For this week’s “how to tie”, we have a little something different planned. Last month, we partnered with Norvise Tying systems to present the #NorviseQuarantie competition. We asked all of you to use your time in quarantine to come up with the most creative fly you could think to tie for a chance to win a brand new Norvise. Needless to say, we were blown away by the submissions we received.
Once we finally narrowed it down to 10 finalists, we asked you, the fly fishing community, to vote on your favorite. With a healthy margin, the Envision Flyworks submission of the “Murder Hornet” was crowned King. Now, Steven Yewchuck, creator of the Murder Hornet fly, has set up his brand new Norvise and delivered us a step-by-step demonstration on how YOU can tie the Murder Hornet fly yourself! Note, this fly is not for the weary…
Here is how to tie Steve Yewchucks Murder Hornet:
Learn How to Tie This Fly
Cut strips of 2mm foam 3/4″ wide of yellow, orange, and black. Out of those strips, cut 2 yellow pieces 5/8 x 3/4, 15 orange pieces 5/8 x 3/4, and 12 black pieces 5/8 x 3/4.
Arrange the foam pieces in an order that will be laminated to make the abdomen, thorax, and head. For this technique, I prefer loctite super glue which welds the foam pieces together in a timely manner.
The Laminated foam pieces should look similar to this color combo when finished
I like to cut paper templates for most of the foam flies I make so there are no mistakes when cutting the foam.
I then trace the templates with a fine point sharpie
Once the templates have been traced, I cut the excess bulk off with a razor
The finished trimmed foam pieces should look like this
Next, I use a disc sander to get the desired shape
The three finished body parts along with a set of mandibles for the hornet’s mouth should look like this. The mandibles are cut from 2mm light brown foam.
Now it’s time to coat the abdomen with Raidzap flex UV and finish with a super thin UV resin. The abdomen can be coated after it’s glued on the shank as well. I prefer to use a bodkin when applying the UV resin for increased control.
The Raidzap UV resin creates a beautiful, durable seal to finish the foam abdomen. You want to end up with a smooth uniform finish.
The shank that will be used to connect the abdomen to the thorax is MFC offset 45mm.
The shank is prepared by clipping one side off at the beginning of the loop leaving a straight shank and loop that the abdomen will be glued to.
The shank is placed in the jaws of the vise and the thread is wrapped back towards the loop of the shank to seal it off. This also creates a secure surface to glue the abdomen onto.
The shank is pushed through the abdomen’s center hole that was made using the bodkin. My glue of choice is loctite super glue again. The end of the shank can be forme to a point and bent over to resemble the stinger of the hornet.
Now it’s time to prepare the thorax. I start by taking a fine point black Sharpie and coloring the orange foam black leaving 2 orange dots on the top for a realistic Murder Hornet look.
I like to use MFC natural flock in black for the thorax. The way you flock is by taking the Raidzap uv flex resin and brushing it on only the black surface you want textured. Make sure you have a nice uniform coating.
Once you have a nice uniform coating you sprinkle the black flock over the UV resin which it will stick to. You can take your fingertip and tap the flock lightly so you get good adhesion. Tap the bodkin’s shaft with your fingertips which will knock off and loose and unneeded flock. You then hit it with a UV light curing the resin and sealing the flock in place
When the UV is cured you should have a thorax that looks similar to this. When curing the Raidzap UV resin I recommend using the Raidzap UV light which will cure the resin fully with no sticky residue or mess.
The Hook I used is a partridge attitude extra salt in size 2/0. The hook is placed in the vise and is now ready to be connected to the abdomen.
I use a shank to shank connection to join the abdomen to the thorax. I’ve found this to be very durable and foul proof. I use an MFC 20mm shank and connect it to the abdomen’s loop. The shank is then secured to the top of the hook with wraps of thread. My choice of thread for this fly is Uni Big Fly 400 denier
Here I secure the whole shank down with thread and then sealing with Loctite super glue for durability and keeping it in place
Next, slide the finished thorax over the hook and gluing it in place towards the bend of the hook. Making sure to leave enough room at the shanks loop for articulated movement. The 2 orange dots should be facing the rear. Next, using a Zuggy’s leg threader, punch a hole through the front upper part of the thorax
The wings are made from one 4 inch piece of Swiss Straw in Dark Brown. Take a threader and push it through the hole you just made.
Pull the Swiss Straw through leaving equal parts on both sides of the thorax. You can back the Swiss Straw out a hair and add a drop of super glue and then pull it back into position.
This is what you should be left with.
With the wing material glued into position you can now remove the Hornet from the vice to trim the wing shape
Put a drop of glue at the base of the wings and hold it in a backward position. Using a bodkin make 4 holes equal apart along the bottom of the thorax for the legs. To place the legs you will use the same technique as the wings by pushing a threader through the holes and pulling the legs equal through and gluing. The legs are made of Fly Tyer’s Dungeon 14-40 legs in Golden Olive. The 4 sets of legs are pulled through the holes and glued in place. The legs are trimmed to equal length on each side. I use a Black Sharpie to mottle the legs.
Now it’s time to make the head of the hornet. Take the Hornet’s head and glue on the mandibles and use a black Sharpie to draw in the eyes and any details. The way the eyes are made is by building up Raidzap super-thin UV resin follow by a little thick UV over top of the drawn eyes giving them the realistic 3D effect. I add little cuts to the mandibles and some details.
Next, the head is glued and placed in position over the hook
To make the antenna I use D’s Flyes quill body. I trim to length and bend
Finally, using a bodkin make 2 holes in the top of the Hornet’s head between the eyes and glue the quills in place. The quills are coated in thick UV resin to give shape and strength. They are then colored with marker or black fingernail polish. The rest of the head is coated with Raidzap thin UV resin.
If you follow all of these steps, your final product should look something like this!
Are you still with us? Congratulations! You now know how to tie Steve Yewchuck’s murder hornet.
Thank you to Steve from Envision Flyworks for this submission, as well as sharing with us how to tie this incredible fly. Also, thank you to Norvise for making this contest and “how to tie” possible. Head over to their website to get yourself a Norvise tying system to tie up your army of murder hornets.