I like the Meat Whistle because it has a lot of movement in the water and it sinks fast, knocking against rocks and looking reasonably like a crayfish or madtom or sculpin. The fish only like the Meat Whistle a little.
I like the Hairy Mary because it’s easy and looks reasonably like a half-drowned dragonfly. But the fish would only sit underneath the Hairy Mary, looking sullen, then depart.
I like the Home Invader because, aside from the lead eyeballs, nearly all the materials can be found in a farm lot. I like the homespun look of the coyote fur collar. I like that with pale yellow marabou, some gold and pearl tinsel flash, and barred ginger hackle you can make them look almost exactly like one of the thousands of stonerollers grazing Ozark stream bottoms. But only dinks chased the Home Invader today.
The Tampon Fly is none of those things. It looks like nothing; it just wiggles. It casts like a sack of dead kittens and takes ages to reach its destination. It’s dumb to tie. There is no jarring strike or surface explosion.
But it works. And sometimes, when nothing else will- that’s good enough.