Repetition is the key for many things in life, so also with fly tying! When getting into a pattern that I want to explore, or get some new material that I need to get familiar with I tend to sit down and tie up the same pattern in different sizes and on different hooks to see how it comes together.
This week I have focused on the rusty rat: I have tied it up in 10 different variations on singles, doubles and on tube. The pattern itself is a classic one that should need not much introduction (and there are other sites that can describe the background for this pattern much better than I can).
Of all the variations here there is one first for me: slipstream tubes. I have tied a lot of tubes the last year, but this week I got a good offer on some slipstream tubes from Veniard in different sizes, so when I got into the rusty rat I had to tie some up on that as well.
This a very good exercise that I can recommend for anyone: you get to know the pattern, and at the end of the session you know how the pattern is and behaves in different sizes and on different hooks.