Hi Skip! Glad you like it. Thanks for noticing the taper. I think profile is an often over-looked feature in baitfish patterns. There is a fair amount of fussy wing layering and trimming involved, but you are correct that the head helps hold the shape. Both vertically and in cross-section.
As a fellow arteest, you might appreciate this template I use that's drawn on a piece of plastic. It helps to match both the profile when tying and to trace the pattern for the head "cowl". I've been calling them "gill plates" but cowl is actually an accurate and descriptive term.
And here's the template with a set of gill plates being laminated:
I was thinkin' saltwater, but it should have enough flash to get the attention of an irritable coho passing through. On second thought, this fly takes too long to tie to risk in a spot like that. The "rockfish" in that hole are extra big and mean.