Hair and hackle = waste!!

S
Spydeyrch
Ok, so I had to tell you all about this because it really got on my nerves even though it happened a few weeks ago.

As many of you know, there is a new craze going around involving hackle. The same hackles that we use to tie our flies. The same hackle that we pay top dollar for. Yes, those hackles.

The craze, which is absurd in my opinion, is taking a single hackle feather and using it as a hair extension. :confused:

Women are doing it all across the US and Europe. There are even some men, such as Steven Tyler, from the band Aerosmith, that are doing it.

So I knew about this but never thought I would actually run into someone that participated in such ..... such ....... hhhhmmmmmmm....... :think: ........ an abomination against all that is true to fly fishing!!! :shock:

And thus begins my story.

Last month, the 25th of September was my Brithday. I turned a whoppin' 29 years young.:D As a birthday present, my dad drove me up to Cabela's in Olympia, WA. I hadn't ever been there yet and so it was nice. Plus we were able to discuss the finer points of life. Such as remembering about our hiking, climbing, camping, small plane flying adventures. Like the time we flew a small Cesna 172R from Hillsboro, to Pendelton, OR to Salt Lake City, UT (to pick up my brother) to Moab, UT. We stayed a few days in Moab mountain biking and having a blast. Oh, and we carried all out gear in the plane!!! That was crazy trying to get over the Rockies around SLC!!!! But what a blast!! So we had a fun time catching up and enjoying ourselves.

We eventually arrived at Cabela's and I was thoroughly impressed. It was a very nice store. The service reps were nice but not all of them really knowledgeable, but that is to be expected.

I really enjoyed looking at everything and eating lunch in their bistro. a lot of the things there reminded my dad and I about many of our adventures. Like the time we got stuck up on the summit of a mountain we had just climbed. It was getting too dark to climb back down so we built a little shelter out of some rocks to sheild us from the wind. We were lucky it didn't snow that night. We had two emergancy blankets, one for out canopy and the other we took turns sharing. We took all of our slings and ropes and softer gear and used them as bedding. There were no clouds in the sky, the moon was full, and you could see all the way to Port Angeles, WA on one side and the Pacific on the other. It was magnificent!!!!

Anywho, we eventually made our way to the fly fishing section, which was going to be the highlight of my trip. I was wanting to possibly pickup an 8wt rod for steelhead and salmon this year or next. I was excited to see the offerings that they had.

I talked to the employee there about different trips, and fish, and techniques. The different rods. We basically were shooting line (hahahaha, instead of shooting the breeze, we were shooting line, hahahahah :lol:!!!) Sorry about that lame pun. :D :rolleyes:

Anywho. As I was looking at some different rods and products, this lady approached me. She said, "Excuse me, do they always come like this?"

I didn't realize that she was talking to me for a split second. I lifted me head to see who was talking to me and what she was asking about. She was a mid-aged woman who I bet had never touched let alone cast a fly rod in her life!!

I then looked at the object that she had in her hand. It was a small grizzly hackle cape in a plastic bag. I didn't quite understand what she was asking about. What did she mean do they always come like that?

So I looked at it to see if I could spot any peculiarities or problems with it but didn't see any. It was a nice looking cape and at a decent price too. I told her no but asked what she meant?

She turned over the bag and pointed, with a scowl and disgusted look on her face to the skin and beak of the bird that were still attached. I looked at it and told her that yes, some of the do come like that. It just depends on where the cape was taken from the bird.

I then commented to my father, who had been right behind me the whole time, about an article that I had read a while back about how designer salons and jewelry makers where raiding fly fishing shops for their hackle capes and other feathers to make hair extensions and different jewelry accessories. I laughed, my dad laughed, the store employee laughed, then we stopped laughing when we heard something.

The woman, with a joyous and shining smile stated that that was why she was there. To purchase the capes because she was the owner of a hair salon and need the hackle capes for her client's hair and she was going to start a jewelry line. I stood there in shock!!! :shock: Thoughts of a barren fly shop ran through my mind. Of fly tiers kneeling on the floor in tears and weeping over the loss of such good material.; and to be used in what!!! HAIR of all things!!!!

I thought to myself, GOOD!! I am glad you got disgusted by that little piece of skin and the beak. I hope you don't buy it!! :naughty: HHHHHMMMM!!!!

But she did. :(

After she left, the employee said that he had been raided a few weeks back and that the walls were completely bare!!! Several different hair salons came in and bought all is merchandise. Good for business, bad for the fly angler and fly tier.

I left that store that day saddened that things of beauty were being used as a fashion fad. Something that will fade out of existence in a few months or years. But sadly takes away from our materials to tie flies. One would never had thought that something as small and insignificant as a hackle cape would allow one to enjoy the beauty in nature. But think about it. With the hackle, and other fly tying materials, we tie or buy flies. We use those flies to go fly fishing. Where do we fly fish? In some of the most pristine and beautiful areas of the world. Granted we could probably still enjoy those areas without the need to fly fish, but we would be missing a key ingredient to our sanity.

Thus I state, based upon my own person opinion that

Hair + Hackle = a WASTE of a good thing!!!!!

Take it as you will, perhaps your opinion is different than mine, but perhaps it isn't. I didn't write this to persuade you one way or the other but to merely share my experience and the bad taste that it left in my mouth. Plus I do it in somewhat of a jesting nature.:dance: So no hard feelings.

I just found it jaw dropping that someone would actually use feathers in their hair. Sad, just sad. :(

Take care ya all.

-Spydey
 
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E
eggs
I tried to get my wife to go to the Metolius Bamboo Rod and Fly Fishing fair this year with 3 or 4 full capes and a squirrel tail clipped to her head while wearing a full hares mask on her face, just to see if people would get the joke.. she was worried about beaten to death with bamboo sticks..
 
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Raincatcher
Raincatcher
First OFF, I do sympathize with all the fly tiers of the world who can't find hackles. I really do. That being said, feathers have been used to adorn ladies, and gentlemen's hair since the early days in Egypt. Maybe even before that. American Indians have used them since the beginning of time, also. Have you checked the beauty supply or craft stores? They might have a selection for you fly folks. Just my $.02 worth.
 
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halibuthitman
its not a problem at all if your the one raising roosters... the market will adjust, it only takes a year to grow a bird to wack... and spydey, feathers have been used ceromonial and daily in the hair and dress of human beings for about 10,000 years, only 9,850 years longer than it has been tied on hooks.
 
L
lilsalmon
eggs said:
I tried to get my wife to go to the Metolius Bamboo Rod and Fly Fishing fair this year with 3 or 4 full capes and a squirrel tail clipped to her head while wearing a full hares mask on her face, just to see if people would get the joke.. she was worried about beaten to death with bamboo sticks..

I am surprised she didn't do it......:lol::lol: Seems like something that would take too much time and effort to maintain it.....sucks that they are buying up the good stuff

hmmmmm....wonder if my landlord minded if I had a few "birds"? hehe
 
S
Spydeyrch
halibuthitman said:
its not a problem at all if your the one raising roosters... the market will adjust, it only takes a year to grow a bird to wack... and spydey, feathers have been used ceromonial and daily in the hair and dress of human beings for about 10,000 years, only 9,850 years longer than it has been tied on hooks.

Yes, that I realize. That feathers are an important aspect of many different cultures for various religious, cerimonial, and other reasons. Yet, I do belive, and correct me anyone if I am wrong, that the process to create the hackles used for tying flies is actually a lengthy process. The chickens were breed and selected for their ability to create the long hackle feathers. It was selective breeding, right? They were aming for producing chickens with that specific ability.

Kinid of like the dogs and cows with double muscle condition. See below.

double muscle - bull.jpg

double muscle - dog.jpg

So, these chickens are breed for the reason of the type of feathers. And I, personally, see it silly to use them in hair. Some fashions, in my opinion, are really not of any benefit.

But to each his/her own, right.

If something was made for a specific reason, then let it be used for that reason. Yes, sometimes something is invented/created for a reason and re-purposed for something else for which it was not originally intended. And it is better!! Just look at post-its as an example.

But everyone will have their own opinion and they are entitled to them. I like to think of myself as more of a practical person.

What does everyone else think?

-Spydey
 
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halibuthitman
Sinkline said:
, it's just never been in such high demand until recently. :(


Randy
tell that to the dodo, solitaire, great auk, carolina parakeet,caracara,Hawaiin rail, yellow tuffed honeyeater, giant moa, and 2 strains of Ostrich and about 15 strains of various other island or tropic fowl...
 
S
Spydeyrch
halibuthitman said:
tell that to the dodo, solitaire, great auk, carolina parakeet,caracara,Hawaiin rail, yellow tuffed honeyeater, giant moa, and 2 strains of Ostrich and about 15 strains of various other island or tropic fowl...

What was that bird that has also become extinct due to over hunting and use? If I remember correctly it lived in the south of the US. It is said that when flocks of them flew, they could blot out the sun because there were so many of them. I thought that it was the carrier pigeon but it isn't. I thought that it was some kind of a dove or pigeon or some bird like that.

Anyone know or remember?

-Spydey

EDIT:

I found it. It is the passenger Pigeon. check this out!!

Passenger Pigeon
 
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Raincatcher
Raincatcher
These are extinct U.S. birds...

Common Name Scientific Name Range Extinction
Date
Carolina Parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis Carolinensis Southeastern US 1914

Dusky Seaside Sparrow Ammodranus maritimus mirabilis Florida 1987

Great Auk Pinguinus impennis North Atlantic 1907

Heath Hen Tympanuchus cupido cupido Eastern US 1932


Ivory Billed Woodpecker Campephilus principalis Southern US 1950's

Kusaie Starling Aplonis corvina Caroline Islands 1828

Kusaie Crake Aphanolimnas monasa Caroline Islands 1928

Labrador Duck Camptorhynchus labradorium Northeastern US 1878

Louisiana Parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis ludoviciana Southcentral US 1912

Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratorius Central & Eastern US 1914

San Clemente Bewick's Wren Thryomane bewickii leucophrys California 1927

Santa Barbara Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia California 1967

Texas Henslow's Sparrow Passerherbulus henslowii houstonensis Texas 1983

Was it the Passenger Pigeon?
 
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S
Spydeyrch
Yes, barb it was the passenger Pigeon. Thank you. :D

-Spydey
 
L
lilsalmon
What would suck is if the mullet with feathers were to come back into style......:protest::rolleyes:
 
E
eggs
I plan on rocking a full ringneck pheasant as a mud flap!
 
S
Spydeyrch
Sinkline said:
Wonder if anyone ever tied patterns with any of those bird feathers??? :think:


Randy

That I don't know but I do know that just recently in the Orvis fly Fishing podcast, Tom was talking about have really good, superb, flawless ostrich herl (sp?) to tie a certain pattern. So it could be that some of them were used. But I am pretty sure that some of them were gone by the time their feathers would have been used for patters. What do you think?

Also, I had a friend who knew someone that had polarbear fur that he used to tie patterns. That is some crazy material!!! :shock:

-Spydey
 
O
OnTheFly
Sinkline said:
Wonder if anyone ever tied patterns with any of those bird feathers??? :think:Randy

LOL! A Giant Moa Mayfly
 
S
Spydeyrch
OnTheFly said:
LOL! A Giant Moa Mayfly

Hahahaha, :lol:

That reminds me of an orvis commercial where Tom made this HUGE freakin' fly!! It was like 5lbs or some crazy amonut of weight. It had feathers stickin goff of it all over the place!! hahahahahahahaha

-Spydey
 
V
Van
According to my wife, this trend is about over.
 
F
FlyBum
Well you got to think about economics when it comes to this situation "trend". I've been following this topic for some time on other forums awhile ago and haven't given it much thought anymore. But, from an economics perspective you have to think about the law of Supply and Demand. Ya stuff can be somewhat hard to come by now but soon there will be an abundance of feathers once this fad fizzles out. The Hackle suppliers are trying to produce as much as they can to keep supply going because demand is so high, but it is not in major abundance. However, once the girls start to get bird mites (LOL :) ) and demands decrease then there will be an over abundance of supply ultimately resulting in lower prices. The breeders will be "growing" roosters with longer feathers to meet this demand resulting in a better product which then in the long-run will be sold to tiers at a cheaper price.

So unless you tie for a living this really won't effect you, because THERE ARE FEATHERS AVAILABLE. My girlfriend has some feathers in her head, so I just call her a "Chicken head" or "Bird Brain" (jokingly of course) He11, I've even dumped off some of my capes to some of the local "Feather Head" places where they go for 5 bucks a feather. I made a few bucks doing this considering the price I paid for them when I got them. It's just the stuff I don't have any use for any more so why not.

I've even heard that this "new fad" started in Oregon somewhere??? At this point I just joke about it any more because it can make for a good pickup line "Hey, do you want to come over and tie some flies with those feathers in you hair?" or "Hey, I'll show you how to die those feathers the color you want, you can pick the ones you want off my pecker, I mean chicken?"
 
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