Copper John Tutorial

Happy Friday Everyone!

This week we're tying the iconic Copper John. You would be hard pressed to find a fly box in the American West that doesn't have a few of these stored away. It's a fly designed to work off the bend of a buoyant fly such as a hopper or caddis but works wonderfully as part of a two nymph rig as well. It can be tied a number of ways but the standard sinks quickly and is perfect for rougher, broken up water. I also like to use it as an "enticer" to get the attention of lethargic fish. 

Tie some of these up in the classic copper but experiment with other fun colors such as Black (stoneflies) Chartreuse (caddis nymphs), and Blue or Purple. Have fun with this one!



  • Thread: 6/0 & 8/0 (flatter threads create a better surface to wrap wire on especially in smaller fly sizes)
  • Hook: TMC 2461 #10 
  • Bead: 5/32 Gold Bead
  • Weight: Lead Free .025
  • Tail: Goose Biots 
  • Body: Medium Gold Ultra WIre (Brassie for hooks smaller than #10)
  • Flashback: Large Pearl Tinsel
  • Wingcase: Black Thin Skin
  • Thorax: Peacock Herl
  • Legs: Hungarian Partridge
  • Finish: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish Thin