Copper John Fly

Copper John

Fast sinking nymph, imitates mayfly/stonefly nymphs, weighted copper body, sinks quickly.

How the Copper John is tied

The Copper John is tied using a short or medium shank hook and has a weighted profile. The body is typically formed from a copper wire, wrapped tightly around the hook shank to create a cylindrical shape and add significant weight. A wire ribbing is often added for segmentation and durability. The thorax is made from peacock herl, providing a contrasting texture. The wing case is created using a thin, flat material such as Flashabou or Thin Skin, which is pulled over the thorax and secured behind the bead head. The Copper John is finished with a tungsten or brass bead head to add further weight and attraction.

What the Copper John mimics

The Copper John is designed to imitate a variety of subsurface insects, such as mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies. Its lifelike profile, significant weight, and natural movement make it an effective and versatile pattern for targeting fish that feed on nymphs and other aquatic insects. The Copper John can be thought of as a generalist pattern, suggesting multiple potential food sources to the fish.

Where the Copper John is used

The Copper John can be used in various water types, including rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. It is particularly effective when fish are feeding on nymphs or other insects on the bottom and can be productive year-round, especially in deeper or faster water where the added weight helps the fly reach the desired depth quickly. To fish the Copper John effectively, use techniques such as dead drifting, swinging, or nymphing with an indicator or tight line. Vary the depth and retrieve speed to find where the fish are feeding.

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Fish you can can fly fish for with the Copper John

Brook trout

Brown Trout

Common Carp

Cutthroat Trout

Golden Trout


Marble Trout

Rainbow Trout



Insect orders relevant to the Copper John

These are insect orders of which one or more species are mimicked by the Copper John.







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