Here is a selection of salmon flies going from the oldest at the top of the picture to the most modern at the bottom. The older flies were very large and tied on big single hooks then it moved on to the tube patterns which were tied on either copper, aluminium, brass or as in the picture plastic tubes, Then came the treble or double hook shrimp versions and on to the Possum cascade patterns and finally we have my modern size 15 double salar switchfly patterns which i now catch most of my salmon on.
The large salmon fly is bigger than any 28gr Toby.
Plastic Tubes are great when used on a sinking line.
Possum Flies have the most life of any salmon fly.
And in the last picture we have my Switchfly salmon flies which catch most of my fish. Some of the bigger salmon that i caught last year fell to these patterns in size 15 salar doubles and once the fly went in there was never any issue with hook strenght or holding capacity. To think that they were using such large patterns years ago and successfully catching salmon and now we are using small shrimp flies or tubes to catch them makes me wonder whether the salmons diet has changed or the food that it is feeding on at sea is now smaller.