The Belle Watling

This phlaming phlorescent phloosey, the hottest thing to come out of the South since Sherman's March to the Sea, began life as a staid and stolid New England maiden. Years of puritanical privation, however, festered under her stiff, starched skirts. Decades of diligent down and across dunking as the former Parmachene Belle finally found fruition in the balmy breezes of Dixie and emerging from her encased enclosure she enthusiastically embraced her new nomenclature now known as The Belle Watling! Some say she's a serpent and siren, but she has ripped the restraints of retrograde respectability reveling in her recently repressed but now fervent and unfettered freedom. Scatter boys, she's hot cargo!

Slipping her stiffly starched strictures she first presented her passionate percolating possibilities on the Clinch River in East Tennessee. This seemingly mild mannered tailwater meanders through secret sites in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (The Atomic City) releasing radioactive rainbows and bruising bionic browns. Fish that glow in the dark were fuming at fogeyish flies and fairly floundered on the Belle's fluid, fluttering and flaming feathers.

Her second succulent success came at SEC-I on that simmering section of stream below Moomaw Dam in Virginia where the previous purveyors of illegal lighting turned landowners were locked in legal flagellation with intrepid trespassers upon their traditional territories. The waters fairly boiled with controversy and into this churning caldron clambered The Belle to come forth as champion catcher of colossal char-like critters.

With the trout types trembling timidly at her toes she trecked on to weave her wiles in yet wider worlds. Bluegill, smallmouth and hunkering hawgs hung on her hotly highlighted hems. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Flaming Flash, The Phlourescent Phenomena, The Fabulous Floozy:



Hook: Mustad 3906 or equivalent #10-14
Thread: Orange, yellow or other color
Tag: Gold Mylar
Ribbing: Fine Gold Wire wrapped in an open spiral
Body: Floss - flourescent orange, orange, yellow or other color, tapered so that it is narrower at both ends and fatter in the middle
Collar: Rainbow Krystal Flash tied in just behind head 1 1/2 times hook length.


1. Start thread near the bend of the hook and tie in a tag of gold mylar just behind the bend. Tie in about 1 1/2" to 2" of fine gold wire in front of the tag and let it hang to later be used as ribbing over the body.
2. Tie in 3-4" of floss and wrap the thread to just behind the eye of the hook. Wrap the floss to form a tapered body that is narrower at both ends and fatter in the middle. Secure the floss about 1/8 hook length behind the eye of the hook with a couple of wraps of thread and trim the excess floss.
3. Form a collar of 8-12 strands of Rainbow Krystal Flash each about 2-3" long and secure in place with several wraps of thread. The ends of the Krystal Flash should extend well beyond the back of the hook. These will later be trimmed to length. The butts of the Krystal Flash will probably extend over the head of the fly and need to be trimmed to just behind the eye. Then take several more wraps of thread over the butts of the Krystal Flash behind the eye to form a neat "head" on the fly and whip finish. Coat this head with a little epoxy or gloss acrylic lure finish. Trim the ends of the Krystal Flash behind the back of the hook to about 1 1/2 times hook length.
4. Note: the tricky part of tying this fly is getting the Krystal Flash to be evenly distributed around the entire body of the fly like a collar. After securing it loosely in place with one or two wraps of thread you will need to grasp the Krystal Flash just behind the thread and twist it around the body until it is relatively evenly distributed on all sides. This takes a little bit of practice, but can fairly quickly be mastered. After you are happy with the distribution of the Krystal Flash then take a couple more tight wraps of thread to secure it in place before trimming the butts just behind the eye of the hook. After trimming the butts of the Krystal Flash then use the thread to form a neatly tapered "head" on the fly much like on a streamer.


The Belle Watling (named after Rhett Butler's favorite madam) is best fished with a little action to get the Krystal Flash moving. She likes to wiggle her hips. In moving water she can be fished like a wet fly, but often your hits will come at the end of the swing as you start a slow retrieve back. In slow or still water your best bet is usually a slow, erratic retrieve. Initially designed for trout she has also proved deadly on a variety of other fish. Bluegills and smallmouth love her and big lunker hawgs go wild when she swivels her hips. She has a wide variety of flashy costumes that she can change into as the conditions require. Just vary the color of the floss body as you desire.