Okay, I've read the entire thread. I find it very interesting. Here is my take. I believe that the old patterns are just as good as the new ones. When you think the new patterns are better, it may be a case of the fish seeing the older patterns more. These same fish, usually older, have seen these flies before. Many have been caught and released back to the water. Catch and release has not been around for that long. I think the newer flies are to entice you to spend your hard earned bucks, on the latest, and greatest. I have a mix of new patterns, and old. I love the classics. I also have a huge arsenal to choose from. If anything, the older patterns are tried and true. The new ones are basically for the fish that have seen the old patterns, at least the more common ones. I also tie my own original flies, and even though they are different, they are not that different, as they are of a certain style. I think presentation does make a big difference. Size makes a fairly big difference. But I don't think that the fish need patterns to be more realistic to take the fly. I have caught more fish with the Woolly Bugger than any other fly out there. It has caught a huge variety of fish. Yes, there are times it doesn't work, but for the most part it will. I still like variety. I have been trying to learn just about all styles of tying. I believe fish like variety. I have also noticed this, what worked 5 minutes ago with stock trout, may not work at the moment. One fly or color is hot, then they stop biting. Change colors, or style, and they will bite again. Bream will bite anything. They will go after a fly indicator. (sometimes sadly, more than the actual FLY) I must say I get more satisfaction from fishing and tying classics. But to each his own. I think if a certain style does it for you, by all means tie it, and fish it. If you have confidence in it, it will perform for you.