Published Aug 19. 2006

Wasp Year

A late summer in black and yellow

Late summer summer 2006 was hot and dry here in Denmark. Three records were challenged:
The highest temperature in June, the number of sunny hours and the number of wasps. Was it a result of global warming? The heat stopped most of fishing and we just moved slowly waiting for lower temperatures.

When we came into August we had all the rain we missed in July. Half way through the month we had already had almost three times as much as we get in a normal August.

These circumstances brought thousands of wasps on their wings and they looked for new places to build their cubes and constantly investigated our house for several evenings. They bumped against our windows and they got through the narrowest opening.

This wasp imitation is very simple. It consists of a pre-made foam body and a few materials to simulate legs and wings. It is a large imitation and might be useful as an indicator on those streams, where the rainbows swallow wasps and bees. In smaller sizes it may imitate hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus) very well and may be a good fly for the sea run browns, which some times feed on these flies as well as ants and beetles blown from the shore onto the water during late summer days.

I had better tie some, so I will be ready for that situation.

Foam Wasp

Pattern type: 
Curved dry fly hook, ie. Buyan C870 #10
Black GPS
Foam wasp/bee body
Speckled sili-legs
Mottled raffia.
Sandy grizzle hackle
Black goose biots
Cut a cylinder in to half parts. Cut it on the long side
Make a small cut into the foam, so the body can be pressed over the hook shank.
Cover the hook shank with thread.
Apply some super glue.
Press the foam body over the hook shank.
Turn the thread forming a base for legs and wings.
Tie in 2 pairs of rubber/sili-legs.
Tie in 2 wings of raffia (make them in advance, folding the raffia double, so they will be equal).
Tie in a sandy grizzle hackle.
Turn the hackle.
Secure the hackle and make the thread go under the foam towards the hook eye.
Tie down the foam to form a nice little head/mouthpart.
Tie in 2 goose biots as antennas.
Ajust the legs.
Whip finish


FYI- Fly tyer Magazine, Winter 2003 has a good article on making foam bodies by gluing sheets of craft foam together, then cutting the bodies with a sharpened tube hammered thru the stack of foam. Some of mine were OK, but I do a terrible job of shaping them with a knife. The current edition suggests impaling the bodies on a needle, put the needle in a drill and shape conical bodies with an emory board.

Kasper Muhlbach's picture


I hope the pattern will make your day. I have fished in Wanganui 10 years ago...phew!
Let us know if you catch any, and upload some pictures from N.Z and your coming fishing trips in the gallery. It would be great to see a New Zealand trout hooked on foamy wasp...or just some pics from Wanganui and Tongariro.

Kasper Mühlbach

Hello Kasper, I am on the other side of the world to you but I sure could of used one of these flys last week, I was fishing the Wanganui river in the central North Island of New Zealand and there were heaps of bees buzzing around even though it is the middle of winter!
Thank you very much for the pattern, I will try it out sometime this spring.
All the best.

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