The Jumbo John is yet another creation from the vise of the amazing John Barr. I don’t know what this guy takes that makes him so creative, but I want some! The Jumbo was developed for steelhead, both Pacific and the Great Lakes varieties, as well as sea run trout in the southern hemisphere. Lucky for those of us that are landlocked, the Jumbo produces well for regular old trout too. While this fly seems giant when compared to a standard Copper John, it really is just a medium sized stonefly nymph. John ties these in all Black with a Pink bead, Copper/Copper-Brown with an Orange bead and Gold/Black with a gold bead. The Gold version is a dead ringer for the golden stone nymphs here in Colorado. I also found that the jumbo is a great dropper pattern behind a streamer. Tie it on a 2 or 3X dropper about eighteen inches behind your favorite streamer and fish away. Oftentimes, fish will chase the streamer only to turn off at the last second. This is your cue to stop the retrieve and let the Jumbo dead drift for a second or two. The drift is usually interrupted with a chomp! Tie a few up and see what you think… Variety: It never hurts.
Hook: TMC 2499SP-BL #6-8
Thread: Black, 70 or 140 Denier for Abdomen and Thorax, 70 Denier Florescent Fire Orange for head.
Bead: Hot Bead, sized appropriately for hook.
Weight: .025 Lead Wire
Tail: Brown Goose Biots
Abdomen: Ultra-Wire, Copper and Copper-Brown in Medium Size, tied in and wrapped simultaneously
Flash: Pearl Saltwater Flashabou
Wingcase: Brown Thinskin
Thorax: Arizona Synthetic Peacock Dubbing
Legs: Hot Orange Medium Round Rubber Legs
Coating: 5-minute Epoxy or Solarez Thick Hard UV Resin
Hackle: Mottled Brown Hen Saddle
Place the bead on the hook and slide it up to the hook eye. Make thirteen turns of .025 lead wire around the shank behind the bead. Break the ends off the lead with your thumbnail and shove the wraps into the back of the bead. Start the thread at the back of the lead wraps.
Build a tapered thread base from the bare hook shank up onto the lead wraps and back to about halfway down the hook bend. Cover the lead wraps entirely with thread so you don’t have to contend with them later. Make this thread base as smooth as possible. Re-position the hook in the vise with the eye down and the bend exposed as shown. Make sure the thread base doesn’t go too far around the hook bend, as the butt end of the fly will start here and bringing it too far back will impede hookups.
Oppose and match the length of two biots and tie them in at the bend. The biots should extend out from the hook about a half a shank length. If this step gives you a lot of trouble, consult the Bead Head Prince Nymph tutorial for better details on biot tails.
The tail should be evenly split and centered on top of the hook shank like this.
Wrap forward over the butt ends of the biots up to the lead wraps and trim the excess there. Smooth out the thread base with a few more turns of thread.
Cut a six-inch length of both copper and copper-brown colored wire, even the ends and tie them both in on the side of the hook about two eye lengths back from the back edge of the bead.
Wrap back over both strands of wire to the bend of the hook, keeping them along the side of the hook shank as you go. Once at the bend, make several tight, concentric turns of thread over them at the very back of the hook to firmly secure them.
Bring the thread forward again to the starting point forming a tight and smooth thread base as you go. Be sure this thread base has no lumps or bumps, because if it does, they will show on the finished body. I’m warning you now, so you’ll know why it looks that way later.
Grasp both pieces of wire and make a single turn over the top of the hook right at the base of the tail. This wrap needs to be very tight to really snug the heavy wire down against the hook, so don’t be shy with the tension.
Continue wrapping the wire forward in tight, concentric turns to the starting point. Make sure the wires stay aligned, as they were when you started the wraps. This seems like a tricky procedure, but is really quite simple, just make sure the wires don’t cross as you wrap them. Try to envision wrapping a ribbon around the hook, and you want to keep it flat. Tie the wires off with several tight turns of thread and helicopter the ends to break off the excess.
Wrap the thread back over the front end of the wire body to a point where the thread will hang down just in front of the hook point. You want a bit of overlap here, to help build bulk in the thorax. Make several turns of thread at this pint to anchor the turns in place.
Tie in a single strand of Saltwater Flashabou directly on top of the hook shank and wrap back over it to the above-mentioned point (in front of the hook point).
Cut a strip of brown Thinskin so it is about half as wide as the hook gap (remember this is a WIDE gap hook), and tie it in on top of the Flashabou in the same manner. Wrap back over it to the same point as the Flashabou as well. Make certain that both the flash and the Thinskin are tied in ON TOP of the hook and centered with the hook point.
Dub a rather rotund thorax with the Arizona Synthetic Peacock dubbing, but be sure to leave about an eye length and a half of exposed bare thread at the front of the thorax. Finish the dubbing with the thread hanging in the center of the thorax, as shown.
Tie in a 2-3 inch length of round rubber leg material in the center of the thorax on the near side of the hook. Leave the ends long right now and don’t worry too much about their length.
Tie in another strand of rubber on the far side of the hook in the same manner as above. In this photo, you can clearly see that the legs are tied in the middle of the dubbed thorax.
Apply a bit more dubbing to the thread and use it to cover the thread band that is holding the legs in place. Continue dubbing forward to the front of the thorax again.
Pull the Thinskin wingcase over the thorax and tie it down behind the bead. Stretch the Thinskin just slightly as you pull it over so it encases the dubbing of the thorax.
Pull the Flashabou over the top of the Thinskin wingcase, check to make sure it is centered and tie it down as well.
Clip the excess flash and Thinskin flush against the hook shank and make a few turns of thread to cover the stubs.
Whip finish the thread in the neck behind the bead and clip it.
Put a coat of 5-minute epoxy or UV Resin over the wingcase. Be sure to coat from edge to edge and front to back, but be sure to leave the bare thread behind the bead uncovered. I like to work the epoxy/resin back onto the front of the wire a bit to make sure it stays stuck.
Once the epoxy has dried completely, or, in the case of UV resin, as soon as you’re done curing it with the lamp, use a piece of lead wire to hold the rubber legs out of the way while you complete the rest of the fly. Just wrap a short piece around the hook and the legs to keep them under control.
Start the Florescent Fire Orange thread in the neck behind the bead.
Prep and tie in a hen saddle feather at the rear edge of the bead.
Fold the hackle fibers to the backside of the quill as shown.
Wrap the hen feather two or three turns, tie it off with the thread and clip the excess feather tip.
Stroke the hackle fibers back and build a smooth thread base over the exposed quill behind the bead. This thread band will help to sweep the hackle fibers back as well as cover the quill. Whip finish the thread and clip it here.
Peel the fibers off the top of the hackle collar by pulling them against the grain of the feather. Only pull enough out to expose the wingcase across the top of the fly.
Trim the legs so they are about an inch and a half long for a number six, and to about an inch long for a number eight fly.