General Practitioner

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by mike doughty, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

    I just tied a dozen of these up and was wondering since they seem to be some sort of shrimp pattern, do they fish better towards the mouth of a river or will they fish good anywhere on the river :confused:
  2. willieboat

    willieboat Member

    Hi Mike,
    Years ago, I had my first two fish day with a black GP in a river. It was weighted, in size 1/0. When it was wet and swinging, it looked exactly like a wolley bugger.
    I do think that it was developed to represent a prawn, so it was orange. You'll find them in shops in purple, orange, pink, black, etc. Some are tied with two tails.
    Makes sense that they would work best in the salt, or estuary when retrieved with a short strip, pause, and short strip. But I've only fished them in rivers.

  3. Wakemaster

    Wakemaster New Member

    The General Practitioner is a prawn pattern tied for Atlantic Salmon fishing that dates back to the early 1950s. I have taken steelhead over 300 miles up river with this pattern so I wouldn't suggest that it would only be effective in or near tidewater. What it is intended to imitate and what it is actually taken for by the fish may well be two very different things. In freshwater it is easy to imagine it being taken as a crayfish, if one ignores the fact that crayfish, and shrimp for that matter, generally turn bright orange only on exposure to heat or under prolonged exposure to sunlight after death. If one wants to raise the ire of purists it can be suggested that it looks more like a gob of spawn. The original pattern is fairly rigid and lifeless so it is unlikely that the motility of the materials is what attracts the fish. The fact that it works well in a number of different colors suggests that the silhouette may be important. Many of the contemporary versions of this fly employ more motile materials such as marabou or rabbit fur. Indeed an orange bunny leech or marabou is probably a far more practical pattern in many instances than the GP itself. Personally, I subscribe to the worm theory that large wiggly things attract fish.

  4. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

    Thanks to you both, i appreciate the insight.