Sherwin's Red Head Wooly Wasp (Page 1 of 17)

This is my "signature fly", which is to say, that this fly is both my own and favorite design. If I meet you along the stream, I will generally present you with a sample of this fly in the hope that perhaps you will reciprocate by presenting me with one of your favorites and that you will find it useful and spread its use. You are free to make copies of this fly pattern for your own use, and to give to others as long as you refer to it with my name in front of it (Delusions of Grandeur). If you wish to produce this fly comercially, please contact me at: to make arrangements.

Sherwin's Red Head Wooly Wasp is an imitation of a parasitic wasp known as the albumin wasp. The real wasp lays its eggs in live caterpillars. When the eggs hatch, the larva consume the caterpillar from the inside out. This insect is very common in western Pennsylvania and is an important insect control agent. As you can see in the picture above, the fly has several particular characteristics. First, it has an extended red abdomen/ovipositor, formed by winding red thread 1/3 to 1/2 way around the bend of the hook. Secondly, the wings are formed from a piece of metallic spectrum material, available from local craft stores as metallic spectrum raffia, chord or ribbon, as shown below.


Hook: #14 - #24 Mustad # ______with turned down eye (Instructions show #14)

Wing: White Metallic Spectrum Chord (Walmart or Ames Craft Dept). Cut one 1 inch piece from the end of the rope, and unravel it to form a 1 inch wide crinkly ribbon. Fold ribbon in half lengthwise and cut of small wing pairs.

Body: Peacock Herl (2 pieces for #14 - 18) (1 piece for #20 - 24)

Thread: 6 or 8-0 Red Nylon Tying Thread

Tail #1: Large Grizzly Hackle fibers.

Tail #2: Thread wound around hook bend

Hackle: Appropriate size Grizzly Hackle (Longest fibers should be length of hook shank)

Head: Thread wound in taper from hook eye to fly body. Cemented with cyano-acrylic (Krazy Glue)

1.....Either use a barbless hook or debarb the hook by squeezing the barb down to meet the hook wire.