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General Techniques

General Practitioner-Orange

Hook:       Daiichi 2161 #1/0-#8
Thread:    MFC 8/0, UTC 70 Hot Orange
Tail:          Hot Orange Bucktail Mixed With Pearlescent or Hot Orange Crystal Flash
Topping:   Golden Pheasant Breast Feather
Rib:          Gold Oval Tinsel, Small
Body:        Hot Orange Seal’s Fur or Substitute
Hackle:      Hot Orange Saddle
Eyes:         Golden Pheasant Tippet
Carapace:  Two Golden Pheasant Breast Feathers tied in at the 1/3 Point, 2/3 Point and Head off the fly

Tying Note: This pattern can be tied in a variety of colors and color combinations including black and purple.

The General Practitioner or ‘GP’, as it is affectionately known to many, is a staple pattern for many west coast steelhead fly fishers.  The GP was originally designed as a prawn or shrimp imitation for Atlantic salmon by an Englishman, Colonel Desmond Drury in the early fifties.  As with many Atlantic salmon patterns and techniques the GP soon emigrated west.  GP’s can be complex and time consuming to tie.  The GP’s prawn imitating concept soon spawned other simplified prawn or shrimp patterns such as the Squamish Poacher, Borden Prawn along with numerous Spey and Intruder designs.  The GP has also benefitted from this evolution.  It seems no two fly tyers dress their GP’s the same.  Some variations remain complex. Others are simple in nature.  Either approach has value.  Ultimately, it comes down to your own preferences and the personality stamp you provide to your GP’s.  I enjoy tying complex GP’s more out of nostalgia than anything else.  My first Dean River fish, a beautiful 12 pound hen, fell to the charms of a black GP over 15 years ago.  As a result my GP tying philosophy has changed little since that time

I find the GP more ‘fiddly’ than difficult to tie.  Complex versions have a number of components.  Maintaining proper proportioning is critical to success.  The larger the GP the easier it is to tie.  Try tying larger versions before dropping down to smaller low water sized GP’s.  Mix and match colors.  I prefer large bright versions for winter fish, small sombre darker versions for summer runs.  You can also blend both approaches.  The look of a black or purple GP with a carapace of reddish orange Golden Pheasant breast feathers is eye catching.

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