Reel Fashion: On-Trend Fashionistas Borrowing From Fly Fishermen
One would be hard pressed to name two more disparate demographics than fly fisherman and fashionistas. Until recently their worlds intersected so infrequently that one would wonder if they were truly aware of the other's existence. Now the two groups are in a frenzied competition for one of the most prized accessories that a fly fisherman can own: their lures.
Although, not the whole lures- just the feathers. So it is, then, that the fashion world has finally come into conflict with the fishing world- and the feathers are flying.
The consumerist drama unfolded this past spring, when hair extensions woven through with feathers became the must-have fashion accessory for young and on-trend women to complete the hippy chic look. The most desirable feathers for such extensions are are formally known as hackles-and are long, pliable, and brilliantly colored. Because of these three traits, these feathers also happen to be the most desirable for fly fishing lures, and so it is hardly surprising that before this year they were purchased almost exclusively by ace anglers.
Because of the rarity of such feathers, the fad followers had little choice but to turn to the same farms that fly fishermen sourced their lure feathers from and the fishermen are far from happy with the resulting shortage. As surging demand and feelings of entitlement clash on the consumerist market, both fisherman and fashionista alike are faced with the fact that these feathers are in finite supply. Proper hackles take over a year to be grown on a specially bred rooster, and once a year's supply is exhausted there is no choice but to wait for the next year's crop of feather roosters to grow into maturity.
In the end, whether the feathers are used for lures or allure, the real winners in the ultimate battle of form over function are the poultry farmers who are enjoying a banner profit this quarter. No one can predict how much life the fad has left in it, but in interests of defusing tensions between river waders and boutique shoppers, one can only hope that it passes quickly.