Fly of the Month June 2016 – Copper John

Copper Johncopper-john

  • Hook: 2xl size 12-16
  • Body: Copper wire in natural, red, black, green, silver
  • Bead: Copper size appropriate for hook
  • Wing case: Mylar with epoxy covering
  • Thread: Black 6/0
  • Thorax: Peacock herl
  • Weight: Lead wire as option
  • Legs: Hen feather
  • Tail: Goose biots
  • Head: Thread

1. Begin by pinching down the hook and placing the bead on the hook before placing the hook in the vise. If the plan is to weight the fly, this would be the time to make 8 to 10 wraps of lead wire on the hook and push the wire under the bead. Start the thread just behind the bead and wrap back to the bend of the hook. Select two biots, even the tips, and tie them in so they point away from each other and are about the length of the fly body. Wrap over the biots up to where the thorax will be and trim the excess. At this point, tie in the copper wire and wrap back over it to the base of the tail and then wrap the thread back up to where the wire was tied in.

2. Take the copper wire and wrap forward in smooth tight wraps to form the body to a point where the thorax will begin. Tie off the end and trim the excess. Next tie in the mylar strip and hang it off out of the way for now. Take three or four peacock herl pieces and tie them in by the tips. Advance the thread to just behind the bead and let it hang. Take the peacock herl and wrap a large thorax up to the bead, tie off the ends, and trim the excess. Take the hen feather and strip off a number of the barbles to be used as the legs for the far side of the fly, tie these in so they extend back about half the length of the body, secure, and trim any excess. Repeat the same process for the near side of the fly.

3. Take the mylar strip and bring it over the top of the thorax, tie it off right at the bead, and trim the excess. Whip finish the thread and trim off the rest. The final step is to mix up some epoxy to put on the mylar as a small bubble. Once the epoxy has cured, the fly is complete and ready to fish.

Let’s Put the Fly in Fly Fishing

BY Ron Robinson, Education Chair

At our last general meeting there was a brief discussion on fly selection when fishing moving waters. I was asked if we might give a class on this subject. My response is, “Why spoil all your fun?”

If just having the “right fly” was the only thing needed to catch a lot of fish, our sport wouldn’t be much fun. There is more, much more, to fly fishing than fly selection. Remember, fish are much less expensive at your local grocery store, but the fun is missing.

If you really want to understand selection, fishing techniques, fly construction, etc., you need to spend some time reading and “doing”. To that end, I have listed a few books that will help you get started or improve your current knowledge base. There also are hundreds (thousands?) of good YouTube

presentations if reading isn’t your thing. The club also has several DVD’s that will help your quest. We will use our September fly tying classes to help with construction and understanding how flies fit into the fish diet. For now, here are three books that I highly recommend:

  •  Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods, by Dave Whitlock
  •  Handbook of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Foods Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them, by Dave Hughes
  • Stillwater Presentation – A Fly Fisher’s Comprehensive Guide for Planning and Executing a Presentation System for Catching Stillwater Trout, by Denny Rickards

Just remember that there are a lot of “right flies” out there. The more you study our sport the more you will find.

General Education Class — Jim Schultz/Caterpillar Flies

General Education Class — Jim Schultz/Caterpillar Flies
June 14, 7:00 PM
Sunnyslope Community Center
Ron Robinson, Education Chair

Our education class this month will feature Jim Schultz showing us how to tie the latest editions of his

family of caterpillar flies. Jim’s latest editions are easier to tie and even more effective on the water.

The class will be held at the Sunnyslope Community Center on June 14 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Make plans now to attend so that you can tie some of these great flies for the San Juan or your next trip. Bring pen and paper to take notes. This will be a great opportunity to get questions answered by the maker.

It’s always great fun to hear what Jim has to say about fly tying generally, and the class also will improve your overall understanding of fly fishing. Oh, by the way, Jim’s flies also are great on our local ponds and lakes. See you there.

If you have questions, give Ron a call at 602-867-8820.

AFC Fly Recipe Archives

Wading Safety

From Trout Unlimited’s Doug Agee, Doug wrote:

wading-safetyI was sent an article this week about wading safety written by David Humphries. David is the owner of River Traditions, which is one of TU’s business partners. You have likely seen River Traditions listed as a fundraising vendor.

The main point David made is that in all the great information that can found in magazines, wading safety seems to be mostly omitted. You can find David’s blog post on Wading Safety on  I can’t help but wonder if wading safety is to too closely related to ego and pride to make the lead articles.

I know I have gotten a bit wetter than planned on more than one occasion. I use a wading staff when I am not sure of the water I’m fishing and it is with me most of the time. There have even been a few instances when it helped my fishing buddy too.

I think it would be great if we, as leaders add wading safety to our dialog. Please share how you promote wading safety in your conversations. If you have a program or presentation on wading safety in your chapter, please share that too.

Join the Trout Unlimited mission.


General Education Class — Baby Damsel Fly Nymph

May 17th, 7:00 pm
Sunnyslope Community Center

It’s damsel time! This month we will teach a simple yet VERY effective damsel fly nymph, Brian Chan’s Baby Damsel Fly Nymph. It’s a good damsel fly imitation and also takes trout feeding on scuds and leeches. It’s very simple to tie, using only marabou, gold bead, and wire ribbing. Minor changes in the marabou color, bead color, tail length, and weight will give you quite an arsenal for still water fishing.

Ron will supply all the materials from his “stash”. Bring your fly tying equipment. If you need a vise and tools, the club will make them available. If you have questions, give Ron a call at 602-867-8820.

Ron Robinson

No such thing as a bad cast

From David Mayl, via Midcurrent

We’re fly fishing, not casting. Fish every cast.
Just today I had this conversation with a client. He hadn’t fished in a year and was rusty. His casts were less than perfect but probably better than most. Again and again, he’d pick up a perfectly fishable cast that he didn’t think was good enough. There is no such thing as a bad cast on my boat. If that fly hits the water you’re fishing, so make the most of it. “Fish that cast” has become my mantra (I have many) when I’m on the oars. What you may think is a horrible cast probably was–I don’t mind saying that I’m a terrible caster, by the way—but the fly is in the water and that’s where the fish are. So leave it and start fishing. I think a problem with folks sometimes (and again, me included) is we spend way too much time re-casting a perfectly good and fishable presentation because of what we thought of our cast.