One thing that would make a very large difference in the look of the fly is make the gap between the throat hackle and head windings nearly non-existent. I know you can't make it totally go away, but it can be make to be no more than a wrap or 2 of thread.
Bill: the method I used to attach the doubled bronze mallard wings was by watching one of Davie McPhail's excellent YouTube videos. Before watching his videos I struggled with the wings trying to put one on at a time and reversing the thread, etc. But he puts the wings on 1 pair at a time very casually, just lining up the tips, without making a big deal out it. For the fishing grade flies that I tie it really helped me a lot
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