Adapting the General Practitioner to the Pro Tube Fly System
The General Practitioner fly pattern is an oft-mimicked fly style and is embraced by fly fishers pursuing steelhead, Atlantic salmon, and Sea Trout around the world. The reason is simple; the General Practitioner, or something like the “official” fly dressing is an effective fly to fish and a pleasing fly to tie.
Modifications of the General Practitioner are often given exotic names that include the word “Prawn.” Many motivations have generated adaptations to the General Practitioner, including personal preference, level of tying experience, limitations of materials at hand on a tyer’s bench, two bottles of Micro Brew, or wild whimsy. The General Practitioner is often tied on shank hooks and is also tied Intruder-style on Waddington Shanks and tubes.
The General Practitioner fly is usually tied in orange, purple, pink, or Chartreuse. But usually orange or purple. Not that I have ever seen a purple shrimp in the wild. Maybe there are hatchery purple shrimp. Maybe, maybe not.
Maintaining my current focus on adapting favorite winter steelhead flies to Tubes, I decided to take a creative shot at a fly that maintained properties consistent with an orange, prawn-like General Practioner. I also decided to stretch this tube fly a little beyond the traditional Practitioner proportions, with visions of Intruder flies dancing in my brain. But why not, you might well ask, just tie the traditional dressing on a tube?
Good question. Answer: because I tend to be a “functionalist” when it comes to fly tying. I like to zero in on function, to how the fly will swim, its sinkability, its silhouette, and how the steelhead will react to the fly. Bottom line, I want a fly that will fish well under specific water conditions and that will elicit the grab-response from Mr. or Ms. Steelhead.
This General Practitioner Tube Intruder, I believe, will sink, swim, and stimulate winter and summer steelhead every measure as well as the traditional General Practitioner fly does, and that is a good thing. One more point to note: this fly is tied long enough and sparsely dressed that it could qualify as a “knock-off” steelhead or king salmon Intruder.
General Practitioner Tube Intruder steelhead Fly.
Tube: Pro Tube system Flixi Tube, black (not that it matters); adapted to seat trailer hook in Hook guide. I preferred to use the tapered, translucent Pro Tube Hook Guide rather than the thick diameter rear section of the Pro Flexi Tube to place the hook near the end of the tail.
Tail: orange bucktail, striped with black Sharpie (thanks Rob), three fibers of Hot Orange Krystal flash on both sides of tail.
Butt: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie off and slide on red/brass Pro Tube system Cone Disc.
Body: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie in oval gold Lagartun gold tinsel at rear of fly; wind body forward; tie in hot orange dyed grizzly Euro Saddle Rooster Hackle at front of fly by butt of hackle; wind palmer hackle to rear of body; wrap oval tinsel forward through hackle; tie off tinsel; trim hackle tip at rear of body.
Wing: hot orange bucktail, body length only.
Horns: 3 long Krystal Flash fibers to rear of tail; three fibers to length of wing only.
Collar: Hareline cross-cut rabbit, peachy orange ; grasp fur in Marc Petitjean Magic Tool, trim fur from hide strip; place in waxed thread loop; spin into dubbing brush; wind on as hackle collar substitute.
Cone: Pro Tube Fly System; gold cone head; 7.5 mm.
Hook: Daiichi 2571 Steelhead Boss hook #2.
Jay Nicholas, January 5, 2011