Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Unleaded Belly

The Unleaded Belly
The Unleaded Belly (Whetted to Show the Beads)
Hook:  2/0 Mustad Hook (Saltwater)
Thread:  White Flat Waxed Nylon
Tail:  Gray Marabou
Sparkle:  Gray Ghost Krystal Flash
Body:  Gray/Tan Saddle Hackle
Counter-Wrapping:  Copper Wire
Belly:  Seven Strand Braided Wire w/ four 4mm Plated Copper Beads
Collar/Head:  Gray Deer Body Hair

Earlier today I posted The Redfish Slider on the blog...great video by Matt Wirt.  I love the pattern because it is relatively simple and has great mass in the water.  The Unleaded Belly is my Smallmouth Fly Box Version of Matt's pattern.  The picture above is whetted down because the dry streamer is bushy and hides the beads.

At just over 4 1/2" long this streamer is not the biggest offering, but it should get the job done!

Cookin' Some Garbage
I have piles of really webby saddle hackles in my collection - stuff I have been hoarding for a few years.  You know the stuff I'm talking about....long fibers and sometimes a little funky colored.  The Unleaded Belly will help you use those saddles up!  The body is a mass of counter wrapped, closely palmered saddle hackle that creates a chunky and active mid-section.

The Belly
I tie flies and my wife makes jewelry...  We share the same bench and while my fur and feathers have no real application in her hobby her beads have occasionally disappeared if the roll on my side of the bench.  The braided wire used for fishing is used in jewelry making for a fraction of the cost.  I took a small length of seven stranded wire, created a belly loop on the streamer.  I then dropped on a few el cheapo copper plated beads to eliminate bead chain, hourglass or cone heads.  The belly loop really turns the fly over quickly and rides well in the water.

This is my first attempt at this pattern and I wanted to try something different.  The belly weights are non-toxic and the cost is virtually nil.  They actually rattle a little too!

On my next attempts I think I might tighten up the belly and add a small weed guard.  I'm also going to consider a little more flash as well as maybe a few lateral saddles to spice things up.  Let me know what you think!

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