Many years ago I stumbled across an old English fly pattern called a Pennell wet fly. It is a standard soft hackle fly with a swept back collar, and tinsel ribbed body and tail. The most famous version of these family of flies would undoubtedly be the Black Pennell, but it was tied in a few other colors as well. Other variations of the pattern included bodies of yellow or green floss, red wool or claret yarn.
After fishing this pattern for trout for many years, I came across an article (I don't recall where) that featured the Pennell pattern tied from a single hackle feather. The tip of the fly created the tail; the feather was tied down with floss which created the body, then the un-trimmed feather was then wrapped around the shank for the hackle. I tried the tying the fly with a dyed yellow, grizzly hackle and it proved itself to be deadly on panfish. I have continued to evolve the pattern for no other reason than the fact that I am a fly tier that loves to tinker with things even when they need no improvement. I have tied this simple wet fly several different ways, and they have all proven effective. My personal favorite has been a yellow version in which I have taken some liberties with the materials used to construct the fly. The current iteration may no longer resemble the fly that was inspired by, but it works all the same. Whether you tie this fly adhering to tradition or striking out into new territory, this pattern is a panfish killer.
As a side note, the single feather version, this wet fly can be put into action as a serviceable dry fly. I often false cast it a few times to dry it off before letting it land on the water. The fly will float just like a dry fly. If nothing takes it, a few tugs on the line will submerge the fly, and then it can be retrieved it like a wet fly. On top or down low, this fly never disappoints.
Check out the pattern pages for the recipes on the flies pictured in this post.