Everything but the kitchen sink...
After some experimentation with the pattern I call the Cheap Lazy Bastard, and having read and re-read both LaFontaine's work and Oliver Edwards' recent discussions (FF&FT November, 2005), I came up with a pattern I now call the "Miscellanea Emerger." The idea is based on the idiom of "throwing in everything but the kitchen sink; however, I couldn't justify the length of "everything but the kitchen sink" for a pattern name, and someone told me the name Kitchen Sink was already used—so there you have it. I have made an effort to include as many potential trigger aspects of an emerger as I could within reason.
There are some items that experience tells us work well in flies—peacock and ostrich herl, pheasant tail feathers, gold ribbing, Antron , rubber legs and bead heads fall into this category for me. The centipede legs are a finer version of conventional rubber legs, and I think do a nice job of achieving the outrigger appearance that Oliver Edwards prescribes for caddis pupa. They are easier for me to use—and they may be more durable than the hackle barbs—and the speckled variety just plain look buggy.
The Antron sheath is a concession to LaFontaine, and has one potential benefit I have only mentioned in confidential communications before. I was fishing in a heavily stocked trout stream in Missouri and had the opportunity to watch fish react to the Cheap Lazy Bastard last summer. I saw fish take the fly in their mouths only to have the sheath appear to catch on their teeth like dental floss.
When they shook their head to free it, the hook set itself on one occasion and on another, I simply flicked my wrist to set the hook. When I described this to LaFontaine's good friend, Stan Bradshaw, he gave me a tongue-in-cheek admonishment for breach of fly-fishing ethics—dental micro snagging. I have had fish take this fly at every stage of presentation—dead drift, sinking, gradual rise and slow retrieve to active retrieve—even as I was picking up for another cast.