I just finished reading Mike Maxwell's " Advanced Speyfishing", which is a good read, though it is a pricey book and the photos are terrible quality. In it he states that one must know exactly what natural food item their fly represents or they are barely better than a gear fisherman. 'Attractor' flies are lures he says. These statements really shocked me! Classic atlantic salmon flies are not unlike lures, yet they differ from lures in their extreme complexity and the skill required to fashion them. They are art no doubt about it. Modern steelhead flies borrow much from their atlantic salmon predesecors, but have become more simplistic- easier to tie, and more practical. However, many are so-called 'attractors', not really imitating a baitfish, leech or insect, and gosh darn it they catch fish. I must say that I do consider any hair and feathers or whatever materials skillfully tied onto a single barbless hook a fly, regardless of whether or not it is a direct imitation. If you know the water and the fly-how it behaves etc., what is the problem? By Maxwell's definition a San Juan worm is a more legitimate pattern than a green butt skunk- since one imitates a chironomid larva and the other a ??? (nuclear contaminated batfish with hemoroids?!) Not to pick on him- no doubt he is one of the finest, most knowledgable spey fisherman in the world. Anyone agree with him or is this purism to an extreme?