Grass Wasp Fly Patterns (Part 2)

A client of mine asked me to tie up a dozen Grass Wasps for him before traveling to the Albany River in Ontario. He wanted to fish the wasps near steep fast stream banks and in some broken water so wanted extra flotation and profile. Using soft hackle in tandem with a conventional criss-cross hackle collar will add great buoyancy to this fly when fishing faster water. The added barbell eyes create a distinct profile from below. Using underwing material such as Aero Wing Dry Fly will also help keep the fly in the surface film at the proper angle.
Barbell eyes created with 20lb singed mono with 2-3 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (Extreme) Black Out. Abdomens created with thread teardrop profile then 2-3 coats of  Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (Extreme) Black Out. Unlike most UV Resins available you cannot beat nitrocellulose (cellulose nitrate). Nitrocellulose is a highly combustible material that is also used in making dynamite. It would take a trout a mouthful of dynamite to destroy most of my fly's coated with SH product. Once fully dry this product promises its namesake, hard as nails! That being said you need to add a bit more flotation to your fly even though the TMC 212Y is a great floating hook. Black Aero Wing Dry Fly fibers are used as an underwing material which creates great buoyancy for faster water.
Thread: Veevus 14/0
Hook: TMC 212Y sizes #11-#15
Eyes: 20lb. mono singed and coated with Sally Hansen Extreme Hard as Nails (Black Out)
Abdomen: Teardrop thread bump accentuated with 2-3 coats of SH
Thorax: Beaver Belly
Legs: Knotted pheasant tail dyed black
Underwing: Aero Wing Dry Fly black (Tiemco)
Hackle: Hen and conventional hackle wrapped criss-cross around thorax around 5-6 turns is all that is needed
Wings: Hen tips dyed black

~Clint Joseph Bova


Effective Wasp Patterns~The Grass Carrying Wasp

The Grass Carrying Wasp is an abundant wasp both in the Midwest as well as in the North East. If  you fish water that is near forest edges, meadows, or gravel banks there are probably wasps present. There are around five species of Grass Carrying Wasps here in Ohio. They have a distinct teardrop shaped abdomen and a thorax that supports six robust legs. The waist that separates the abdomen from the thorax is quite thin and on the adults measures around 6-8 millimeters.
Wasps can be a very effective pattern in the mid to late summer months and into the fall. I usually tie my wasp patterns on emerger hooks primarily because the partially sunken abdomen seems to evoke a heart stopping slashing takes. I also believe that when the wasp is stuck in the surface film it bends its abdomen downward while the legs struggle to help take flight out of the surface film.

above: An abdomen built up starting with a black quill wrapped around a thread tear drop profile. Then UV glue built up around the quill to slowly develop the abdomen geometry. The waist is also coated to make a smooth transition.

Hook: TMC 212Y #12-16
Thread: Veevus 14/0 Black
Abdomen: Black quill wrapped around a thread profile then coated with Loon UV Flow
Thorax: Fine dubbed Beaver Belly
Legs: Black dyed knotted pheasant tail
Hackle: Black hackle colllar
Wings: Black hen tips

 Knotted pheasant tail (natural) legs tied into thorax area and hen tip wings added dyed black.

Black hackle collar wrapped in a crisscross pattern around thorax area and one final turn just behind the hook eye.

This is a simple and effective pattern to tie. The abdomen can also be simply dubbed or a single black dyed peacock quill can be wrapped around a thread profile and UV glue can then be used to create a glossy transparent shell either works equally well. I have a lot of fun tying these up...equally I have a lot of fun catching big Browns on them!
~Clint Joseph Bova


A September View

Field Study, “Glimpse Through The River Bank” 
~Clint Bova, Oil on 6x8 Panel
 (Upper Valley Pike, Mad River)

Many fishermen think trout are colorblind, but that is nothing to what trout think of fishermen.
~Ed Zern


The Rusty Midge Pattern

When Autumn sneaks up on me and the trout become increasingly more selective on the surface my midge box becomes a little more specific. I have used midges in a few color ranges at this time of year and one of my favorites is a cinnamon colored midge pattern that is tiny, stealthy, and quite deadly.

Thread: Veevus 14/0 rusty brown
Hook: TMC 2488 #18-24
Dubbing: Awesome Possum Burnt Orange
Rib: Fine Gold wire
Legs: Natural Knotted Pheasant Tail
Underwing: Dun Aero Wing Dry Fly Fibers
Wing: Dun Hen Tips
Hackle: Medium Dun
This is a fairly simple pattern to tie up and this fly pays dividends when the fall progresses and the trout become more and more selective. I carry this in pattern in black, tan, and dark dun colors. Hopefully you will enjoy tying this pattern as much as I do.
~Clint Joseph Bova