Copper John – Nymph Fly Tying Tutorial

Copper John – Nymph Fly Tying Tutorial


The Copper John is a great nymph fly that
is very flashy, and sinks like a stone. This fly can resemble many types of bugs even
though it doesn’t look identical to any of them. I am tying this today on an Umpqua U103 hook
in size 12, but this can be tied on any 2x long nymph
hook and is regularly tied in sized 10-20. Start by adding a bead to your hook.
An easy way to do this is put the bead in your hand and stick the hook through Now put your hook on the vice and secure it
tightly. To help this fly sink even better, I am adding
10-15 wraps of .15 size lead wire to the hook. pushing it up into the bead helps stabilize
the bead. Now start your thread just behind the lead
wrap. I am using a fine 8/0 size black thread. Next we will want to remove 2 barbs from a
brown goose biot. Snip the ends and put the two together insuring
that they are even on the tips and bend slightly away from each other
Like so. Measure the biots so they are about a half
a hook shank in length Now mark that measurement with your fingers
and switch hands Straddle the hook shank with the biots and
tie them in on each side. Make sure the biots are wrapped in to just
behind the lead wrap, snip the ends if you need. Now you want to create a taper on the fly.
I use a black dubbing to do this in order to save thread and time, but you can just
use the thread if you wish. Bring your thread forward to just shy of the
lead wrap Tie in some brassie sized copper wire all
the way back to the biots and bring your thread back to the lead wraps Now tightly wrap the copper wire up the hook
shank making sure that each wrap is tight up against the last wrap Bring your bobbin up to the hook for support
and helicopter off the wire. Now we will start building the wing casing
Start by adding a single strip of saltwater sized flashabou
and wrap all the way from the start of the lead wrap up to the bead. Now add a thin strip of “thin skin” in the
same manner. The width of this strip will depend on your fly size. Now tie in a single strand of peacock hurl
also in the same manner as the flashabou, and bring your thread back to behind the bead Now palmer your hurl up the hook all the way
to the bead and tie off that piece. You can just pinch off tip of this delicate
material. Now we will prepare a hen feather to use as
the legs. Pull back all the fibers except the few on
the tip of the feather. Now cut off just the tip of the feather so
it creates a fork at the end. Also clip off the excess so there is just
the stem. Now tie this in on top of the peacock hurl
with 2-3 loose wraps. Then pull the thin skin up over the hurl and
secure with another 2-3 loose wraps. This will allow you to pull the hen feathers
back to the size you want. Now pull the flashabou strand over everything
and secure with some tight wraps. After everything is secure, you can snip off
the excess materials right at the base of the bead.
Dont worry if its not perfect, The epoxy will hide some rough edges. Now whip finish your fly in a manner that
finishes on top of the fly so the epoxy will hold it. Instead of epoxy, I like adding UV curing
resin (or commonly called UV epoxy) I am using a product called “thin hard” by
solarez that has amazing clarity and is easy to use. Just place a small dab on top of the fly,
and you can move around to your desired shape with your bodkin Allow a few seconds for the resin to settle,
and then cure it with a UV light. It only takes a few seconds for this to cure
hard. And there we have it, a finished copper john.
While this fly does have lots of material, you can see that its not too difficult to
tie, especially after you have done a few Hey Thanks for watching!
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below. Now, go catch some fish!

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