Last night I got an email from my local fly shop, with the usual fishing reports, sale information and package tour info. At the bottom was this disturbing note:
"Due to a drastic increase in the fashion industry's interest in hackle feathers, there's a shortage of Whiting Farms saddle hackle and Euro hackle... If you need hackle feathers, you'd better get them now since Whiting Farms (and Metz, etc.) will not see improved inventories until 2012 and Whiting is raising their prices."
This morning I saw the same friend and told her about this strange phenomena. She informed me that an extension of two or three feathers were going for more than $80 a pop, and that she had a friend who was going around to tackle shops and even buying every feather she could get on eBay in an effort to stock up. Not only were these feathers destined to be tied into hair, but they were also being used to make earrings and other jewelry.
The general reaction on the internet seems to swing from general anxiety on the various forums, to the "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" humor of the good folks over at Idlewilde.
It seems to me that we can't take this assault from the hair-style-industrial-complex laying down. This sort of threat requires nothing short of massive retaliation. Therefore, I suggest that the legions of fly fishermen go out to your local CVS or Wallgreens and purchase every last scrunchie and hair elastic available. Soon the factories in China will be unable to fill the demand, leading to a world wide shortage of hair fastening accessories. In the meantime, we can all work out new fishing related usages for these products we have amassed. I am thinking scruchie streamer patterns, hair elastic rubber legs, we can use them to keep our gear organized, and keep a couple in the vest to be employed as improvised gravel guards and landing net retainers.
Eventually, they will see that we are not to be trifled with, and they will leave our feathers alone.
-- Posted by Eben