Posts Tagged ‘copper john


photography: macro experiment

I tied a smallish, size 18, black nymph; a version of a Copper John but with a ultra fine black wire. First I used the macro lens to show the image near a couple of pebbles. But, then I got the idea, for some reason, to attach the fly to a popcorn kernel to further show its size. Yes, go figure. I suppose a small ruler would suffice but instead I busted out popcorn kernels and attempted to capture something…I am sure. A bit blurry and the lighting was not great. Still you get the idea of scale. 

photography-black nymph-fly tying-SwittersB

photography-macro-nymph-corn kernel-SwittersB


Fly Tying: Small, Quick Sinking Nymphs

DRONLEE at Fly Tying Nation provides to step by step tutorials on tying his version of the Copper John nymph. Both are only of the same complexity/degree of difficulty of the original Copper John. The pictures are very helpful, of course, in understanding how dronlee arrived at that nice look. Give it a look and keep those wire wraps one right on top of the other as you wrap forward. Nice photography too.

Fly Tying Nation

Latex ‘n Copper Nymph at Fly Tying Nation


Fly Tying & Fishing Instruction

I was stuck in beautiful Eugene, Oregon and ended up in a Borders book store. There were, surprisingly, a scant dozen or so books of fishing. Surprising because Eugene sets amongst several excellent fishing venues within minutes of town.

I came upon a nice book by John Barr entitled Barr Flies. It is a glossy, large sized book with great visuals and a bit spendy. I liked the S-B-S tutorials on several nymph patterns and  I bought the book. I couldn’t fish, so I perused the Barr book and planned my tying to incorporate some of Barr’s patterns.

Another excellent book is Rick Hafele’s Nymph Fishing Rivers & Streams. Hafele provides a gazillion interesting facts about insects that trout eat and how to fish them.


Fly Tying: Iantra’s Copper John Tutorial

The Copper John has surpassed, in some people’s assessments, the Gold Ribbed Hares Ear (GRHE) and the Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN) as the most popular, worthy mayfly nymph imitation. The Bulgarian flyfishing site Iantra has a nice tutorial/SBS on tying the Copper John

Copper John Nymph @ Maine Fishing Today


Fly Tying: Wire Bodies for Density

Several years back, John Barr’s Copper John emerged upon the FF scene and gained immediate popularity because it worked and because, for its size, it quickly sunk. The copper wire body was adopted-adapted to many patterns. Consider wire wraps to suggest segmentation and to add additional weight to get a pattern down quickly and tumbling along. The wire body, metal bead and lead wraps beneath the dubbed thorax combine to get the stonefly pattern down quickly. A small chuck and duck pattern. Barb the hook streamside.

Note the Wire Abdomen on this Duplicated Commercial Tie

or, with this Wired Prince Nymph

Wired Prince Nymph (SwittersB)


Fly Fishing: Copper Swan~Steelhead Nymph Pattern


Copper Swan Relief (SwittersB)

A larger version of the original nymph pattern by John Barr (The Copper John). The Copper Swan is an equally heavy, dense chunk that will get down in a hurry when nymphing for steelhead, or as a point fly for trout fishing. This fly is adaptable to different colored hot beads, or a more neutral bead tone. The wire abdomen begs all the colors available, as do the rubber legs. I mucked up the wing case epoxy coating and got it on the hackle barbs, by not waiting for it (the epoxy) to dry before finishing with the hackle. Knapek hook & Large Wapsi wire. The pattern can be tied with two colors of wire. I experimented with black and copper/black and red/black and cream.

Copper Swan Steelhead Nymph Pattern (SwittersB)


Fly Fishing: Nymphs You Must Have Recap

For the beginner, a recap of the often successful nymphs that are so good you must carry them along with a multitude of also’s, pretenders, maybe’s and mights. (not including all the dries, wets, emergers, pupa, larvae patterns)

PTN by SwittersB

Copper John

Prince Nymph

Possie Bugger


Fotografiando Moscas (photographing flies…how to)


I took this shot last year when Tim Barker at suggested taking a photo in direct sunlight. I consider the above shot one of the most enjoyable results I have created. I took this shot with the fly box setting upon a mailing envelope. The box and envelope were setting on a side bar of my BBQer. The results were perfect. 

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

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