The Red Copper John is a cross between a Pheasant Tail and a Brassie. It has proven it's self to be one of the all-time heavyweights in terms of producing numbers of quality fish.
NYMPH FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 12 14 16 18 - $US each
Try fishing a Red Copper John Gold Beaded Nymph as a dropper below a dry. Some say beads add flash that represents the shiny exoskeleton of an aquatic insect, some believe they resemble the air bubble released by many emerging insects in their final rise to the surface and others argue the off-center weighting of the fly creates a lifelike wiggle throughout the drift. Any way you look at it, beadhead nymphs catch fish, and the added weight up front gets them down quicker than conventional unweighted nymphs.
The Copper John nymph carries a classic mayfly and stonefly profile. A good chironimid imitation ideal for trout fishing. A sleek abdomen reflects light creating the illusion of movement as well as adds weight to the nymph, helping it sink for deeper water. This pattern is great in any river where there are large populations of mayflies and stoneflies. It is one of the younger fly patterns, only recently developed and tied by John Barr.
How to fish Red Copper John Nymphs in cloudy water.
What do you do when you turn up at your favourite river which is normally tranquil and full of fish, to find it in flood and looking the same colour as hot chocolate because a of a rather nasty storm last night up in the feeder mountains?
You could get back into your car and go home and start doing those DIY jobs your wife has been asking you to do, or you could fish it anyway? It is not a hard choice really is it, but how can you fish water like this?
When this happens to me I change tactics. I knew there were fish in the river from the sunny morning and evenings I had fished the same location previously. They cannot just disappear when it floods. They have to go somewhere and wait out storm and for the river to calm down. I normally take a lot of grayling on my favourite river, under ideal conditions. There are chub, brownies and dace to fish for as well, but graylings are the most numerous. The trick is find where they have gone.
Visibility can go down to a few inches in rivers in spate so it is a good idea to leave the tapered leader off and just tie a 4lb leader mono to a braided loop. Even with the extra volume of water the depth in the river is still shallow. I expect to find any fish to be holding in areas with only a foot or so of water above them and hard on the bottom weathering out the storm flood.
With the poor visibility in mind I tie three flies strung just eight inches apart on tiny droppers. The top dropper is only two and half feet from the fly line connection. My total leader length only four and a half feet.
When this happened to me last spring I decided to use two beaded Red Copper John nymphs on the droppers and a large normal bronze colour beaded Copper John nymph on the point. I chose these flies because they had the weight to cope with the water flow and they look buggy.
Bright beads would be essential to maximise my chances of getting the fish to notice my flies. If the flies were too light they would just drift above the fish. If the flies were leaded they would be too heavy and snag the bottom.
My thinking was that three small bright bugs so close together must have a sporting chance of being spotted. I added a small amount of floating putty to the leader connection and my dirty water rig was complete.
To start with I used a few short upstream flicks, just two or three feet of fly line past the tip ring, tracking the flies back with the light rod while preventing the flow catching the fly line, which would speed the flies downstream unnaturally.
I only caught a few small clumps of decaying vegetation that had been dislodge by the storm flood and was floating down river. I had been fishing from the footpath so I decided to change and start wading. I wanted to reach the far bank. I knew I would not spook the fish in these conditions. If it was crystal clear water that would be a different matter altogether.
rom my new position I could flick downstream parallel with the far side, then push the end ring right over into the bank, avoiding overhanging branches, weeds, roots and brambles. By holding the line tight the current would swing the flies right under the bank and into the slowest water.
This is where I hoped my flies would appear as if they were stationary. They would be found easily by any fish sheltering in the margins. I was always on the lookout for any natural obstruction, like a submerged boulder or clump of weeds that would provide slack water. A natural fish resting place.
Depressions in the side of the river bank were also great spots to try and drift flies into as the water naturally slowed down inside them compared with the rest of the river. Fish are lazy. They do not want to be continually swimming against a fast current to keep a stationary position. They will always take the easy, less energy burning, option and find slower moving water.
Once I am sure my flies have entered a pocket of calmer water, after a few moments, a very slow upstream draw of my rod will hopefully draw attention to my flies. My first little Grayling was hooked using this method. My second came as I drifted my tem of flies along the side of a fallen tree trunk and just as they got to the end they were snatched at by a larger Grayling sheltering behind the log.
My third Grayling was hiding behind a midstream boulder. My fourth fish of the morning was a chub that gave me a fight after my flies found him lurking behind clump of weeds. The strong water flow helped him in his bid for freedom but I managed to net him.
Richard had caught two grayling by slipping his flies past an obstruction of tree branches that had fallen into the water and then got caught up on a rock. Drifting uprooted weed had started to collect on the upstream side so the water on the downstream side had had become slack and an instant new fish resting place
We caught eight more Grayling that afternoon. Not bad for a day that looked like the river was unfishable. Fishing in a low visibility cloudy river in flood with flies that you know have to be seen to be taken takes a lot of confidence. Use your eyes to find slower moving water. That is where the fish will be and where you have to drift your flies into. I hate DIY. This was much more fun.
A beautiful Stillwater River Rainbow I caught on the Greatest Beadhead Nymph ever sold - a Red Copper John. John Barr- millions of fly angler's are in debt to you for designing such a Bad Ass sub surface pattern. Julio Sanchez
GOOGLE+ READER'S COMMENT
Very effective nymph. That and the Prince nymph never let you down. Chris Hughes
GOOGLE+ READER'S COMMENT
...effective for panfish (bluegill, crappie, etc.) as well. Johnny Brewer