Interesting to hear your take on the tails. I must admit that was my first reaction, "but it has a tail". The shuck idea sounds likely. If you really want to see some variation in midge patterns look at what guys this side of the pond are turning out as "buzzers".
Using foam like that is nothing new over here, but more commonly it would be tied in forward of the eye, giving more of a hanging from the surface presentation. That might be a variation you could try.
I do have a question though. How can a size 18 hook be both short shank and wide gape? There are only two things that dictate the size of a hook. Gap and shank length. Surely one must remain constant for the hook to be considered a particular size. This isn't going to be so easy to explain further, but lets say we design a hook. On our scale we say a size 16 has a 5 mm gap. Size 18, 4 mm Size 20, 3 mm. For each the the standard shank length is 1 1/2 times the gap. So if we produce a hook with a gap of 4 mm but a shank length of 4.5 mm, that would be described as a "size 18 1x short". A hook with a gap of 5 mm and a shank of 4.5 mm then would be "Size 16 2x short". Describing it as a size 18 1x short 1x wide is confusing. There is nothing measurable that equates to size 18. It's a sort of "Trigger's Broom" paradox (I've had this broom 20 years, it's had 17 new heads, and 14 new handles), nothing of the original remains.
Thanks for the comprehensive reply, Craig, and I appreciate your thoughts. I have seen quite a few buzzers, especially in some English fly tying books, and really appreciate the profile that I see (without any tails!). I am intrigued by their style, and have wondered if their success would be more evident in lakes versus rivers...
The foam is something that we use both up and back (like in the video), and over the eye. It definitely is nothing new, as I've had this pattern in my arsenal for over 15 years. Fortunately, I have never claimed to be the designer of these flies, thus am happy to share what I know via my videos. Great insight, and thanks for making that suggestion apparent to others.
Finally, I was most intrigued by your thoughts regarding the hook. Examining the Allen website, they specifically list that style as "3x wide, 2x short." Your reasoning is spot on, and I completely agree that there is nothing to be used as the base. In my opinion, and in future explanations to others, it seems maintaining hook gap may be the constant, with shank length being the variable. Thanks again for that explanation, as it really made me reexamine the notion of hook classification.
As always, great post, and I look forward to your content in the future,