Copper John

A fast sinking nymph pattern that can be tied in a variety of colors. Copper wire over a tapered underbody along with a dual material wing case covered in epoxy is used to form its distinctive look.

  • Nymph
  • Mayfly
  • Normal
  • Trout
  • Source: John Barr
  • Submitted By: Fly Tying Guide


Slide a bead on the hook and then place it in the vise. Add 2 or 3 wraps of lead wire on the shank, push the wire into the back of the bead. Secure the thread behind the bead to hold the wire in place, run the thread along the shank to the start of the bend.
Tie in 2 biots to form a split tail the length of one hook gap. Cover the tag ends of the biots while starting to form a slightly tapered underbody. Return the thread to the start of the bend.
Tie in the copper wire along the length of the shaft while finishing the creation of the tapered body returning the thread to directly behind the bead.
Wrap the copper wire along the shank, make sure the wraps are tight and touching each other. Tie off slightly behind the bead, cut off any excess wire.
Tie in the Pearl Flashabou along the top of the shank, tie in the Thin Skin directly on top of the Pearl Flashabou. Run the thread back a third of the shank binding the wing case and prepare for the thorax.
Tie in the peacock herl and return the thread to behind the bead. Form a thorax leaving a small gap behind the bead, secure and snip off any excess herl.
Tie in 6 hackle barbs on each side of the thorax to form the legs, the barbs should be one hook gap in length. Snip off the excess.
Fold the Thin Skin over the thorax and secure it to form the first part of the wing case. Fold the Pearl Flashabou over the Thin Skin and secure it, clip off the excess.
Form a small neck band directly behind the bead to cover the tag ends of the wing case materials. Whip finish directly behind the bead.
Apply a drop of 5 minute epoxy to the wing case for added shine and durability.
Orvis Orvis
Orvis Tackle Direct