Rainy’s Zebra Copper



The zebra copper is an awesome little attractor pattern that comes from Rainy’s Flies and Supplies.  It is essentially a variation of a Copper John, but instead of being tied on a 2xl nymph hook a scud hook is substituted and two colors of copper wire are used as opposed to one.  Even though it is designed as an attractor it can be a pretty good natural mayfly or stonefly imitation depending on the color wire used.  Just like a Copper John the Zebra Copper is a great fly for a dry dropper set up or when used strictly nymphing and sinks through the water column like a rock.


  • Hook: Dai-Riki 135
  • Bead: Your choice
  • Thread: Danville 70 denier
  • Tail: Goose Biots
  • Body: Medium wire (two colors)
  • Thorax: Peacock herl
  • Legs: Hungarian Partridge
  • Wingcase: Thin Skin


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Start by putting the bead on the hook and secure in your vice.  Then start your thread base behind the bead bringing it back to the end of the shank and make a few wraps on top of each other to make a small thread ball.  This will help the biots separate and give them the right look.

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Next tie in the goose biots fort the tail making sure that the are separated and bring the thread forward securing the biots as you go.  Stop at the point where you will tie the thorax (approximately 2/3 of the way up the shank).  Then fold the biots back and trim the excess leaving enough to cover 1/2 of the area back to the tail (this will help create a light taper to the fly).

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Bring your thread back covering the excess biots and when you reach the clipped ends bring your thread back to where the thorax will be tied.  Notice how this creates a slight taper without having to build one using excessive amounts of thread.

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Take two different colored strands of copper wire and wrap your thread back to the tail securing the wire along the way.  Take care to contour the wire to the hook shank so the finished product is smooth without bulges.  Then bring your thread back to the point where you tied in the wire.

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Now wrap the wires forward making tight edge to edge wraps.  Tie off where you left your thread in the last step and trim of break off the excess wire.

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Cut a small strip of Thin Skin and tie on top of the hook shank.

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Tie in the 3-4 strands of peacock hurl.

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Wrap the peacock forward and tie off right behind the bead.  I like to wrap the peacock hurl around my thread a few times to create a chenille and then palmer that forward.

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Take a Hungarian Partridge feather and clip out the center stem up high and then peel the fibers off each side of the feather leaving a small V of fibers on the stem.  Place this on top  of the hook shank and hold the ends of the partidge fibers along the side of the fly and secure with one loose wrap of thread followed by a tighter one.  Then trim off the excess.

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Now bring the Thin Skin over the peacock and tie down right behind the bead.  You can trim off the excess and whip finish the fly and be done.  The following is what I like to do to add a little durability to the pattern.  Whip finish behind the bead leaving the excess Thin Skin attached.

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Next fold the Thin Skin back over itself and trim the excess leaving enough material to completely cover the wingcase.  Put a small drop of glue in between the layers of Thin Skin and fold the excess on top of the wingcase.  This will not only glue the material down, but also the whip finish and really makes for a durable nymph.