Nice report glad to see the Quill Gordons are coming off now. I've had that same issue too of flies coming off, the fish coming up for them and showing no interest in my dries. I learned to pay more attention to riseforms and realized the fish were taking the emergers. From there I learned that swinging a wet fly in front of rising fish was a very effective method to use during a hatch.
I've also had the same problems with missing hookups. Every time i would get a strike my natural reaction was to pull back and raise my rod. I missed a lot of hook ups that way. I solved the problem by keeping my rod tip down and pulling back on the line and sweeping the rod to the right or left. This greatly improved my hookup ratio
Swinging wet flies has become my favorite method of fishing hence my screen name. Almost forgot what did you think of Orvis glass rod? I've been thinking of buying an 8' 5 wt. myself Superfine Glass Rod. Kudos to Little River Outfitters for letting you take it out for a test run.