General Practitioner – John P. Newbury

John P. Newbury recently had an interesting blog post that grabbed my attention. He is taking a trip back in time like I enjoy doing quite often. John is heading back to a time in steelhead fly tying, to a time before the Intruder style fly.

“I would like to take a short time machine ride back to the days before the intruder style of fly dominated the real estate in a steelheaders fly box. I would like to go back to the simple grace and elegance of the classic steelhead wet fly. It wouldn’t be a long ride, less than a decade and a half would get you there. Once there, you would have a handful of decades to roam around searching for materials and pushing the envelope with dyed colors and mastering your tying skills.

#1 on the list is the General Practitioner as developed by Esmond Drury as an Atlantic Salmon Fly. This fly has been popularized by West Coast steelheaders and has undergone many transformations as creative as steelhead fly tiers are. I once tied this fly commercially to be sold in Portland Oregons fly shops. Bill McMillan had commissioned me to tie these on heavy 3/0 salmon irons for use with the dry line technique in vogue before spey rods marched onto the scene back in 1995. I now tie them as close to what I can find are the original dressing as noted by Esmond Drury — Mainly from memory and mainly by my own fly tying style.

I caught my first Pacific Salmon and Steelhead on a 2/0 General Practitioner and thats why it has earned a spot in the Essential twelve.”


Hook: Partridge Salar #3
Thread: Orange
Tag: Medium gold oval french tinsel
Tail: Dyed hot orange polar bear with a topping of golden pheasant tippets and golden pheasant flank feather.
Tag: Medium gold oval french tinsel
Rib: Medium gold oval french tinsel
Body: Hot Orange Seal fear tied in two sections. In the middle section a golden pheasant tippet feather and flank feather tied flat on top.
Hackle: Orange saddle hackle palmered through both sections.
Wing: Golden pheasant tippet feather and flank feather tied flat on top.

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