Last October I visited my friends Rich and Colleen Haavik at their Rainbow Lodge fishing resort which is on the west shore of Nimpo Lake, deep in the heart of the Chilcotin! We had a wonderful day fishing coho on the Bella Coola River and spent many hours discussing Rich's fishing successes with his clients during the past season. Rich takes his customers to both area lakes and rivers and said that many days were great for dry fly, a favourite method with anglers. However, during periods when top water fly fishing did not produce, Rich showed me a wet fly that rarely disappointed his customers called the Copper John! It is a beaded fly with a copper wrap that takes it down quickly where the trout rest between surface hatches. Rich guarantees this fly as a winner so we will closely examine just how it is tied!
Crimp the hook barb and slip a gold or copper bead through to the hook eye. Next tie in a short forked tail with two pieces of olive goose quill. Then wrap your copper wire from hook bend to about half way to the hook eye. Before continuing with peacock herl to the bead, tie in a short piece of translucent tinsel at the last copper wrap, and when you have completed the body with peacock herl, pull the clear material over the top of the herl to the bead and tie off. At this point just behind the bead, make a couple of turns with a very short olive saddle hackle. Clip off the hackle on the top side, cement, and you have completed the Copper John wet fly!
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