How to Tie John Barr’s Copper John

What You’ll Need

Hook

Tiemco 5262 sz. 10-18

BEAD

Gold Bead (Cyclops or Tungsten)

TAIL

Brown goose biots

WEIGHT

Lead Wire .015

THREAD

70-Denier Ultra Thread (Black)

ABDOMEN

Copper Ultra Wire

WING CASE

Thin Skin (Olive and pearl flashabou covered with epoxy)

THORAX

Peacock Herl

LEGS

Mottled brown hen neck

Step 1

Note: The reason why you want to use a floss thread is it will lay flatter on the shank which will leave a smoother body for the wire to be wrapped up. If you use a uni-thread you will see gaps in between the wire when you start to wrap it up.

I’ve already slid the bead on and wrapped about ten wraps of .15 lead wire. You can either use a cyclopes or tungsten bead. Just make sure you slide it on where the smaller hole is pointing towards the eye. Once you’ve done that push the lead up into the bead. Secure your thread right behind the lead and build a small thread dam and wind back to the bend. You should be past the hook point when you tie in the biots.

Step 2

Select two biots that are next to each other. I’m using turkey biots because they are longer then the goose and seem to be the pick of choice for most tiers these days. Now match up the two together and make sure they’re facing outwards. Also even the tips before tying them in. Measure the tail about half the length of the hook shank. You’ll want to hold them by the tip with your left hand while tying them in. If you have difficulty tying these in you can try placing the biots on each side of the hook and tie them in one by one. I wouldn’t recommend it, but until you get it down I would do it this way. If you do tie the biots in together make sure you slightly off center them to be on your side. When you wind the thread the turn from the thread will lay them right on top. Make a few tighter turns without letting go of the tips and it should be secure

Step 3

Now wrap the wire up keeping each wrap side by side until you get to the middle of the lead wire.

Step 4

Tie in the wire and wrap to the bend. Make sure you butt the last wrap even in the back so you don’t see any thread wraps underneath when you wrap the wire up. Remember to keep the wraps side by side when tying to the back and then back up to the center of the lead wire again. The thread body has to be smooth for the best results.
Note: One thing to keep in mind is right behind the lead wire you might see a dip from not enough thread wraps being behind it to create the taper slope you’ll need to keep the wire going smooth all the way up the body.

Step 5

Wrap the wire up and take your time making sure you get each wrap side by side. Move the wire back and forth and it’ll break clean.

Step 6

Now in a row you’ll tie in the thin skin, flashabou and peacock herl. You only need a few turns for each material you tie in. Don’t over crowd the eye or you will have no room to tie in the hen feather for the legs.

Step 7

I tie in two strands of peacock herl and I twist them before wrapping them up. Cut the excess off. What ever you do make sure you don’t tie these down right behind the bead.

Step 8

Fold the flashabou over and trim off the excess.

Step 9

Select a feather and pull off a clump of fibers and measure them to the point of the hook or a little closer. When you tie these down you should have a little room between the bead and the herl. Tie the tips in between the little grove you have. You only need to make a few turns and do the other side the same way. To hold the tips in place mash them with your finger against the shank and tie them down. Trim the excess off and make a few more turns locking them in and shoving the excess in if you have any from making the cut.

Step 10

Fold the thin skin over and cut the excess off. When cutting the excess off you will notice a little tag end of the thin skin hanging a little over the bead. That’s fine because it will help keep the fly together from the epoxy you will apply.

Step 11

Now when tying this fly off you should be tying on top of the bead just a little bit. Whip finish the fly and you’re ready to add a small drop of epoxy on top of the thin skin.