The Adams is one of the most popular dry flies in the country. Originated by Len Halliday in Michigan, it was first conceived as an adult caddis imitation. Through the years the pattern became bastardized into what is now the commonly accepted mayfly profile. I tend to use the Adams as an attractor/searching pattern more than a specific hatch matcher. The addition of a more durable hair tail, more robust body taper and heavy hackle makes this fly more useful on brawling western waters. The common version is much like my own, but far more lightly dressed. The methods and techniques used to tie the Adams can also be used to tie a variety of other patterns. Feel free to change the components. Some common variations include different colors of dubbing for the body, hackle fibers tails and varying the color of the hackle tips for the wings. White hackle tip wings make the fly much more visible on the water.
Make a few changes to your patterns and see what you can come up with. It never hurts to show the fish something a little different.