So in that vein I have been experimenting with simple, light flies that perform double-duty as dry and/or wet. Most of the patterns are simply thread and quality dry fly hackle. Pouring through one of my favorite blogs, "Small Stream Reflections," I stumbled across a British blog entitled "Dry Fly Expert." There I found two patterns that really caught my eye, Charles Cotton's Black Fly and the ancient Macedonian Red Hackle. Essentially the same flies, they share a simple wool body with palmered hackle and in the case of the later fly, a tail.
Cotton's Black Fly
My version of the Red Hackle. These patterns are akin to the southern "Palmer" flies, the midwestern "Crackleback, and a whole host of other modern bushy dry flies. I know these are just names and a fly tyer's whimsy, but there is something reassuring that a pattern that worked 2,000 years ago continues to produce today.