Fashion trend threatening fly-tying resource | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Fashion trend threatening fly-tying resource

Bruce Ajari
Gone Fishin'

Fly-tiers are a bit distressed these days. Why? It seems that they have some serious competition when it comes to premium hackle.

Premium hackle comes from a rooster or hen specifically bred to produce feathers for fly-tying. These are the most expensive components in a fly-tier’s bag, and these premium hackles are necessary to tie beautiful dry flies.

Lately shops have been running out of this premium hackle as a result of a new fashion trend in the hair industry. It seems that this premium hackle has become extremely popular in regards to a hairstyle.

Apparently, the popularity of this trend seems to have left many shops without any premium hackle. A recent check at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Truckee confirmed this trend. Premium hackle is scarce, with beauty shops now purchasing them.

A number of recent articles have been written about how premium hackle is being snatched up by the beauty shops all across the country. The craze has apparently spiked this past January and February.

So what does this mean to devoted fly-tiers? It means that there will be a scarcity of hackle, hopefully for the short term. A check of a few online fly shops has also shown the impact of this craze. You will see that these are back-ordered items.

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It takes quite a while to produce these premium hackles, and with the hair industry competing with the fly-tiers, and willing to pay even more, the likelihood that you will find these hackles is pretty remote as long as this fashion trend continues.

This will undoubtedly affect the most prolific tiers. Commercial fly-tiers who tie flies for shops need the most hackle. Those fly-tiers who tie for personal use probably have enough hackle to get them by until this fashion trend subsides.

As a result of this scarcity, it is possible to see flies cost a bit more in the short term. Fly-tiers are certainly hoping this is one of those fads that will quickly pass.

– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and a fishing columnist for the Tahoe Daily Tribune and other area newspapers.