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copper john at a Maine fly shop

Copper John

  This month’s fly is the Copper John nymph. The Copper John was created by John Barr of Colorado in the early 1990s to be the dropper fly below a dry fly on a rig called a hopper-dropper. The sole purpose of the fly was to sink quickly and attract the fish which would trigger a reaction strike. It is strictly an attractor pattern that doesn't copy any specific insect. That said it certainly does work better in certain colors and sizes during certain hatches. A large black Copper John works well in early summer when stoneflies are actively crawling around. Small black is for copying BWO's or other small mayflies. Green is a favorite for any early season caddis hatch. While natural copper is the most common color, I very rarely use it. My favorite is black or green in smaller sizes. One of the biggest brook trout I ever caught was on a chartreuse and black bodied Copper John in April. Two-colored bodies are one way to vary this most versatile pattern. Try tying some and let your imagination create your next favorite pattern.

Hook - Daiichi 1710 size 10-18
Bead - Gold to match hook size
Thread - Black
Underbody - Lead free wire(under thorax)
Tail - Goose biot
Body - copper wire
Thorax - Peacock herl
Wingcase - Thin skin, pearl tinsel, opoxy
Legs - Partridge feather fibers
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