My perspective of Fly Tying and Fly Fishing

Hackle Shortage Update…

Checking up on my email today, I read a report regarding the hackle shortage and it still erks me that it’s getting the wrong type of publicity.

Being a realist, I can see both arguments for the need of hackle feathers. However, before we start poking fun at a bunch of grumpy old men that cant find feathers to tie flies, lets take a look a few things that we anglers like to call “etiquette” and how they apply to the “fashion” industry.

# 1.  Respect the space of other anglers.  

Now, I’m pretty sure when the clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger got into business, Ralph Lauren didnt provide or help Tommy Hilfiger with full reign to their suppliers and manufacturers. Now, I dont expect some arts and crafts major, looking for a quick buck out of college to understand industry etiquette, however this same philosophy applies to snagging into our suppliers of premium hackle feathers.

#2. Catch and Release

I dont want to talk much about this subject, because your going to get idiots that catch more fish then they need, however for MOST fly fisherman, we practice catch and release. It takes a lot of respect and understanding to know what this does for the sport. Hackle feathers play a major role into the “catch and release” process, because a single saddle can essentially be used for generations. After taking the curling iron, brush, hair dryer, and who knows what else, these premium feathers  have an average life span of a few months, from the moment there glued to your hair…. seems like a waste

# 3. Opinions are like….

When asked the question “how do you catch the most fish” you’re going to get a different answer all the time. Opinions, criticism, lies, and jokes are the norm with fishing. Im sure taking criticism, such as “hot glue and feathers, can’t you be more creative than that”… or “this isn’t art or fashion”… requires some thick skin as well. Im sure that not many people make it in the fashion industry because they can’t take criticism very well. My only advice is that you find something else to glue and string up when the fad is over. You might have luck trying maccaroni and Cheerios?!


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