone here knows that the pupal/emerger stage is generally the "shiniest". As for light, with every two or three feet of typical water, a color drops off the rainbow for most fish. Everything I've read says after five to eight feet, "flash" becomes more important than a specific color. Obviously these depths are different if you are fishing crystal clear waters or tea-colored/muddy waters.

So, my "rule" for next season is basically: surface = no flash; surface film = moderate flash; sub-surface = subtle flash; very deep = mostly flash.

But then, I'm new at this.