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  • Thursday, May 07, 2009

    Close To Home

    It's Free For Those With A Hairy Belly
    it's certainly underused
    .. The blog sphere is all a twitter with the search for unusual and exotic materials for tying flies. It's become an obsession with many fly fishers and threatens to send zealots to the calm and dusty aisles of craft stores and millinery merchants alike.
    .. Of course, being of a conventional mindset, fly fishers do not stray too far from such mundane materials as fur, (from many different animals,) silk, plastic, other natural and synthetic, fuzzy stuff.
    .. The more creative of the tribe venture to non traditional sources and tout their adventurous shopping as exciting, novel, exhilarating, or surprisingly unique. Poo-Bah!
    .. Watch them drool over a new-fangled plastic rope of shredded polypropylene. Enjoy their rapturous swoonings as they delve into the qualities of the latest twisted rabbit fur. Giggle as they whisper into the ear of their confidant about the glories of their latest fly made from heliotrope possum belly. Stand in awe as they defy death and use urine stained fox and polar bear hair.
    .. All is just "Stuff & Nonsense." The truly creative would use a material closer to home and far more exotic. What, Marcelline, you ask, is that? BELLY BUTTON LINT (BBL, for short,) - of course!
    .. It comes in different colors and textures, depending on your choice of personal adornment. It is easily collected. And best of all, (for the moment,) it's free!
    .. As soon as word gets out it will become a commercial commodity. As soon as word gets out there will be secret fly recipes posted in all the forums. As soon as word gets out, you can bet that bloggers will have a field day - just as they do with less unusual materials.
    .. Scientists will explore lint production variability in the donor species, (we don't make this up!) The vagaries of the naval ecosystem will become a hot topic, (really - it's true!) There will be compendiums of Belly Button Lint Quotes, (believe it or don't!) There will be blogs about The Joy Of My Belly Button Lint, (amazing stuff!)
    .. Soon there will be debates and discussions about the texture and color and source of belly button lint. It won't be long before the material makes it's way into the commercial channels of the feather merchants.
    .. It will be packaged and marketed as "new," "unusual." "exotic," "natural," "sure fire," "realistic," and "rare."
    .. Just like vintage wines; the year of production will become a hot topic of conversation. Hoards and stockpiles of the "best years" will be jealously guarded and will attain prices similar to those of the feathers of the Rock Bustard.
    .. The lint will be collected from producers in various ways. Cults will be formed around the methods of collection and the purity of the lint.
    .. Fly tyers will limit themselves to only "the best." whatever that may be. Collection, curation, labeling and marketing will come under the scrutiny of the FDA & ICC.
    .. As the lint replaces Antron, Mohair, Hare's Ear, and Giraffe Fuzz, it will be hoarded and traded to fishing friends. Soon the world will know about this wonder fluff and an international market will be developed.
    .. Knowing entrepreneurs will take lint production off shore. New debates will rage about source and quality. Packaging will become more important than the product.
    .. Endorsements from infamous fishers will make the difference in sales and profit.
    .. Finally we will be able to tell when "BBL Flies" have reached the mainstream of conformity fly fishing: tools for it's collection, manipulation, and storage will hit the shelves of the feather merchants. Custom tools will be marketed with names that demand purchase.
    .. With the limited supply of BBL, crafty charlatans will begin to market artificial BBL - billing it as "effective as the real thing." BBL will have arrived.
    .. Soon, all will forget just how close to home this wonder material can be found. Soon we expect to see the second "BELLY BUTTON FLY" recipe. The first is listed below, (with apologies to Don Jordan.) After all, as Ralph Glidden, from the Cooke City General Store says:
    ". . . you can catch 'em on boogers and a safety pin, but sometimes you may have to resort to belly button lint though. If you run out of belly button lint, check your shorts for a fresh berry."
    .. The BBL Harrier is a traditional fly in the Northern Rockies. It has a long standing, (but very secret,) place in the fly boxes of sage and crafty fishers in and around both Missoula, Montana and Ennis, Montana. It has made some inroads into the mythology of big fish catchers around Livingston, Montana and Cody, Wyoming.
    .. We expect that soon it will reach foreign lands such as California and Idaho. It would not surprise us if it traveled to the shores of such exotic places as Illinois, Minnesota, and New York.
    .. Recipe: HOOK: safety pin, ( barbless #0 or #00.) THREAD: size 6/0 unithread. TAIL: a few pheasant tippet fibers, tied in at a jaunty angle. RIB: gold colored silk worm gut. BODY: alternating patches of BBL of appropriate colors - (plan your winter wardrobe accordingly.) SHOULDER: coarse BBL tied to imitate a wing case. WING: urine-stained doe hair dyed yellow. BEARD: jungle cock eyes.
    .. This is an excellent fly for fishing the spring runoff. It can be weighted with a copper wire under body and fished in the muddy boulder fields of most Montana streams. A few of the neighbors use it for the chocolate colored waters of the Madison River in Yellowstone during late May and early June.
    .. Most knowing fishers attribute it's 'killing nature' to the residual aromas that are water soluble and permeate the water column as it's fished slowly in the muck of the Spring run off.